Jio 5G: Speaking at the India Mobile Congress 2020, Reliance Industries Limited Chairman Mukesh Ambani said Jio will pioneer the Jio 5G Revolution in India in the second half of 2021. India is today among the best digitally connected nations in the world. And to maintain this lead, policy steps are needed to accelerate the early rollout of 5G, and to make it affordable and available everywhere, added Ambani.

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Presenting ideas for consideration, Ambani urged that policy steps are needed to ensure that the underprivileged people (who are still stuck in the 2G era) have an affordable smartphone, so that they too can benefit from Direct Benefit Transfer into their bank accounts, and actively participate in the Digital Economy. Also, policy steps are needed to accelerate the early rollout of 5G and to make it affordable and available everywhere. “I assure you that Jio will pioneer the 5G Revolution in India in the second half of 2021. It will be powered by an indigenous-developed network, hardware, and technology components. Jio 5G service will be a testimony to your inspiring vision of Atma Nirbhar Bharat,” added Ambani. “I can say with utmost confidence that 5G will enable India to not only participate in the fourth industrial revolution but also to lead it,” he added.

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While Reliance Jio has been talking about a 5G rollout as soon as spectrum is sold, rivals Bharti Airtel Ltd and Vodafone Idea Ltd believe that the technology is at least two years away as India does not the ecosystem and the reserve price for spectrum is expensive.

“As the digitalization of the Indian economy and Indian society picks up speed, the demand for digital hardware will grow enormously. India has developed world-class strengths in chip design. I clearly foresee India becoming a major hub for the state-of-the-art semiconductor industry. When all the stakeholders work together, we can surely ensure that India’s success in hardware will match our success in software,” said Ambani, emphasizing that India should not rely on large-scale imports of digital hardware.

In October, Jio Platforms Ltd announced that it is working with US-based Qualcomm Inc. to develop 5G solutions and accelerate efforts to bring the high-speed network to the world’s second-largest mobile market by subscribers. Ambani, at RIL’s 43rd annual general meeting in July, had said, “Jio has developed a complete 5G solution from scratch. This will enable us to launch a world-class 5G service in India using a 100% homegrown technology and solution”. He had said the ‘made in India’ solution will be ready for field deployment next year, and Jio will be able to easily upgrade its 4G network to 5G due to the telco’s converged network infrastructure. 5G technology will enable users to experience faster data speeds, low latency communications and enhanced digital experiences across connected devices such as smartphones, enterprise laptops, augmented and virtual reality products and internet of things (IoT) solutions.

Commenting on the importance of technology in India, Ambani added that despite the lockdown, the entire industry consisting of thousands of engineers and employees worked round the clock to provide critical support 24X7 to all sections of the society and business. Even the government supported the industry to go the extra mile in keeping the services going during this period.

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