Mumbai: Multinational networking and telecommunications giant Ericsson has entered into a long-term strategic 5G contract with Indian telecom service provider Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio) to roll out 5G standalone in the country.
This is the first time Jio and Ericsson have partnered to deploy radio access networks in the nation, according to a statement by Ericsson.
"We are delighted to partner with Ericsson for Jio's 5G SA rollout. Jio transformed the digital landscape in India with the launch of LTE services in 2016. We are confident that Jio's 5G network will accelerate India's digitalization and will serve as the foundation for achieving our nation's 'Digital India' vision," said Akash Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Jio.
The announcement follows the allocation of 5G spectrum in the recently concluded auctions in India.
Jio's standalone 5G network deployment marks a significant technological advance because it updates the network infrastructure to give users and businesses a truly transformative 5G experience.
The capabilities of 5G alone are anticipated to spur innovation, create a strong new-age ecosystem, and offer cutting-edge services.
Ericsson's energy-efficient 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) products and solutions from Ericsson Radio System and E-band microwave mobile transport solution will be deployed in the 5G network for Jio.
In order to maximize the benefits of 5G for CSPs and their customers—whether they are individual subscribers or business and industry customers—all products and solutions are deployed on newly built 5G standalone networks, according to the statement.
"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," said Borje Ekholm, President and CEO, Ericsson.
Ericsson invests approximately 18% of global revenue in R&D and has the industry's leading patent portfolio, with over 60,000 granted patents worldwide. It is also the holder of the most 5G essential patents.
From setting up the first switch in India in 1903 to providing connectivity across 2G, 3G, 4G and now preparing for 5G, Ericsson continues to play a pivotal role in powering virtually every facet of telecommunications in the country.
Union Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw recently stated at a gathering that the central government plans to provide 5G services nationwide within two years.
Midway through August, the government asked telecom service providers to get ready for the launch of 5G services by sending them letters allocating spectrum.
Earlier this month, Bharti Airtel said it had launched "Airtel 5G Plus" services in eight cities - Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Siliguri, Nagpur and Varanasi - and would cover all of urban India in 2023.
Reliance Jio has also announced it will launch high-speed 5G telecom services by Diwali this year in multiple key cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. Subsequently, it intends to expand its 5G network to each and every town, tehsil and talukas across the country by December of 2023, which is less than 18 months from now.