Reliance Infocom's broadband project is slated to be a low key affair with the company deciding to roll out its broadband services in just seven cities in the first phase. Apart from the four metros, the other cities are Pune, Hyderabad and Bangalore.
While the first phase is expected to be completed by February next year, company sources are tightlipped on the rollout plan for the subsequent phases. According to reports Reliance planned to launch its broadband services in 126 cities.
Reliance is putting in place its 30,000-km optic fibre network spanning 115 cities, this will primarily be deployed for offering basic telephony and Internet services.
Reliance's broadband plans are dependent on three factors: demand for the services, tie-up with content providers and ratification of the Communication/Convergence Bill 2001 by Parliament.
Reliance is laying 12 optic fibre pipes. It would initially utilise eight of them to offer telephony-based services.
The remaining four pipes will be used to offer broadband services. The company would promote broadband services only in a few cities where the market is mature and customers are looking for services beyond a basic telephone.
The other issue that will determine Reliance's strategy is the reach of its content partners. Reliance earlier had signed a memorandum of understanding with 13 companies, which are in the business of broadcasting and providing content.