December 4, 2022

Reliance Jio, India’s largest mobile carrier, has picked Nokia as a major supplier, the Finnish telecom equipment maker announced on Monday, as the country’s largest mobile carrier prepares to expand next-generation wireless services across the country.

Nokia said in a statement that it will deliver 5G radio access network (RAN) equipment to Reliance Jio, which has over 420 million consumers, in a multi-year arrangement.

“Nokia will deliver equipment from its AirScale portfolio, such as base stations, high-capacity 5G Massive MIMO antennas, and Remote Radio Heads to support diverse frequency bands, as well as self-organizing network software,” the company added.

In India, 5G data rates are predicted to be roughly ten times faster than 4G, with the network considered as critical for developing technologies such as self-driving cars and artificial intelligence.

In August, Reliance purchased $11 billion in airwaves in a $19 billion 5G spectrum auction and debuted 5G services in select cities. It is also collaborating with Alphabet Inc’s Google to develop a low-cost 5G smartphone.

As India’s telecom service providers roll out 5G services, the government is also pressuring leading mobile phone makers such as Apple Inc, Samsung, and others to prioritise 5G software upgrades, despite fears that many of their models are not ready for the high-speed service.

The Reliance-Nokia agreement comes at a time when certain countries, notably India’s, have either prohibited or discouraged the use of Huawei in national networks.

“Jio is committed to continue investing in the latest network technologies to improve the experience of all of its consumers,” said Reliance Jio chairman Akash Ambani.

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Meanwhile, according to insiders, Reliance Jio intends to obtain an extra $1.5 billion through external commercial borrowings to fund its 5G capital spending ambitions.

(source : REUTERS)