Ambani presses state for 5G action as Jio sets timeline

5G News

Reliance Jio teased plans to launch 5G service in the second half of 2021, with head of parent Reliance Industries Mukesh Ambani (pictured) calling for the government to take policy steps to speed rollout of next-generation networks in the country.

Speaking at the India Mobile Congress, Ambani said Jio will pioneer the 5G revolution in India using domestically-developed network, hardware and technology components.

“India is today among the best digitally connected nations in the world. In order to maintain this lead, policy steps are needed to accelerate the early rollout of 5G, and to make it affordable and available everywhere,” he said.

The country is yet to allocate 5G spectrum, with an auction already delayed twice. It is still it unclear how much spectrum will be made available. A planned 4G sale was also pushed to 2021.

Ambani noted with as many as 300 million mobile subscribers in India still on 2G services, urgent steps are required to ensure “these underprivileged people have an affordable smartphone”.

As the Indian economy moves to digital platforms, he said demand for hardware will grow enormously. “We cannot rely on large-scale imports in this area. I clearly foresee India becoming a major hub for the state-of-the-art semiconductor industry.”

The mobile operator is part of the conglomerate’s digital business Jio Platforms, which previously claimed to have designed and developed a complete 5G system.


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