In a bid to foray into broadcast distribution business, Reliance Jio Media, a subsidiary of Reliance Jio Infocomm, has applied for a pan India cable MSO (Multi-System Operator) license, according to sources.
"Reliance Jio has recently applied for a pan India Cable MSO license and it is expected that the company will receive a pan India MSO license in FY 2014-15," industry sources told PTI.
A Reliance Jio spokesperson did not reply to a query in this regard. A Multi-System Operator is a cable operator who receives programming services from a broadcaster and transmits them for simultaneous reception either to multiple subscribers directly or through one or more local cable operators.
Reliance Jio, the telecom arm of Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries, is only company to have pan-India Broadband Wireless Access spectrum that can be used for 4G services.
Reliance Jio has plans to start 4G services across most of the telecom circles by March 2015. Reliance Industries has already announced that it will launch commercial 4G telecom service of Reliance Jio in 2015 entailing investment of Rs 70,000 crore.
It will initially cover about 5,000 towns and cities accounting for over 90 percent of urban India, as well as over 215,000 villages in India. The company at IIT Mumbai has earlier demonstrated download speeds of 49 megabit per second on its 4G network. At a speed of 49 Mbps, an user can download a 600 MB video, equivalent to size of a normal bollywood movie, in about 2 minutes.
Reliance Jio is focusing on convergence space and has bagged Broadband Wireless Access spectrum in 2010 and ISP (Internet Service Provider) license was bagged through acquisition of Infotel Broadband Services in 2010, It is now seeking a cable MSO license.
The company has also showcased a 'Jio Television' that can be delivered through 4G network. All these services will help Reliance Jio to offer broadband services through wireless media, wireline media and cable TV media thereby focusing on all types of broadband services pan-India. Reliance Jio in February 2014 acquired airwaves in 1800 MHz band across 14 out of 22 service area in the country.
The spectrum in this band can also be used for providing 4G services. The company already holds Unified Licence (UL), which allows it to use any technology to provide telecom services.
Under UL, sources said, Reliance Jio can offer Fiber-To-The-Home services and high speed broadband services to home and enterprise users. Besides, a cable MSO license will help Reliance Jio to offer cable TV services through optical fiber thereby providing triple play service as done by large MSOs in the country say Hathway, Siti Cable, IN cable, DEN and others.
Once Reliance Jio gets a MSO license, it will compete with Hathway, IMCL, Siti Cable Network and DEN Networks, sources added. RIL has already acquired control of media house TV18 which runs TV channels like CNBC TV18, IBN7, CNBC Awaaz.