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NEW DELHI: Reliance Jio has initiated talks with European telecom equipment makers Ericsson and Nokia to buy 5G equipment, a bid to diversify away from its current 4G partner Samsung of Korea, according to a Business Standard report.

Ericsson and Jio initially planned to conduct 5G trials in Delhi, but the plan fell through, the report said.

Then a few weeks ago, Jio sought fresh permission from the government to conduct trials in Mumbai. Ericsson and Jio plan to start rapid trials at the new location, with the permit deadline set for July 26, the day the 5G spectrum auction begins, the report added, citing sources involved in the development.

The companies were also looking to conduct trials in Jamnagar, Gujarat, but a decision is awaited.

Jio has already tested home-grown 5G equipment in Mumbai and Jamnagar, and Samsung in Jamnagar.

The publication noted that negotiations with Nokia have also begun, but no tests have been considered yet.

“Interest and adoption of the open radio access network (RAN) continues to expand, along with the potential to transform networks with the future of open hardware, software and interfaces for interoperable, cellular wireless networks,” Jabil said.

Ericsson spokespersons Nokia India and Jio declined to respond to the publication’s queries.

Jio has already indicated its intention to roll out its home-grown 5G stack to global markets after testing it on a scale in India. In recent weeks, that government-sponsored trial has shown several use cases, such as connected drones and metaverse for retail sales using 5G airwaves.

Earlier in January this year, Jio President Kiran Thomas had said that the telco had finalized plans to roll out 5G network to top 1,000 cities and was also ramping up fiber capacity.



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