Reliance Jio, the leading telecom operator in India, first talked about its 5G ambitions and the use of in-house stack at its AGM earlier in July. The company has now joined hands with Qualcomm (or as Qualcomm likes to call it, aligned efforts) “to develop open and interoperable interface compliant architecture based 5G solutions.”
This announcement came at Qualcomm’s 5G Summit, where Jio revealed that it has developed a fully indigenous 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) product. This product has achieved ultra-high throughput (more on this below) and has also been tested by Tier-I US carrier. Qualcomm further adds that its Snapdragon chipsets will support this 5G infrastructure.
This partnership, as per the official blog post, will further “fast track the development and roll-out of indigenous 5G network infrastructure and services in India.” The two tech behemoths have already conducted early 5G trials and they showed tremendous promise. They were able to achieve the 1Gbps speed milestone on the Reliance Jio 5G NR stack, which uses Qualcomm’s 5G RAN platforms.
This milestone, as Qualcomm points out, signifies the entry of Jio and India into the Gigabit 5G NR product portfolio.
Reliance Jio Infocomm President Matthew Oomen sees this milestone as a realization of the Atmanirbhar India campaign. The company is looking to build an inclusive 5G nation. “We are excited about working with Qualcomm Technologies in developing new generation cloud-native 5G RAN technology that is truly open and software-defined,” adds Oomen in the blog post.
The Qualcomm 5G RAN Platforms portfolio is “designed to provide a foundation for flexible, virtualized, scalable, and interoperable cellular network infrastructure.” It supports key frequency bands, including sub-6GHz and mmWave networks, and infrastructures such as massive MIMO, cells, and more.
In addition, Reliance Jio is rumored to be working on a budget 5G smartphone. It will be priced between Rs. 2,500 to Rs. 3,000 and provide high-speed Internet services at affordable prices. Jio is currently waiting on the 5G spectrum allocation in the country to conduct widespread tests and roll out 5G to the masses.