The telecom sector is going through a virtual consolidation and within a few years the country will have just 4-5 big operators offering services at the national level, Reliance Communications Ltd Chairman Anil Ambani said today.
Anil Ambani also said Reliance Communications will have greater cooperation on a wide range of services with Reliance Jio Infocomm, which is led by his elder brother Mukesh Ambani.
"We believe that the telecom sector is going through a virtual consolidation and we expect in the next few years India will see 4-5 large operators who will be there on nation wide basis," Ambani said while addressing shareholders on its 9th annual general meeting of Reliance Communications here.
India has about a dozen telecom players at present, with 6-7 operating on pan-India basis.
On the National Telecom Policy, Anil Ambani said it is forward looking, progressive and will support competition, choices for the consumer and consolidation in the sector.
Stating that Reliance Communications will continue offering CDMA services, Ambani said the company will participate in future auctions to acquire spectrum for offering 4G and other services.
"Our licences (CDMA) are valid till 2021.... We will continue to provide world-class CDMA services in addition to offering GSM and 3G services. We will participate in future auctions as the need of spectrum comes and we will be in a position, as we acquire new spectrum, to offer 4G and other services," Ambani said.
However, he added: "By the time we participate and spectrum is found there will be development where India will move ahead of 4G and we will be participating with dual technology platform in the future."
He said Reliance Communications has already signed two pacts worth over Rs 14,000 crore with Reliance Jio, which has pan-India spectrum to offer 4G services, and expects even greater cooperation with it going forward.
"...we have already signed two different agreements with overall value of over Rs 14,000 crore and we believe there will be much more cooperation in the months and quarters to come as Reliance Jio Infocomm gets ready for launch," he said.
On demerger of Reliance Communications' real estate assets into a separate company, Ambani said the board has given in-principle approval on the issue and Reliance Properties will be listed as a separate firm.
"The board has given in-principle approval for the demerger of real estate. The current independent valuation of the properties that we have is over Rs