Ahead of plans to roll out 5G in India, Jio chooses Nokia as its equipment supplier

Ahead of plans to roll out 5G in India, Jio chooses Nokia as its equipment supplier ...

According to a statement, Jio, India''s largest telecom company, has chosen Nokia as a major supplier. The Finnish telecom equipment manufacturer said on Monday that nokia will provide Reliance Jio, which has more than 420 million customers, with 5G radio access network (RAN) equipment in a multi-year agreement.

"Nokia will provide equipment from its AirScale portfolio, including base stations, high-capacity 5G Massive MIMO antennas, and remote radio heads to support various spectrum bands, as well as self-organizing network software," the company said.

India''s 5G data speeds are predicted to be about ten times faster than those of 4G, with the network being considered as crucial for emerging technologies such as self-driving cars and artificial intelligence.

Reliance sold $11 billion (roughly Rs.90,600 crore) in a $19 billion (5G spectrum auction) and started 5G services in select cities. It is also working with Alphabet''s Google to build a budget 5G smartphone.

As India''s telecom service providers expand out 5G services, the government is also pushing top mobile phone manufacturers, like Apple, Samsung, and others, to prioritize rolling out software upgrades to support 5G, citing fears that many of their models are not ready for the high-speed service.

The Reliance-Nokia agreement comes at a time when some governments, including India, have either banned or discouraged the use of China''s Huawei in national networks.

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"Jio is committed to continuously investing in the latest network technologies in order to enrich the experience of all its customers," Akash Ambani, chairman of Reliance Jio, said.

According to sources, Reliance Jio intends to raise an additional $1.5 billion (roughly Rs. 12,400 crore) via external commercial borrowings to fund its 5G capital expenditure objectives.

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Thomson Reuters 2022