During the recent visit of American president Donald Trump, Mr. Mukesh Ambani was asked if he has plans to enter the 5G market. Mr. Ambani zealously replied that Reliance Jio is planning to launch 5G services and that Jio is the only network in the world that doesn’t have any Chinese component! The meeting was held between the American President and captains of India Inc. Soon after the meeting, Mr. Mukesh Ambani has sought permission from the Government to undertake 5G trials, using indigenous design and technology.
Global telecom providers like Huawei Technology, Ericsson and Nokia Networks are also eying the Indian 5G market. Jio will be competing with these global telecom providers, with a difference that it doesn’t rely on Chinese suppliers for hardware or technology.
Last year the Government of India had asked the telecom operators to submit a proposal for 5G trials. Vodafone-Idea and Airtel had submitted a joint proposal with Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia, and ZTE, whereas Jio had put forth its joint proposal with Samsung. 4G network of Jio runs on equipment supplied by Samsung, which is its sole equipment supplier for the 4G network. If the self-reliant 5G trials of Jio is successful, then it will end the dependence of Jio on Samsung.
The launch of 5G is expected to disrupt telco and related industries, by introducing a plethora of innovative technology-based services. Global investment in 5G technology in the period 2020-2035 is expected to reach $3.5 trillion.
5G spectrum prices are highest in India, which could be a matter of concern for Jio and other telcos.