During a recent keynote address at the India Mobile Congress 2020, Reliance Industries’ chairman Mukesh Ambani has announced that Jio – its mobile network operator – will be rolling out 5G technology in India, and has also confirmed that it will be built using Indian technology.
"I assure you that Jio will pioneer the 5G revolution in India in the second half of 2021," Ambani said, during his keynote. "It will be powered by indigenous-developed network, hardware, and technology components.”
Jio has more than 400 million customers, which it says is the only telco outside of China to have such a significant customer base.
“We are creating compelling home-grown solutions in education, healthcare, agriculture, infrastructure, financial services, and new commerce,” said Ambani. “Each of these solutions, once proven in India, will be offered to the rest of the world to address global challenges.”
Developing its own 5G tech
The company has developed its own 5G technology, which it hopes to make available to other countries looking to move away from more traditional vendors, but only once it has deployed its own network. The solution is thought to be based on Open RAN technology.
At the start if 2020, India was pulled into the US trade war with China, and Huawei’s involvement in next-generation networking. At that point, Reliance Industries' Chairman Mukesh Ambani was asked a question about his 5G plans by the then-president Donald Trump.
"Are you going to do 5G too?," Trump asked.
"We're going to do 5G. We will be the only network in the world that doesn't have a single Chinese component,” Ambani boasted, and it looks like the company has made good on its promise, which will no doubt see a renewed interest in India’s approach to 5G, including how it divvies up its 5G spectrum, which is yet to be allocated.