Reliance Industries is likely to enter the telecom sector soon and is exploring various options in the sector, where Chairman Mukesh Ambani's pet project Reliance Infocom was given to younger brother Anil as part of a family settlement.
Working on the presumption that a communications network is essential for its burgeoning retail network, special economic zones as well as oil and gas exploration and production business, RIL is contemplating creating its own telecom infrastructure for captive usage.
While some of the RIL officials are now frequently seen at the Communications Ministry meeting senior officials, there is speculation that some working or former executives of Anil Ambani group firm Reliance Communication are also being contacted for the purpose.
According to sources, RIL may very soon put together a team of 70-80 experts for the telecom business to leverage from its in-house talent that preferred to stay back after the family settlement.
When contacted, B D Khurana, who resigned from Reliance Communication earlier this year, said, "Nobody has approached me so far." RIL officials, on the other hand, were not available for comments.
Sources said that RIL is planning to connect its retail and oil outlets with a backbone for internal purpose after taking leased circuits from the infrastructure providers. It is also believed to exploring some exposure in Internet Service Providers like Sify for connecting the outlets of RIL.
Although RIL has not yet applied for any telecom services license, sources said it could also partially back one of the new entrants who have applied for a pan-India Unified Access Service License (UASL).