Reliance Jio ‘might use government dark fibre’ for backhaul
05 May 2017 | Alan Burkitt-Gray
Reliance Jio is talking to the Indian government about using its dark fibre network that is due to connect 250,000 rural communities by the end of next year.
The Indian LTE start-up, whose arrival is leading to disruption of the country’s mobile operators, is studying the business prospects of leasing capacity on the network, according to India’s Economic Times newspaper.
The paper quotes a senior government official saying Jio is looking at using the network – called BharatNet – in the states of Haryana, to the west of New Delhi, and Karnataka, in the south-west of the country. Bangalore is the capital of Karnataka.
The official, N Sivasailam, who heads the BharatNet project, told the newspaper that Jio wants to use the fibre to connect its towers. He said the price would be “roughly 2,000 rupees per kilometre” – a sum equivalent to $30 per kilometre.
According to the newspaper BharatNet already has 210,000km of fibre, and it has reached 4,735 rural communities in Karnataka. The BharatNet project initially wanted simply to deliver fibre to the communities but has now started to talk to mobile operators wanting backhaul connections. Its aim is to provide 2-20Mbps to each household in the communities.
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