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COAI gets a new core member in Reliance Jio Infocomm

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MUMBAI:  In a new addition to the core members of Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI), Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL) has joined telecom industry body, reported PTI. With this, its core members have risen to seven.

After being at loggerheads regarding spectrum allocation issues, COAI and RJIL have finally put their problems behind and joined hands. This move precedes RJIL’s pan-India rollout of 4G services next year. The company holds pan India broadband wireless access spectrum that can be used for 4G services.

Prior to RJIL joining the association, COAI had six core members — Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Idea Cellular, Aircel, Unitech Wireless (now Telewings Communications) and Videocon Communications (now Videocon Telecom).

Talking about the new member, COAI’s director general Rajan S Mathews said, “We are delighted that Reliance Jio Infocomm has joined us in our common endeavour to roll out innovative and affordable mobile broadband services to the citizens of India.”

COAI represents mobile service providers, telecom equipment manufacturers and other communication services and product companies in India. Members of the telecom body jointly have about 68 percent of subscribers and around 71 percent of revenue share in the market.

Besides its core members, it also has 12 associate members. COAI has opened the associate membership to social media companies like Facebook. Other associate members include Alcatel-Lucent India, Cisco Systems India, Ericsson India, IBM India, GTL Infrastructure, Huawei Technologies, Indus Towers, Intel Corporation, Nokia Networks, Qualcomm India and ZTE India.

Corroborating the news, RJIL’s managing director, Sandip Das said, “We are pleased to join the COAI, where along with other operators, we hope to create an operating environment that will help us realise this ambition for all Indians as an industry, in the overall context of our nation's development.”

In addition to fixed and wireless broadband connectivity, RJIL also plans to provide various digital services in key domains such as education, healthcare, security, financial services, government-citizen interfaces and entertainment. In the past, the company has also entered into agreements with telecom companies including COAI member Bharti Airtel and its mobile tower arm Bharti Infratel.

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