Five years after exiting telecom business, Mukesh Ambani-managed Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) on Friday re-entered the sector by acquiring Infotel Broadband, the only company to have got the all-India broadband wireless access (BWA) spectrum.
RIL will invest Rs 4,800 crore by subscribing to fresh equity capital and own 95 per cent equity in the company, making it a subsidiary of RIL.
<b1>Nineteen days after a May 23 settlement that nullified a non-compete clause between the brothers, RIL chairman and MD Mukesh was optimistic. “We see this as next wave of value creation opportunity in the wireless broadband space,” he said. “This will polevault India’s economy into the digital world at an accelerated pace while creating next generation tools that will enhance productivity and will create world class consumer experiences.”
Mukesh exited telecom business in June 2005, when, following the settlement, Reliance Infocomm went to Anil, who changed its name to Reliance Communications. This was a setback for Mukesh as he had conceptualised RIL’s first serious foray into telecom.
Reliance Infocomm’s entry into telecom, in 2003, initiated a price war and helped broaden the telecom services base.
"The company is expected to follow the same strategy in broadband by offering services at low cost,” said BK Syngal, first chairman of Reliance Infocomm.
"We welcome RIL into the high-potential wireless broadband space," an Anil Dhirubhari Ambani Group spokesperson said.
"We look forward to offering our services to RIL and other BWA players, even while we compete for customers in the market through our choice of different technologies.”