Jio to roll out 5G by 2021; Airtel bets on satellite internet at IMC 2020

Jio to roll out 5G by 2021; Airtel bets on satellite internet at IMC 2020
Photo Credit: 123RF.com
8 Dec, 2020

Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani said the company’s JIO subsidiary will rollout its 5G services in India by the second half of 2021. Speaking at the virtual edition of the India Mobile Congress on Tuesday, Ambani urged the government to take policy measures to accelerate the early rollout of 5G. 

“Jio Platforms, with its family of over 20 start-up partners, has built world-class capabilities in artificial intelligence, cloud computing, big data, machine learning, internet of things, blockchain, etc. We are creating compelling home-grown solutions in education, healthcare, agriculture, infrastructure, financial services and new commerce,” Ambani said in his address. 

Jio Platforms which houses RIL’s telco business as well as digital services has raised $15.2 billion from multiple investors during the year. Jio in partnership with investor Google has also indicated that it will be rolling out low cost entry level 5G smartphones in India as part of its push. 

Also speaking at the event, Bharti Enterprises chairman Sunil Mittal said 5G will take two to three years to become the norm in India. 

“I am particularly very excited about the upcoming 5G which in the next two or three years should start to become the norm in the mobile broadband space as the world settles down on the 5G space pricing of the equipment comes down and importantly the devices start getting available in plenty,” Mittal said during the event. 

He said that space will be the next frontier of communications in India alluding to the acquisition of OneWeb in partnership with the UK government. Previous reports state that Airtel is looking to roll out its satellite internet services in India by 2022.

In his address, union minister for electronics and Information Technology (IT), Ravi Shankar Prasad said that while the country wasn’t averse to Foreign Direct Investment, safety and security of the country and a level-playing field for Indian entrepreneurs were also primary on the government’s agenda. 

“We are not against FDI - we are not against foreign innovative minds, they are most welcome,” said Prasad. He further added, “But we are equally keen that safety and security of the country is important. Enabling atmosphere be also made for Indian mind to help create a robust 4G network as a precursor to 5G network.”

This year the government has taken multiple measures including banning 220 Chinese-origin apps citing threat to sovereignty of India and regulating FDI from China to prevent hostile takeover of Indian companies.