Indian digital services company Jio Platforms, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, may target West Asia, Eastern Europe and Southeast Asian regions as markets for its self-developed 5G technology kit after it tests and scales it up in India, Indian newspaper The Economic Times reported.
The company is also aiming to form partnerships to manufacture the kit in India, according to the report. Jio Platforms will soon start talks with local system integrators and manufacturers to potentially start producing Jio’s own 5G kit, a senior company executive reportedly said.
“Electronic manufacturing needs to be done through specialized firms, whether it is Jio or any other provider. This will be done in India,” the executive said.
According to Neil Shah, partner and vice president at Counterpoint Research, Jio will ideally need to work with partners to integrate the system completely in-house.
“Similar to Rakuten, Jio would look to help operators big and small, though unlike Rakuten, Jio is more vertically integrated with Radisys, have a decent in-house system integration expertise,” Shah said in an email to RCR Wireless News. “If it can build a successful Open RAN template for the 5G network it looks to build for the potential 400 million subscribers in the coming years, it can license the template or the platform to bigger but laggard and cost-sensitive telcos in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East who wants to get on the Open RAN bandwagon for their future 5G but don’t know the right mix of vendors, integration to build the network. At the same time, the new generation green-field operators as well as bigger enterprises building multi-regional private 5G networks offer a bigger opportunity for Jio. [Another] interesting angle, would be how does Facebook’s partnership and the work it has done via TiP influence Jio’s future 5G network template. Though, all eyes first would be on Jio how does it build a massive successful 5G network without the leading infrastructure vendors.”
New Japanese market entrant Rakuten Mobile, a subsidiary of e-commerce giant Rakuten, developed its own communication platform aimed at offering solutions and services for the deployment of virtualized networks at speed and low cost by telecom companies, enterprises and governments around the world.
Rakuten Communications Platform contains all the elements of the Rakuten Mobile network, including telco applications and software from multiple vendors, OSS and BSS systems handling customer billing and activation systems, in addition to edge computing and virtual network management functions.
Last month, India’s Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani confirmed that Jio Platforms engineers had designed and developed a “complete 5G system” from scratch.
The executive said that Jio Platforms’ 5G kit will be ready for trials as soon as spectrum is available, with field deployments possible in 2021.
Once the 5G equipment is proven in India, Ambani said Jio Platforms will be well-positioned to export the system to other global operators as a complete managed service.
Reliance Industries and Jio Platforms recently announced that Google committed to invest INR337 billion ($4.5 billion) in Jio Platforms. Google’s investment will translate into a 7.73% equity stake in Jio Platforms.
With Google’s investment, strategic and financial investors committed a total INR1.52 trillion in the last few months, taking a 32.97 interest in Jio Platforms. Some of the firms that recently invested in the Indian company include Qualcomm, Facebook, Silver Lake, Vista Equity Partners, KKR, General Atlantic and Intel Capital.