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Jio Invests Rs 32575 Cr In Telecom Infrastructure, Airtel Rs 12,812 Cr In FY2018-19

As competition in the Indian telecom space became fiercer and margins dwindled proportionately, operators pumped in significant amount of money in upgrading their telecom infrastructure in the last couple of years to have an edge over their rivals. In the current fiscal year, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio alone has invested more money than all other operators combined, a government data revealed.

In the financial year 2017-18 alone,  the telecom operators had informed the government to invest Rs 74,000 crore towards the improvement of their telecom infrastructure. Of these Reliance Jio has emerged as the largest investor in the telecom space in the last fiscal with an investment of Rs 32,575 crore. telecom minister informed Manoj Sinha informed Rajya Sabha.

The second biggest investor was country’s largest telco Bharti Airtel that invested Rs 12,812 crore in upgrading its networks during the year. Vodafone-Idea, the newly merged entity, have invested Rs 5800 crore.

These are three private operators left in the Indian telecom space after a large scale consolidation happened with smaller operators either shut shop or merged with bigger entities.

Besides these three operators, India has two state run operators – BSNL, that operate in 20 circles out of total 22, and MTNL, that operates in Delhi and Mumbai only.

These two PSU telcos also put in some money during this year to improve their infrastructure. BSNL has invested Rs 1330 crore and MTNL, Rs 180 crore, in FY 2018-19.

The minister added that because of these investments by respective operators, the telecom infrastructure has seen significant improvement in the last few years.

In 2018-19 alone, the industry added 2.8 lakh new BTS (Base transceiver stations) taking the total tally to 20.07 lakh from 17.19 lakh in March, 2018. These BTSes include that of 2G, 3G, 4G and LTE and put up across the country, the minister informed. He said around 9.74 lakh additional BTSes were installed in the country since July 2015.– TeleAnalysis

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