In a major boost to its JioGigaFiber service, Reliance Industries the parent company behind Reliance Jio Infocomm has officially announced its strategic investment in and partnership with India’s popular cable and broadband providers Den Networks Limited and Hathway Cable and Datacom Limited. This deal would accelerate JioGigaFiber rollout across India, which is touted to disrupt India’s wired broadband, DTH and Home automation sector.
Those who have missed, JioGigaFiber is Reliance Jio’s high-speed broadband service launched a few months back. It guarantees to offer ultra high-speed internet up to 100Mbps at low cost, just like what the telco did with its 4G LTE rollout. In addition, the telco also plans to bring smart-home solutions and Jio GigaTV set-top-box as part of the service.
The RIL-DEN-Hathway Partnership
Getting into the details of the partnership, RIL has made a primary investment of Rs 2,045 crore through a preferential issue under SEBI regulations. Along with this, a secondary purchase of Rs 245 crore has also been made from the existing promoters for a 66 per cent stake in Den Networks Limited.
In the Hathway deal, RIL made a primary investment of Rs 2,940 crore through a preferential issue under SEBI regulations. This investment will allow RIL to have a controlling 51.3 per cent stake in Hathway Cable and Datacom Limited.
Furthermore, RIL would also make open offers in DEN, Hathway, GTPL Hathway Limited (which is a company jointly controlled by Hathway with 37.3 per cent stake) and Hathway Bhawani Cabletel and Datacomm Limited (a subsidiary of Hathway). It’s as required under SEBI Takeover Regulations.
The above transactions are subject to customary regulatory and other approvals.
The big plan
Reliance and Jio will be strengthening the 27,000 Local Cable Operators (LCOs) that are aligned with DEN and Hathway to enable them to participate in the digital transformation of India. This would be done via by offering them with access to superior back-end infrastructure, tie-ups with content producers, access to latest business platforms that would improve both business and customers experience, and investment in digital infrastructure for connecting customers.
With this investment, RIL aims to take India to among the top three countries in the world on wireline digital connectivity. It plans to roll out JioGigaFiber to more than 50 million homes across 1,100 Indian cities and towns in a short span of time. It will work together with Hathway and DEN and all the LCOs to upgrade around 24 million existing cable connected homes of these companies across 750 cities to JioGigaFiber and Jio Smart-Home Solutions.
- Aims to take India from a global rank of 135th to among the top-3 countries in the world on wireline digital connectivity.
- Strengthen the 27,000 LCOs that are aligned with DEN and Hathway.
- A quick rollout of JioGigaFiber to more than 50 million homes across 1,100 Indian cities and towns.
- Consumers in India will have access to best-in-class services at par with the rest of the world.
- Quick and affordable upgrade to JioGigaFiber and Jio Smart-Home Solutions for existing cable connected homes of these companies across 750 cities.
“We are glad to join hands with Shri Rajan Raheja and Shri Sameer Manchanda, two of the pioneers in the MSO industry. Our investments in DEN and Hathway create a win-win-win outcome for the LCOs, customers, content producers and the eco-system,” said Shri Mukesh D. Ambani, Chairman & Managing Director, RIL. “With Local Cable Operators now as part of the Jio ecosystem, we look forward to bringing Jio’s advanced JioGigaFiber and Smart Home Solutions to more Indian homes, even quicker” he added.