Reliance Jio signed up Nordic vendors Ericsson and Nokia to build its standalone 5G network in the wake of India completing its long-awaited 5G auction.
In a statement, Nokia detailed it was selected as a “major supplier” of 5G RAN equipment by Jio, and the Finnish vendor will supply its AirScale range in a multi-year deal. Under the contract, Nokia will sell equipment such as base stations, high-capacity 5G massive MIMO antennas and remote radio heads to support the multiple spectrum bands at Jio’s disposal.
Jio’s standalone 5G network will interwork with its4G network and enable the company to deliver 5G services such as massive machine-to-machine communications, network slicing, and ultra-low latency.
Nokia president and CEO Pekka Lundmark said: “This is a significant win for Nokia in an important market and a new customer with one of the largest RAN footprints in the world. This ambitious project will introduce millions of people across India to premium 5G services, enabled by our industry-leading AirScale portfolio. We are proud that Reliance Jio has placed its trust in our technology and we look forward to a long and productive partnership with them.”
Ericsson said this would be the Swedish vendor’s first partnership with Jio for RAN deployment in India. Ericsson will supply equipment from its Ericsson Radio System portfolio and E-band microwave mobile transport solutions for Jio’s network, in a separate statement,
Ericsson president and CEO Borje Ekholm said: “India is building world-class digital infrastructure that will drive innovation, job creation and entrepreneurship across the country. We are happy to partner with Jio in those ambitions, through Ericsson 5G Standalone connectivity, which will be a major catalyst in meeting those digital transformation goals across society, enterprise and industry.”
India completed its 5G auction in August selling 71% of available airwaves and raising over US$19 billion. Jio is targeting to switch on its 5G network on October 22, in time for the festival of Diwali when it also plans to launch its own 5G smartphone in collaboration with Google.
Analysts speaking to Developing Telecoms believe India's 5G market is primed and ready for commercial 5G network launches, as devices are becoming more widespread.