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India deserves nothing less than True 5G, says Mukesh Ambani

Reliance Industries held its 45th annual general meeting (AGM) on August 29, 2022 where its chairman and managing director, Mukesh Ambani addressed his shareholders and shared the rollout plan of its telecom arm Jio’s much-awaited 5G services.

Mukesh Ambani said, “ Today, I want to announce the next leap forward that Jio is creating in digital connectivity, especially in fixed broadband. And that is JIO 5G services.

We are committed to make India the largest data-powered economy in the world, beating China and the United States. Jio 5G will be the world’s largest and most advanced 5G network. Most operators are deploying a version of 5G, called Non-Standalone 5G, which is essentially a 5G radio signal delivered over an existing 4G infrastructure. This Non-Standalone approach is a hasty way to nominally claim a 5G launch, but it won’t deliver the breakthrough improvements in performance and capability possible with 5G.

In sharp contrast, Jio will deploy the latest version of 5G, called Stand-Alone 5G, which has zero dependency on our 4G network. With Stand-Alone 5G, Jio can deliver new and powerful services such as low latency connectivity, massive machine-to-machine communication, 5G voice, Edge computing and network slicing, and metaverse.

Jio 5G will be True 5G in every sense, and I believe that India deserves nothing less than True 5G. At the recent auction conducted by the Department of Telecommunications, we have acquired the largest and the most appropriate mix of wireless spectrum for 5G. This gives Jio 5G a distinct competitive advantage over other operators.

In addition to the 3500 MHz mid-band which is globally earmarked for 5G, and the 26 GHz millimetre-wave band for ultra-high capacity, only Jio has the 700 MHz low-band spectrum which is essential for deep indoor coverage. And we are able to seamlessly combine these frequencies into a single powerful ‘data highway’, using an advanced technology, called Carrier Aggregation.

This three-fold advantage of Stand-Alone 5G architecture, largest and best mix of spectrum, and Carrier Aggregation means that Jio 5G will be able to offer an unparalleled combination of coverage, capacity, quality, and affordability. We are also working very closely with all leading global smartphone OEMs, and we have their commitment that they will support Jio’s True 5G.

5G cannot remain an exclusive service, available only to the privileged few, or only to those in our largest cities. To build our pan-India True 5G network, we have committed a total investment of `2 lakh crore. Jio has prepared an ambitious 5G roll-out plan which will be the fastest in the world.

Within the next two months, by Diwali, we will launch Jio 5G across multiple key cities, including the metropolises of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai. Subsequently, we plan to increase the Jio 5G footprint month after month. By December 2023, which is less than 18 months from today, we will deliver Jio 5G to every town, every taluka, and every tehsil of our country.

We will use our combined wireless and wireline assets to cover 3.3 million square kilometres, India’s total land mass, with fibre-quality broadband, connecting even those parts of the country where satellite technology was the only option. We are able to pursue our disruptive ambitions because of the unique aatma nirbhar Research & Development capabilities we have developed at Jio.

We have indigenously developed an end-to-end 5G stack which is fully cloud native, software defined, digitally managed, with support for even advanced features like Quantum Security. This is fully developed in-house by our 2,000-plus young Jio engineers, working tirelessly for the past 3 years. We have already deployed this Made-In-India 5G stack in our network, with sufficient capacity to serve hundreds of millions of users right from day one. Furthermore, Jio 5G is uniquely positioned to offer captive or private 5G solutions for Indian enterprises at owner’s economics.

We are also privileged to have some of the world’s leading technology players as our partners in our ‘Made in India’ 5G collaboration. We are excited to work with Meta in realising our vision of bringing the benefits of immersive technology to everyone. We are working with Google to develop ultra-affordable 5G smartphones for India. We will also leverage the advanced capabilities of Google Cloud to offer Jio’s Private 5G stack and other 5G-enabled solutions to both domestic and global users at scale. We are partnering with Microsoft to expand the Azure ecosystem in India, and to develop a vibrant ecosystem of cloud- enabled business applications and solutions, especially for small and medium businesses.

We are working with Intel on technologies used in Jio’s cloud-scale data centres and 5G Edge locations, as well as in infrastructure for cutting-edge applications like Artificial Intelligence. And we have well-established relationships with leading global network technology providers such as Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung and Cisco.

Today, I am pleased to announce one more exciting partnership with Qualcomm, which is not only a global semiconductor and communications technology major but also one of the valued investors of Jio Platforms.

Likewise, Jio Platforms, our digital services arm, has been quietly building capabilities that span the entire digital solutions ecosystem. And we are strengthening our expertise by attracting the best global talent across all key digital technologies such as Smart Devices, Cloud and Edge Computing, Big Data, Articial Intelligence, IoT, Robotics, Blockchain, and Augmented Reality.

These capabilities are not just powering breakthrough scaling of all of our own businesses but also equipping us to spearhead India’s transformation into a leading Digital Society. India can lead the world with digital solutions that solve humanity’s biggest problems in Education, Healthcare, Agriculture, Governance and Sustainable Development. I will have a lot more to share about these opportunities next year.”

CT Bureau

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