5G Network in India is probably the biggest advancement in the mobile connectivity spectrum so far. 5G technology is expected to be the game-changer in the field of telecommunication & connectivity and solve the network problem among mobile users. The technology has already started to be implemented globally in 2019. According to reports published by GSM Association, 5G technology is expected to have a global user base of 1.7 billion by 2025.

Even India is not so far in building the 5G connectivity. All the major telecom players i.e. Reliance Jio, Airtel, and Vodafone are in horde to be the first one to be able to provide 5G network in India. In today’s article on Market Forensics, we’ll be covering the race to build the 5G Network in India and who’s winning. Let’s get started.

What is 5G connectivity?

Before we enter the main discussion, let’s first begin by understanding what exactly is 5G connectivity. As the name suggests, 5G is a fifth-generation technology standard for broadband cellular services and it is the successor of the 4G technology (currently being used by most telephones for connectivity). The main advantage of 5G over 4G is the fact, it has got a higher bandwidth and that will give offer higher download speeds.

Because of the higher bandwidth speed, it is believed that the network will not only serve cellphones but will also be used as general internet service providers for Laptops and Desktops. 5G data at its peak can give a download speed of 20 Mbps. To put it into perspective, by using the 5G network, a full high definition (HD) movie can be downloaded within a minute even in a crowded stadium.

5G Network in India – The Race

The second-biggest telecom market in the world is all ready to brace, the 5G spectrum and it is expected to be a part of India’s telecom ecosystem by the second half of 2021. The race for pioneering the technology seems to be heating up. And by all means, Reliance Jio seems to be in the fray to be the pioneer.

In a speech on Tuesday (8th Dec 2020) at Indian Mobile Congress 2020, the chairman of Reliance Industries, Mukesh Ambani said, “Reliance Jio will pioneer 5G technology in India and it will be available to use by the users by the second half of 2021”.

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Mr. Ambani also went on to say that India is one of the most digitally connected nations in the world and 5G can be made available at affordable prices and everywhere as soon as possible. He further went on to add that 5G will not only enable India to participate in the fourth industrial revolution, but also to lead it.

What makes Jio so confident about pioneering 5G in India?

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The chairman of the group, Mukesh Ambani is very confident about rolling out 5G services in India by the second half of 2021. Earlier in the month of October, Jio has made an announcement it is expanding its partnership with US wireless giant Qualcomm to roll out 5G services in India. Mr. Ambani went on to say that he is very proud to announce that Jio has designed and developed a complete 5G solution from scratch and it will be his biggest step towards his Make in India commitment.

Once Jio 5G is tested India-wide, it will not only be deployed in India but will also be in a position to be an exporter of 5G solution to other telecom operators globally. Jio as an initiative is building its own 5G solution on a new global initiative called O-RAN (Open RAN)

Jio Qualcomm partnered for 5G network in India

(Pic courtesy: www.universalnews.org)

What is O-RAN?

Open RAN (O-RAN) differentiates itself from other proprietary networks (Huawei, Samsung, Ericsson, Nokia, etc.) over the simple fact that in the case of O-RAN, the networks are open and include elements and facets (software and hardware) from different vendors. If the network has two components i.e., both hardware and software, then both the components can be bought from different vendors. But in the case of proprietary networks, all the components will have to be bought from the same vendor. So, the O-RAN network gives the obvious bargaining power over other network service providers.

To put things into context, in 2018, Jio had bought US-based software vendor Radisys (as it specializes in system integration and network virtualization capabilities). And it is a known fact that Jio specializes in the software side and it’s putting together an alliance with Qualcomm to manage the hardware side. And the move from 4G to 5G will be more hardware-driven as new antennas will have to be installed in network towers.

What do other Telecom companies have to say?

Sunil Mittal, the chairman of Bharti Airtel is of the view that getting the 5G network to India has its set of challenges. And it will take two-three years more to roll out 5G technology. “I think India, to my mind, in two or three years’ time will be ready to receive the benefit of the investment that the globe would have made onto the 5G standard and 5G ecosystem,” Even another chief executive of Airtel had earlier remarked that the India ecosystem is not ready for the 5G technology introduction yet.

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5G Network in India: What can be expected?

India is slowly but surely becoming the talk of the town while talking about the adoption of new technologies. And India is always known for embracing new technologies. And being the 2nd biggest global player in the usage of telecom, the introduction of 5G technology in India is inevitable. But, it remains to be seen how soon. If the reports are to be believed, Jio could be the first network service provider to provide 5G telecom services in India.

That’s all for today’s Market Forensics. We’ll be back tomorrow with another interesting market news and analysis. Till then, Take care and Happy investing!!