Jio Platforms, the digital services subsidiary of Reliance Industries and parent of telecommunications company Reliance Jio Infocomm, may take its indigenous solution for 5G network connectivity to West Asia, Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia regions after testing and scaling the technology in India when the 5G spectrum is made available.
According to an Economic Times report, Jio would look to deploy its 5G technology in countries likely to be late in migrating to the technology.
At Reliance Industries’ 43rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) held last month, the company announced that it had developed a ‘Made in India’ solution for 5G network connectivity, which it will look to export to other countries after testing and scaling it in India.
A few days after the AGM, the company reached out to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for the 5G spectrum, despite there being no official announcement for a 5G spectrum auction by the Telecom Regulatory Authority Of India (TRAI).
According to a Business Standard report, Reliance Jio applied for 800 megahertz (MHz) spectrum each in both the millimetres — 26 gigahertz (GHz) and 24 GHz — wave mmWave band as well as 100 MHz in the 3.5 GHz band for field trials in few metro cities. If the trials are successful, India would join a select group of countries that are in the position to sell their own 5G networking technology globally, something only a handful of companies have managed.
Now, a senior company executive has told Economic Times that Reliance would soon start discussions with local players specialising in system integration for local manufacturing of its 5G gear.
The ‘Made in India’ pitch for Jio’s 5G gear is all the more relevant in current times, as India looks to limit the influence and presence of Chinese companies, given rising geopolitical tensions between the two countries. Last month, India barred state-run telecom firms from using equipment from Chinese telcos such as Huawei and ZTE for its 4G network infrastructure.
Meanwhile, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lauded Jio for being a ‘clean telco’ as it doesn’t use Chinese equipment in its network infrastructure. A recent report by Bank of America and BofA Securities highlighted that if Jio depends on Samsung, its existing partner in developing the 4G gear, for developing the 5G network equipment as well, then the Indian telecom firm’s entire 5G stack would, in theory, be ‘Made in India’.