Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJio), a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries (RIL), is gearing up to launch 5G services across the country using the latest version of a technology called non-standalone 5G. For its 5G rollout – under the Jio True 5G brand – the operator will use its wireless and wireline assets to cover 3.3 million square kilometers.
RJio is also working with Google to develop “ultra-affordable” 5G smartphones for the Indian market, details of which have not been disclosed. It’s the second phone that Google and Jio are developing together; the first, JioPhone Next, was unveiled last year.
The operator will also launch a WiFi hotspot service, JioAirFiber, which will offer Gigabit-speed Internet connectivity. It also launched a concept of virtual personal computer, Jio Cloud PC, hosted on the cloud.
Currently, most carriers are rolling out a version of 5G called non-standalone 5G, which uses the existing 4G network to deliver services. It’s a “hasty” way to claim a 5G launch, but it won’t deliver the breakthrough performance and capacity improvements possible with 5G, RIL President and CEO Mukesh Ambani said Monday during of the company’s annual general meeting.
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“In contrast, RJio will deploy the latest version of 5G, called Stand-Alone 5G, which has no dependency on our 4G network. With standalone 5G, Jio can deliver powerful new services such as low latency connectivity, massive machine-to-machine communication, 5G voice, EDGE computing, network slicing and metaverse,” Ambani said. .
“In the recent auction conducted by the Ministry of Telecommunications, we acquired the largest and most suitable combination of wireless spectrum for 5G. This gives Jio 5G a distinct competitive advantage over other carriers,” he said.
In the spectrum auction which ended on August 1, RJio was the main buyer, acquiring radio waves in the 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 1800 MHz, 3300 MHz and 26 GHz bands for around ₹88,078 crore . That was more than double what its closest competitor bought.
The 700 MHz low-band spectrum will help RJio provide deep indoor coverage, while the operator will combine all of these frequencies into one powerful “data highway“, using a technology called carrier aggregation.
“With Jio 5G, we will connect everyone, every place and everything with the highest quality and most affordable data. In addition to serving India’s needs, we are confident in offering digital solutions to global markets,” Ambani said.
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RJio has also deployed a home-grown 5G stack that is cloud-native, software-defined, digitally managed, and even supports advanced features like Quantum Security. Around 2,000 Jio engineers have worked there over the past three years.
RJio President Akash Ambani said that JioAirFiber is a plug-and-play device that will deliver Gigabit speed internet connectivity. “With the rollout of 5G in India, the current 800 million internet-connected devices will double to 1.5 billion within a year,” Akash said.
On Jio Cloud PC, Kiran Thomas, President of RIL, said that it does not require large initial investments and does not require any upgrades. “You only pay for how much you use the Cloud PC.”
The company is working with global technology companies, such as Meta, Microsoft, Intel and Ericsson, for its foray into 5G. “We are committed to making India the largest data-driven economy in the world, ahead of China and the United States. Jio 5G will be the largest and most advanced 5G network in the world,” said Mukesh Ambani.
The company’s digital services arm, Jio Platforms, has developed capabilities that span the entire digital solutions ecosystem. “We are building our expertise by attracting the world’s best talent in all key digital technologies such as smart devices, cloud and EDGE computing, Big Data, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, robotics, blockchain and augmented reality,” he said.
Currently, Jio is the leading operator in the country with 421 million mobile broadband subscribers on its 4G network.