Why Mukesh Ambani is in a hurry to bring India 5G

What he says.
What he says.
Image: REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
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Ahead of launching his own 5G service, the chairman and managing director of India’s largest private firm, Reliance Industries (RIL), has stressed the technology’s importance in India.

On Dec. 8, RIL chief Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s richest man, said the rollout of 5G—the next generation of mobile broadband that will considerably faster—needs to be “India’s top priority.”

“India must complete the migration from 2G to 4G to 5G at the earliest. At Jio, we are currently focused on 4G and 5G execution and broadband infrastructure expansion,” Ambani said, speaking at the ongoing India Mobile Congress.

“To keep millions of Indians at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid confined to 2G is to deprive them of the benefits of the digital revolution,” he said, emphasising the urgency of a 5G revolution.

In July 2020, Ambani said Jio has developed a 5G solution that will be “ready for field deployment next year.” The Ambani-led Reliance Jio also became the first Indian telecom firm to have 5G capabilities.

By the end of fiscal 2022, the number of 4G subscribers in India is expected to cross the 800-million mark, according to Crisil. The number is roughly 350 million for 2G users.

As of now, India hasn’t auctioned any 5G spectrum, mainly because of the sector’s financial troubles. The country, however, is expected to go for auctions by April 2022.