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When India has indigenous 5G tech, why are orders being placed on global vendors?

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman recently revealed that 5G technology in India is completely indigenous. The technology has not been imported from anywhere else. “The story is yet to reach the public. The 5G which we have launched in our country is completely indigenous, standalone. There could be some critical parts coming from countries like Korea, but certainly not from somebody else…,” Sitharaman said at the John Hopkins University event in Washington on October 7, 2022. She also assured that the technology will cover almost the entire nation by 2024. “On 5G we can be immensely proud of India’s achievement,” she further added.

Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. yesterday placed multi-year orders on both the European vendors for its 5G gear. The telco plans to deploy a 5G standalone network which will interwork with its 4G network.

Airtel had earlier, in August announced that the telco had awarded contracts to Nokia, Ericsson and Samsung for its 5G rollout. “Our network agreements are finalised, and Airtel will work with the best technology partners from across the world to deliver the full benefits of 5G connectivity to our consumers,” Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO at Bharti Airtel had said. The deal included building 5G radio stations and offering maintenance and other services.

Of course, it is not as simple as that. Facts remain-Both Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel are developing a 5G stack. Investments with Radisys, and Sanmina by Jio (RJio maintains it will be using its own indigenously-built 5G core and its own 5G radios), and tie-ups with TCS by Airtel are testimonial to their serious intentions.

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