BENGALURU, Oct 17 (Reuters) – India’s telecoms service provider Reliance Jio has chosen Nokia (NOKIA.HE) as a major supplier, the Finnish telecoms equipment maker said on Monday, as the country’s biggest mobile operator India is gearing up to expand next-generation wireless services. Across the country.
Nokia will supply Reliance Jio, which has more than 420 million customers, with 5G radio access network (RAN) equipment under a multi-year deal, the company said in a statement.
“Nokia will provide equipment from its AirScale portfolio, including base stations, high-capacity 5G Massive MIMO antennas, and remote radio heads to support different spectrum bands and self-organizing network software,” a- he declared.
5G data speeds in India are expected to be around 10 times faster than 4G, with the network seen as vital for emerging technologies such as self-driving cars and artificial intelligence.
Reliance (RELI.NS) scooped up $11 billion worth of airwaves from a $19 billion 5G spectrum auction in August and launched 5G services in select cities. It is also working with Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O) to launch a budget 5G smartphone.
As India’s telecom service providers roll out 5G services, the government is also pushing major mobile phone makers, like Apple Inc (AAPL.O), Samsung (005930.KS) and others to prioritize the rolling out software upgrades to support 5G, amid concerns that many of their models aren’t ready for high-speed service. Read more
The Reliance-Nokia deal comes at a time when some governments, including India, have banned or discouraged the use of China’s Huawei in national networks.
“Jio is committed to continuously investing in the latest network technologies to enhance the experience of all of its customers,” said Akash Ambani, President of Reliance Jio.
Meanwhile, Reliance Jio plans to raise an additional $1.5 billion through external commercial borrowing to fund its 5G capital expenditure plans, the Economic Times newspaper reported, citing sources.
Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bangalore; Editing by Savio D’Souza
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