India has been late in adopting the 5G technology, but the wait may be worth it as it is looking for indigenous players for telecom gears, which may reduce the cost of deployment. While most of the developed countries like the US, China, Australia, and many other countries have a working 5G infrastructure in place, India is yet to launch 5G.
After the Huawei boycott, most countries are looking for other alternatives all over the world. Reliance Jio, which has the largest 4G network in India, with 400 million subscribers, aims to deploy its own 5G gears. The recent collaboration with Qualcomm will give it cutting-edge technology. Jio also plans to provide free and affordable 5G smartphones, powered by Google with the 5G launch. At the recent Indian Mobile Congress, Mukesh Ambani announced that Jio is ready with its technology and will launch the 5G network by the first half of 2021. Airtel and Jio both have been testing their 5G tech for a long time now.
However, the main problem lies in the spectrum auction. Although the cabinet has proposed for India’s maiden 5G auction, the prices are expected to remain exceptionally high. All three private operators have shown interest in the millimeter-wave auction, as it is cheaper and easier to apply. In India, the millimeter-wave has not been cleared for auction yet.
The sub-6 wave will be put up for the mega auction along with the other 4G waves in March 2021. “India has the capability of rolling out 5G as we have been building the infrastructure for some years now. However, for a countrywide end-to-end deployment, India is not yet 100% ready,” said Anand Agarwal, group chief executive, Sterlite Technologies.
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