Reliance Infocomm is on the lookout for an AOR to consolidate its Rs 18-20-crore media account. In the fray are most of the top media agencies in the country today including MindShare, Starcom, Madison Media, Carat, Zenith Media, Lodestar (FCB-Ulka) and Optimum Media Solutions (Mudra). The pitch happened earlier this month and a decision is expected by the monthend. While the company is tightlipped about the event, sources close to the development indicate that the creative duties are most likely to be vested in Reliance Group agency Mudra.
The company's reluctance to share its plans with the media is understandable. The Reliance Group is planning a major foray in the infocom sector, offering a complete bouquet of voice, data and value-added services and high quality end-to-end connectivity including last mile connectivity on a single platform. Reliance Infocomm plans to invest Rs 25,000 crore in IT, communication business in the next five years.
When viewed in this backdrop, it becomes obvious that the agency that wins the business has much to gain. As is known, Reliance has bagged the basic service provider's licence in 18 telecom circles across the country. In all the telecom circles for which Reliance has bagged the licence, the limited mobility WLL services based on CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) technology would be on offer.
A total of over 96,000 km of fibre optic cables shall be laid as part of the national long distance infrastructure project. Besides, the project entails the setting up of 3,000 base terminal stations (BTS) and 40 switching centres. About 70 per cent of the work in this regard is stated to be complete. Sources say a nationwide rollout of limited mobility basic telecom services is expected to take off before the end of the current calendar year. Already, Reliance has launched its cellular mobile services in seven circles - Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal, Assam and the North-East.
As part of its infotainment business, Reliance Infocomm is planning to launch a gaming and lottery service. This will be offered to consumers through a mobile telephony network, say industry observers. Reliance is looking at establishing a network with the cellular operators in the country, whereby the gaming and lottery service will be offered to the consumer through the cellular network. According to plans, the cost for subscribing to the games and lottery service would be automatically clubbed with the mobile bill of the consumer.
With so much at stake the company is obviously not talking. Nor are the contenders for the business willing to cede an inch. Hopefully, the agency alignment will be clear in the next seven to 10 days. © 2002 agencyfaqs!