WASHINGTON, June 14, 2010- Reliance Industries has announced that it has purchased a large share of Infotel Broadband Services. The firm was one of the biggest winners of the recent Broadband Wireless Auction that India held to sell spectrum rights for the use of wireless broadband access. Infotel will use the spectrum to build a nearly nationwide LTE network.
This will put Reliance Industries in direct competition with Reliance Communications, the nation’s largest mobile provider. Originally Reliance Communications firm was part of Reliance Industries but after the death of its founder, Dhirubhai Ambani, in 2002 the firm was split into two separate companies to be run by Ambani’s two sons. Reliance Communications has recently announced that it is looking for outside funding and it has been reported that AT&T may invest.
Wireless broadband is expected to be the way that most of the nation connects to the internet. The nation has already become one of the biggest mobile phone markets in the world. According to a recent ITU report in 2002 the nation had a mobile phone penetration of 1% but in 2007 it had jumped to 20%.
Mr. Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Limited said “We see this as the next wave of value creation opportunity in the wireless broadband space. We believe this will pole-vault India’s economy into the digital world at an accelerated pace while creating next generation tools that will enhance productivity and create world-class consumer experiences.”