Thursday, March 31, 2016

Do you know?
Reliance Communications, controlled by billionare Anil Ambani, has entered a 90-day exclusivity period for talks to combine its mobile phone services business with smaller rival Aircel.

The Reliance mobile phone business is India's fourth-biggest by number of customers, while Aircel, majority owned by Malaysia's Maxis Communications, ranks fifth.

Combined, the duo could overtake Vodafone's Indian business, the No. 2 by subscriber numbers.

Meanwhile, in January 2016, RCom said that it would share and pool its 800MHz spectrum with Reliance Jio in 17 regions. Rcom has future plans to share 800MHz spectrum in the remaining five circles. Spectrum sharing will give Rcom access to a wider band of spectrum and Jio's network to provide faster 4G data services and provide capex and operating costs savings.

RCom and Reliance Jio signed reciprocal infrastructure agreements during FY14-15 to share Rcom's 43,000 towers, 120,000km of inter-city fibre, and 70,000km intra-city fibre network for the next 17-20 years. Under the agreements, Rcom also has access to existing and future towers and fibre assets of Reliance Jio.

The ratings firm reckons that RCom's acquisition of Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd (SSTL), the Indian mobile subsidiary of Russia's Sistema JSFC, in an all-stock deal is credit neutral for Rcom, at least in the short term. RCom will benefit from additional nine million subscribers and Rs 15bn revenue and also will be able to extend the life of its 800MHz spectrum in eight Indian circles.

According to Fitch Ratings, ownership of a pan-India spectrum in 800MHz/850MHz and its ability to offer faster 4G data could help Reliance Communications Ltd (Rs.50.30), fend off the competition, to some extent.

Meanwhile, Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Communications (RCom) Ltd's, telecom towers and related infrastructure (45,000-strong tower assets) could have a hidden networth of around  at Rs 21,500 crore, according to some market reports.

Which means, Reliance Communication's consolidated debt of Rs.39,895 crore as of September, 2015, should actually be around of Rs.18, 395 Cr.

In another significant development, the telecoms unit of Reliance Industries, controlled by India's richest man Mukesh Ambani, is preparing to launch the nation's biggest 4G broadband network within the next couple of weeks.

If you remember, Reliance had launched it 4G LTE services, Reliance Jio, back in December only to its employees, as well as some Android powered smartphones, LYF series. Promises were also made about full rollout of services to customers by April 2016 and it looks like Reliance is on track.

Calling Jio the world's largest startup, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani on Wednesday said the roll-out of its 4G services will lift India from a mobile Internet ranking of 150th to the top 10 slot. Speaking at the Ficci-Frames media and entertainment conclave in Mumbai, Ambani said Relaince Jio has four strategies: Expand country's coverage from 15-20 percent now to 70 percent, give broadband speed that is 40-80 times faster, increase data availability and make the services affordable.

Ambani, who is betting big on the latest venture of the refining-to-retail group with an initial investment of over Rs. 150,000 crores, said Jio will not be a mere telecom network but bring to its customers an entire ecosystem to allow a "Digital Life" to the fullest.

This ecosystem will comprise devices, broadband network, powerful applications and offerings such as live music, sports, live and catchup TV, movies and events, he said. "Jio is not just about technical brute force. It is about doing things in a smart, simple and secure way."

Mr.Mukesh Ambani said, "Currently the data consumption for an average Indian is 0.15 GB per annum. Jio’s network is engineered to provide a capacity of over 10 GB per user— that is nearly 100 times more than what he/she is using today.” He mentioned affordability as a key factor to make India digitally active.

This will be a very interesting event to watch, as the brothers work jointly to outbid / outsmart the other major players in the sector: Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular.

Therefore, accumulate Reliance Communications Ltd (Rs.50.30), without fail: T - Rs.76, SL - Rs.47, Period - short term (60 days).
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