09 Mar Reliance Jio builds in-house 5G, IoT; replaces Nokia, Oracle tech to reduce dependence on foreign gear
NEW DELHI: Telecom service provider Reliance Jio has developed its own 5G and other technologies, to cut costs and reduce dependence on foreign vendors.
The Mukesh Ambani-owned company has replaced Nokia’s and Oracle’s 4G voice technology with its own, a senior company executive said.
The move is perhaps a global first, analysts said, where a mobile phone company has developed in-house technology to replace third-party equipment vendors.
“We have now developed everything end-to-end around 5G technology,” a person in the know told ET. “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 executive added.
Jio has designed its own hardware for the 5G technology, which could be made in India once 5G trials are successful. “We can give the design, layouts and board support packages to third-party manufacturers to have our gear made,” the executive said.
Having developed end-to-end 5G technology, Jio would be able to use it for security and surveillance using drones, industrial Internet of Things and digitisation in the agriculture sector. “Broadband and voice will be the baseline of our technology,” the executive added.
The telco has sought approval from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to conduct 5G trials based on its own technology. It had recently given a separate presentation to DoT to explain the technology and possible use cases.
“Our own technology will help us commercially as well as offer flexibility. We can customise use cases and tailor it to India-specific needs,” the executive said.
Jio did not respond to ET’s emailed queries.
The telco had previously applied to carry out 5G trials with European vendors Ericsson and Nokia, China’s Huawei and South Korean equipment vendor Samsung, which is its sole 4G radio vendor.
Vodafone Idea and Airtel, too, had submitted proposals jointly with Ericsson, Nokia, and Chinese giant Huawei, while BSNL is tying up with another Chinese vendor, ZTE.
“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,” said Ashwinder Sethi, principal at Analysys Mason.
Rancore Technologies, earlier a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, was merged with Jio and the acquisition of Radisys further builds upon its 5G and IoT technology capability.
These acquisitions have accelerated Jio’s in-house development capabilities around open source technologies, paving the way for development for its IoT platform and applications, analysts said.
Jio’s approach will also help customize its technology based on the 5G and IoT standards that will be adopted by India, Sethi said. “It will also be interesting to see whether this approach has cost benefits as well once the 5G technology is commercially deployed by Jio,” he added.
Jio’s own IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) solution (vIMS) for VoLTE and VoWiFi is live since October 2019. It was previously using Nokia’s and Oracle’s IMS and related technology to offer 4G voice service.