Jio set to shun international vendors and go it alone on 5G

Published: 9 March 2020 - 1:06 p.m.

India’s disruptive operator, Reliance Jio, could be set to use its own network equipment when it launches 5G, in a bid to cut its dependency on kit manufactured by foreign vendors.

According to a report in the Economic Times of India, India’s biggest mobile network operator is already replacing 4G voice equipment from Nokia and Oracle in its nationwide 4G networks.

A senior Jio executive told the Economic Times of India that Reliance Jio was the only mobile network operator in India that did not make use of any network equipment manufactured in China. They also claimed that it could have its own 5G equipment manufactured on an ad-hoc basis.

"We are more scalable than these vendors and are fully automated since we have our own cloud-native platform. In 5G, we will totally be self-sufficient,” the executive said. Jio has designed its own 5G hardware, which it says would be made in India following the successful completion of 5G trials. “We can give the design, layouts and board support packages to third-party manufacturers to have our gear made,” the executive said.

Reliance Jio is not the first mobile network operator to try its hand at manufacturing its own next generation network equipment. Earlier this year, Vietnamese telco, Viettel, announced that it would be using its own network components during its 5G launch, shunning international network equipment providers such as Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia.

The news in India comes shortly after US President Donald Trump visited Delhi to discuss 5G security protocol.

Jio claims that the move will help it reduce the costs of rolling out 5G in the world’s second most populous nation.

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