5G services in India – Jio promises launch in the second half of 2021


While 5G might be the most talked-about topic in technology right now, however, “When is India getting 5G?” is probably the common question that Indians keep asking.

Reliance’s Chairman and Managing Director, Mukesh Ambani has answered the question by stating that Jio plans to “pioneer 5G revolution in India in the second half of 2021.” He also assured the nation that “5G will enable India to not only participate in the Fourth Industrial Revolution but also to lead it.”

He made this announcement earlier today while delivering the keynote address at the India Mobile Congress 2020. He sought government support on the policy front to create an affordable smartphone market for the underprivileged people who were still on the 2G network. 

Leap from 2G to 5G

Highlighting the statement that was made during the AGM held earlier this year, he stated that Jio will use an indigenously-developed network, hardware and technology components. Thus, stressing once again that Jio will not partner or use technological support from any Chinese vendor.

Stressing the fact that over 300 million users are still living in the 2G era, he called for a policy update to help “these underprivileged people have an affordable smartphone.” It is worth noting that Jio has already announced its plans to make affordable 4G smartphones in collaboration with Google. While these phones were supposed to launch by the end of this year, a delay has shifted the launch cycle to Q1, 2021.

Aside, it has also been reported that Jio is looking to launch affordable 5G smartphones as well. This ambitious plan of offering affordable 4G and 5G phones will offer stiff competition to the Chinese vendors like Xiaomi, Realme and others who’ve been ruling the Indian smartphone market for a long time.

While speaking at the keynote at India Mobile Congress 2020, the Reliance Industries’ Chairman stated that “Jio Platforms, with its family of over 20 start-up partners, has built world-class capabilities in Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Big Data, Machine Learning, Internet of Things, Blockchain, etc.”

(Image credit: Jio Platforms)

The company attracted investment and strategic partnerships from companies like Google, Facebook, Intel Capital, Qualcomm Ventures, and Silver Lake Partners, among others, not only offering monetary help that made the company go debt free in record time but also offered it the much-required technological edge over the competition.

While Ambani may have revealed his intention to bring 5G to India, it is still a long road that needs to be travelled. The Indian government is still talking to the vendors and partners to host 5G trials in the country. Only after the successfully completed trials and 5G spectrum sales that again is subject to the government and telecoms arriving at an agreement around the spectrum price, we can expect a successful 5G rollout in the country.

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