India’s Reliance Jio chooses Nokia as equipment supplier in 5G push

India’s Reliance Jio chooses Nokia as equipment supplier in 5G push

BENGALURU, Oct 17 (Reuters) – Indian telecom services provider Reliance Jio has chosen Nokia (NOKIA.HE) as a major supplier, the Finnish telecom equipment maker said on Monday, as India’s largest mobile operator prepares to roll out next-generation wireless services across the country.

Nokia will supply Reliance Jio, which has more than 420 million customers, with 5G radio access network (RAN) equipment in a multi-year deal, the company said in a statement.

“Nokia will supply equipment from its AirScale portfolio, including base stations, high-capacity 5G Massive MIMO antennas and remote radio heads to support different spectrum bands and self-organizing network software,” it said.

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5G data speeds in India are expected to be around 10 times faster than 4G, and the network is seen as vital to new technologies such as self-driving cars and artificial intelligence.

Reliance (RELI.NS) bought $11 billion worth of airtime in a $19 billion 5G spectrum auction in August and launched 5G services in select cities. It also works with Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) Google will launch a cheap 5G smartphone.

As India’s telecom service providers roll out 5G services, the government is also pushing leading mobile phone makers such as Apple Inc. (AAPL.O)Samsung (005930.KS) and others, to prioritize rolling out software upgrades to support 5G, amid concerns that many of their models are not ready for high-speed service. read more

The Reliance-Nokia deal comes at a time when some governments, including India, have either banned or discouraged the use of China’s Huawei in national networks.

“Jio is committed to continuously investing in the latest network technologies to enhance the experience of all its customers,” said Akash Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Jio.

Meanwhile, Reliance Jio plans to raise an additional $1.5 billion through external commercial loans to fund its 5G capital expenditure plans, the Economic Times newspaper registeredciting sources.

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Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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