Jio 5G service to launch in second half of 2021 in India, reveals Mukesh Ambani

Reliance Industries President and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani
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Reliance Industries President and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani

Highlights

Jio has been working on 5G with companies like Samsung and Qualcomm for some time.

The Jio 5G service will be rolled out in India in the second half of 2021, Reliance Industries President and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani revealed during his keynote address at the 2020 India Mobile Congress on Tuesday. The Indian billionaire pointed out that the 5G service offered by Jio would be a "testimony" to the government's policy of Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-sufficient India). In addition to rolling out 5G in the country, Jio is developing an affordable Android phone in collaboration with Google that will likely debut in the coming months.

Ambani, 63, said the policy steps were necessary to accelerate the early launch of 5G in India.

"I assure you that Jio will pioneer the 5G revolution in India in the second half of 2021. It will be powered by the indigenous-developed network, hardware and technology components," Mukesh Ambani said.

Jio has been working on 5G with companies like Samsung and Qualcomm for some time, to bring 5G technology to life in India. The exclusive network coverage of LTE nationwide is helping the Mumbai-based telco to switch to next-generation cellular service in a shorter time compared to what is required for Airtel and Vi (formerly known as Vodafone Idea).

Ambani in July at the 43rd annual general meeting of Reliance Industries announced that Jio would begin testing the 5G network in the country as soon as the spectrum became available. He also taunted the telecom company into developing a homegrown 5G solution.

At the Qualcomm 5G Summit in October, Jio further detailed its 5G plans and announced the development of its 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) that will help to test the next-generation network at scale.

In addition to its 5G plans, Jio is presently working with Google to launch its entry-level 4G Android smartphone. The new model is speculated to arrive sometime in the first quarter of next year with a price tag of Rs. 4,000.

During his speech at Mobile Congress of India, Ambani urged the government to take political measures to provide affordable smartphones for disadvantaged people who are still on a 2G network.

Jio Platforms, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries that owns the Jio network, has attracted investment from several global companies in recent months. The investors include Google, Facebook, Intel Capital, Qualcomm Ventures and Silver Lake Partners, among others. It has raised as much as Rs. Rs 152,056 crore selling its 32.97 percent stake. These investments are allowing the company to expand its digital presence in India.

"Jio Platforms, with its family of over 20 startup partners, has built world-class capabilities in artificial intelligence, cloud computing, big data, machine learning, Internet of Things, blockchain, etc.," said Ambani. "We are creating compelling homegrown solutions in education, healthcare, agriculture, infrastructure, financial services, and new commerce."

The arrival of the Jio 5G service would help drive the new and existing developments of Jio Platforms. It will also give an edge to the telecommunications company that is already the largest in the Indian telecommunications sector, with a market share of more than 35 percent, according to data provided by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India.

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