Reliance Jio, an Indian Telecom company, chooses Nokia as its 5G equipment supplier
Finnish telecom company to supply 5G wireless access network equipment to expand next-generation wireless service.
Bengaluru: The Finnish telecom equipment maker said on Monday that Indian telecom operator Reliance Jio has chosen Nokia as its main supplier, as India’s largest mobile phone company prepares to expand next-generation wireless services across the country.
The company said in a statement that Nokia will supply Reliance Jio, which has more than 420 million customers, with 5G Wireless Access Network (RAN) equipment in a multi-year deal.
“Nokia will supply equipment from its AirScale family, including base stations, massive high capacity 5G MIMO antennas, remote radio heads to support different spectrum bands, and self-regulating network software,” the company said.
5G data speeds in India are expected to be about 10 times faster than 4G, and the network is seen as vital to emerging technologies such as self-driving cars and artificial intelligence.
Reliance acquired $11 billion worth of airwaves in a $19 billion 5G spectrum auction in August and launched 5G services in select cities. It is also working with Google Alphabet Inc to launch a cheap 5G smartphone.
As telecom service providers in India roll out 5G services, the government is also pressing major mobile phone makers like Apple Inc, Samsung, and others to prioritize rolling out software updates to support 5G, amid concerns that many of their models are not ready for higher speed service.
The Reliance-Nokia deal comes at a time when some governments, including India, have banned or discouraged the use of China’s Huawei in local networks.
“Jio is committed to continually investing in the latest networking technologies to enhance the experience for all of its customers,” said Akash Ambani, President of Reliance Jio.
Meanwhile, Reliance Jio plans to raise an additional $1.5 billion through overseas commercial loans to fund its 5G capital plans, the Economic Times reported, citing sources.
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