Reliance Jio Announces its Make in India Strategy for 5G and IoT : Report

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  • This approach might reduce the dependency from third party vendors
  • The company claims to keep broadband and voice as the baseline of the technology with their 5G technology
  • Vodafone, Idea and Airtel had also submitted their proposals jointly with Ericsson, Nokia, and Huawei for the same
  • BSNL is reportedly tying up with another Chinese vendor, ZTE

According to a report in the Economic Times, Reliance Jio has designed its own 5G technology which would bring various cost-related advantages. The telecom company has already replaced Nokia and Oracle’s 4G voice technology with its own pan-India network. The company claims to be the first phone company to develop in-house technology to replace third-party equipment vendors.

“We have now developed everything end-to-end around 5G technology. We are more scalable than these vendors and are fully automated since we have our own cloud-native platform. In 5G, we will totally be self-sufficient,” the person shared with ET. The company has designed its own hardware for the 5G technology. “We can give the design, layouts and board support packages to third-party manufacturers to have our gear made”, as said by the official from the company.

With the development of end-to-end 5G technology, Jio would be able to bring a wide array of use cases like security and surveillance using drones, industrial IoT and digitisation in the agriculture sector as the company plans to keep broadband and voice as the baseline of the technology. The telco has informed the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and sought its approval to conduct 5G trials based on its own technology. It has also given a separate presentation to the DoT to explain its technology and possible use cases.

According to the report, the person has also said “Our own technology will help us commercially as well as offer flexibility. We can customise use cases and also tailor India specific needs.”

Jio has previously applied to experiment 5G trials with European vendors Ericsson and Nokia, China’s Huawei besides and Samsung, a South Korean equipment vendor that is also its sole 4G radio vendor.

Vodafone Idea and Airtel had also submitted their proposals jointly with Ericsson, Nokia, and Huawei. On the other hand BSNL is tying up with another Chinese vendor, ZTE.

The development

Ashwinder Sethi, principal at Analysys Mason said “Jio is actively looking to build 5G and IoT technology capability in-house through a mix of organic and inorganic approach. The move is unprecedented not only in India but also globally as most operators have relied on technology vendors for network equipment.” Rancore technologies, an old subsidiary of RIL, had merged with Jio and the acquisition of Radisys further builds upon its 5G and IoT technology capability. These acquisitions helped in Jio’s in-house development capabilities around open source technologies and NFV adoption. This has opened doors for the development for IoT platform and applications, according to the analysts.

Jio’s rivals, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone, on the other hand — as part of their established enterprise businesses — are already offering IoT services. Sethi shared that Jio’s approach will help it reduce its dependency on third-party vendors as well as customize its technology based on the 5G and IoT standards which might be adopted by India. “It will also be interesting to see whether this approach has cost benefits as well once the 5G technology is commercially deployed by Jio.”

Jio’s own IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) solution (vIMS) for VoLTE and VoWiFi is live since October 2019. It was previously using Nokia and Oracle’s IMS and related technology to offer 4G voice service.

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