Reliance Jio, the telecoms company, has asked the Indian government's permission to undertake 5G trials using self-designed 5G technology, and has become first Indian telecom company to do so.
Jio has long-term plans to solidify its design and technology base in India and, according to Business Standard’s report sources, if the 5G technology trials are successful, the design and technology for the equipment may be outsourced for manufacturing.
Cashing in on India’s 5G roll-out
In addition to Jio, three global telecom service providers: Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia are also looking to cash in on India's 5G roll-out. If Jio's 5G trials are successful it will no doubt effect the company’s dependence on Samsung, which its sole equipment supplier for 4G technology.
In a recent exchange at an industry event between India Inc captains and US President Donald Trump, Reliance Industries' Chairman Mukesh Ambani - was asked a question about his 5G plans. "Are you going to do 5G too?," asked Trump and Ambani replied, "We're going to do 5G. We are the only network in the world that doesn't have a single Chinese component."
Trump returned from his first official trip to India just last week and the US continues to press its allies, who include India, not to use Huawei 5G equipment, as it’s considered to pose a national security risk – something the Chinese technology giant denies.
The Indian government asked the county’s telecom operators to submit their trial proposals last year. Vodafone Idea and Airtel have submitted their proposals jointly with Ericsson, Nokia, Huawei, and ZTE. Sources are conflicted as to if Jio has submitted an application with just Samsung as per 4G, or together with Ericsson, Nokia and China’s Huawei.
Assuming Reliance Jio's 5G trials are successful using their own technology, the next hurdle to become India’s first 5G provider using its own technology will be spectrum price – the 5G spectrum range, in 3,300 megahertz to 3,600 megahertz band, is highest in India and the government has, according to Business Today, said it’s not planning to reduce the base price for the 5G spectrum.