Jio plans to roll out 5G using local technology

As local manufacturing accelerates, Reliance Jio is trying to include a greater percentage of domestically made radio units in its 5G deployment. Reliance is planning to provide radio modules that can function with the deployment of the 5G network in the 700 MHz and 3300 MHz frequency bands in collaboration with Sanmina Corporation.

Jio is actually the only private telco employing its own core, or so-called brain, of the network for 5G while Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung were handed the radio, or transport, network. They added that although homemade radios are being used in the network rollout, their use will grow as local manufacturing expands.

As of the time of publication, Reliance Jio had not responded to a question regarding the use of a homemade radio in the rollout of 5G. The previously announced joint venture agreement between US-based Sanmina Corporation and Reliance Strategic Business Ventures (RSBVL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries (RIL), was concluded last month.

The RIL unit said in March that it would invest 1,670 crores to join forces with Sanmina in the production of electronics, primarily 4G and 5G telecom equipment for domestic and international markets.

Sanmina has actually also been chosen.

to be eligible for incentives under the production-linked incentive (PLI) plan for telecom equipment, which is worth 12195 crores. Reliance Jio has created an entire end-to-end 5G stack, including radio, a full 5G core network, the deployment of cloud infrastructure, and platforms for cloud-native operation support systems (OSS). To supply its 5G solution, the company is in discussions with international operators. The 5G stack is already operational at the Jio campus and other RIL locations.

Jio is now expanding its 5G network at a rate of about 2,500 sites each week, and in the next three to four months, that figure is expected to reach about 5,000 sites. For its deployment, rival Bharti Airtel is installing 1,200 sites weekly.

Jio is deploying its network in a standalone mode, which requires more capital because all of the infrastructures, including cell sites and other sites, only transmits 5G signals. Non-standalone mode (NSA), on the other hand, allows for 5G speeds by bridging the mid-band spectrum (1800 MHz and 2100 MHz bands) with the 3300 MHz band, which is currently being used by Airtel.