Reliance Communications’ $1.6 billion stake sale in its tower business sets the stage for consolidation in India’s telecom infrastructure, as mobile phone operators grapple with a price war triggered by cutthroat competition.
Last week, Reliance Communications, controlled by billionaire Anil Ambani, signed a binding pact with Canada’s Brookfield Infrastructure to sell the stake in its mobile phone tower business to pare its staggering debt. Most Indian tower companies are looking to trim holdings in their assets, as they brace to take on the new entrant Reliance Jio Infocomm, the wireless unit of the older Ambani sibling’s Reliance Industries.
Jio, which has a pan-India fourth-generation Internet footprint, had in September rolled out high-speed services at ultra-low rates, disrupting India’s telecom market. The company’s aggressive pricing prompted rivals Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular to respond with matching offers in a market where phone charges are among the lowest in the world. Read More…
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