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Brookfield to invest Rs 25,215 crore in Reliance’s telecom tower arm



NEW DELHI: Canadian investment firm Brookfield Asset Management will invest Rs 25,215 crore in a trust that controls Reliance Industries’ telecom tower infrastructure assets, said the two companies on Friday.

This is the second investment this year that Brookfield is making in a venture controlled by Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani. In March, it had agreed to buy the loss-making East-West Pipeline Ltd (EWPL), earlier known as Reliance Gas Transportation Infrastructure Ltd, for an enterprise valuation of Rs 13,000 crore from Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL).

Earlier this year, Reliance demerged the fibre and tower businesses into Jio Digital Fibre Pvt Ltd and Reliance Jio Infratel Pvt Ltd, respectively. As much as Rs 1.07 lakh crore of debt too moved to these companies. Reliance is in parallel negotiations for a similar monetisation exercise for its 7,00,000 route km fibre network.

RIL’s telecom arm, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd previously held the tower business. It had over 1,70,000 mobile signal transmitting telecom masts, the largest in the country ahead of 1,63,000 towers owned by Bharti Infratel and Indus, and had plans to ramp up the count to 2,60,000.

Brookfield, along with co-investors, will invest in the units proposed to be issued by Tower Infrastructure Trust sponsored by RIL’s wholly-owned unit Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Ltd (RIIHL).

“We moved the tower and fibre assets into the Invit, now we have the Brookfield who has come in to invest more than Rs 25,000 crore. This will be the largest foreign investment from an Indian infrastructure standpoint. it also validates the value creation which we spoke of by spinning off passive infra.

“With Rs 25,000 cr, they will buy out 100 per cent of the equity of the operating tower company and they can inject balance amount into the operating company through debt,” RIL Joint CFO V Srikanth said.

This is the single-biggest private equity transaction in India.

The deal is subject to various conditions, including receipt of requisite government and regulatory approvals, RIL said in a regulatory filing. RIIHL is the sponsor of the trust, and the trust currently holds 51 per cent stake in Reliance Jio Infratel Pvt Ltd. RIL itself held 49 per cent stake of Reliance Jio Infratel. Post the transaction, Brookfield will completely own the Tower Infrastructure Trust, though RIIHL will be a sponsor.

“All the dues that RIL has to the tower company will get repaid, that is 12,000 crore. “We had invested in the towers and we have now exited the towers, meaning we have now been able to sell it and realise the (value) and same thing we will do for fibre,” Srikanth said.

Of the overall proceeds, Rs 12,000 crore will go to Reliance Group in lieu of financial liabilities owed by RJIL to it.

RIL filing said the proceeds from the investment by Brookfield will be used to repay certain existing financial liabilities of Reliance Jio Infratel and to acquire its 49 per cent stake in the tower company.

The March deal was the first time a private pipeline is India was monetised. EWPL built and operates a 1,480-km pipeline from Kakinada, the landfall point of the gas RIL produces from its Krishna Godavari basin fields in the Bay of Bengal to Baruch in Gujarat.

Source: Press Trust of India


Apple rolls out beta programme for iPhones to enable 5G services




NEW DELHI: Apple Inc has rolled out a beta programme to enable 5G on Apple devices as the upgrade lets users try out pre-release software.

This software upgrade enables 5G access on Apple devices, as and when service providers Jio, Airtel and Vodafone enable 5G network access, sources said.

Apple Users have to enrol for the Beta Programme on the website, install a profile and download the software.

Jio users using iPhone 12 and above, in cities where JioTrue5G has been rolled out, will be invited to the Jio Welcome Offer. Jio Welcome Offer provides unlimited 5G data at up to 1 Gbps speed to users at no additional cost. However, there is a condition that prepaid users must be on active Rs 239 and above plan. All Postpaid users are eligible for this trial.

Airtel is not providing any special 5G offer like Jio to their users. In the cities/areas in which the Airtel 5G network has been launched, users can trial 5G services as a part of their existing plan, once they have updated the latest Apple Beta software.

While an email sent to Apple did not solicit an immediate response, the firm had last month stated: “We are working with our carrier partners in India to bring the best 5G experience to iPhone users as soon as network validation and testing for quality and performance is completed. 5G will be enabled via a software update and will start rolling out to iPhone users in December”.

Airtel and Jio customers on iPhone 14, iPhone 13, iPhone 12 and iPhone SE (3rd generation) models can experience 5G as part of Apple’s iOS 16 Beta Software Program. The Apple Beta Software Program is open to anyone with a valid Apple ID who accepts the Apple Beta Software Program Agreement during the sign-up process.

If a user has an iCloud account, that is an Apple ID, it is recommended they use that. If they do not have an iCloud account or any other Apple ID, they can create one.

Customers who want to try the beta software should back up their iPhones before installing the beta software. It is recommended to install the beta software only on non-production devices that are not business-critical. Users can also provide feedback to Apple on quality and usability, which helps Apple identify issues, fix them, and make Apple software even better.

The iOS beta comes with the built-in Feedback Assistant app, which can be opened from the Home screen on the iPhone or iPad or from the Dock on the Mac.

Source: Press Trust of India


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Nokia wins multi-year deal with Reliance Jio India to build one of the largest 5G networks in the world



NEW DELHI: Nokia has announced that it has been selected as a major supplier by Reliance Jio to supply 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) equipment from its comprehensive AirScale portfolio countrywide in a multi-year deal. Reliance Jio is India’s number one mobile operator and has one of the largest RAN footprints in the world.

Under the contract, Nokia will supply equipment from its AirScale portfolio, including base stations, high-capacity 5G Massive MIMO antennas, and Remote Radio Heads (RRH) to support different spectrum bands, and self-organizing network software. Reliance Jio plans to deploy a 5G standalone network which will interwork with its 4G network. The network will enable Reliance Jio to deliver advanced 5G services such as massive machine-to-machine communications, network slicing, and ultra-low-latency.

Akash Ambani, Chairman Reliance Jio, commented: “We are pleased to be working with Nokia for our 5G SA deployment in India. Jio is committed to continuously investing in the latest network technologies to enhance the experience of all of its customers. We are confident that our partnership with Nokia will deliver one of the most advanced 5G networks globally.”

Pekka Lundmark, President and CEO at Nokia stated: “This is a significant win for Nokia in an important market and a new customer with one of the largest RAN footprints in the world. This ambitious project will introduce millions of people across India to premium 5G services, enabled by our industry-leading AirScale portfolio. We are proud that Reliance Jio has placed its trust in our technology and we look forward to a long and productive partnership with them.”

Nokia has a long-standing presence in India. This new deal will mean that Nokia is now supplying India’s three largest mobile operators.

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Ericsson partners with Jio to build industry’s first 5G Standalone network



NEW DELHI: Ericsson has announced that it has entered into a long-term strategic 5G contract with Indian communications service provider (CSP) Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. (Jio) to roll out 5G Standalone (SA) in the country.

The announcement follows the allocation of 5G spectrum in the recently concluded auctions in India. This is the first partnership between Jio and Ericsson for radio access network deployment in the country.

Announcing the partnership, Akash Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Jio, says: “We are delighted to partner with Ericsson for Jio’s 5G SA rollout. Jio transformed the digital landscape in India with the launch of LTE services in 2016. We are confident that Jio’s 5G network will accelerate India’s digitalization and will serve as the foundation for achieving our nation’s ‘Digital India’ vision.”

Jio’s Standalone 5G network deployment represents a major technology leap since it modernizes the network infrastructure to deliver a truly transformative 5G experience to consumers and enterprises. The capabilities of 5G SA are expected to drive innovation and build a robust 5G ecosystem and deliver advanced services.

Ericsson’s energy-efficient 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) products and solutions from Ericsson Radio System and E-band microwave mobile transport solution will be deployed in the 5G network for Jio. All products and solutions are deployed on new-build 5G SA networks, designed to maximize the benefits of 5G to CSPs and their customers – whether individual subscribers or enterprise and industry customers.

Börje Ekholm, President and CEO, Ericsson, says: “India is building world-class digital infrastructure that will drive innovation, job creation and entrepreneurship across the country. We are happy to partner with Jio in those ambitions, through Ericsson 5G Standalone connectivity, which will be a major catalyst in meeting those digital transformation goals across society, enterprise and industry.”


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