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Bharti Airtel may tie up with VIL to create independent fibre company

February 27, 2019
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Bharti Airtlel has invited Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL) to partner in the independent optical fibre company it is setting up to create a company on the lines of Indus Towers for shared infrastructure. If VIL decides to join, this would be the single largest independent fibre company in the country.

This move would help both operators to gain about 25 per cent capacity on routes they do not have and all the future build for fibre would become common. Further, the partnership with VIL will help Airtel save costs by cutting down on duplication in expansion of the fibre network.

At present, Airtel is setting up Telesonic Networks Limited to house 246,000 km of its fibre assets. According to Airtel, the fibre company would be in place by March 2019.

Recently, VIL had also spun off its fibre assets into a wholly owned unit intending to monetise it and to raise cash. Airtel and VIL are raising cash to invest in networks at a time when revenue and profitability have been hit by the ongoing price wars.

Meanwhile, Reliance Jio is also hiving off its tower and fibre businesses into separate units to monetise these assets in a bid to pare its debt.

 
 
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