The announcements from Nokia and Ericsson came at the same time it secured 5G equipment deals from Reliance Jio, India’s largest telecom operator. Jio has so far only worked with Samsung, the South Korean tech giant. To be able to deploy 5G at faster rates and with higher-quality equipment, Jio has opted to diversify its vendor selection and has awarded Nokia and Ericsson multi-year deals. So far, Airtel and Vodafone Idea have been the main customers of these European vendors in the Indian telecom sector. But with these announcements, Jio has finally been mobilized by the two.
Jio will serve as a high profile customer for Nokia and Ericsson. The telecom company is profitable with rich cash flows and can easily arrange money via debt or equity to pay off the dues. Jio will roll out its 5G SA (Standalone) network in India. Nokia and Ericsson have both worked with foreign vendors and can easily help Jio with their 5G SA deployments.
After the exit of Chinese vendors, including Huawei and ZTE, European vendors have made huge profits in the Indian market. The government doesn’t want Chinese companies to be part of telecom networks in India anymore. Thus, ever since the 5G trials began, telcos have been avoiding partnering with Chinese vendors.
Nokia and Ericsson have taken all the market share that Huawei and ZTE would have had in the 5G market in India. In addition, even new 4G requests cannot be made to Chinese companies. Even then, Nokia and Ericsson are now the top choices for Indian telecom companies.
Moreover, orders from Jio to Nokia and Ericsson are proof that the native stack developed by the carrier is not ready yet. Jio had promised to go 5G domestically; It looks like this won’t happen anytime soon. Much of Jio’s 5G networks will be deployed by Ericsson and Nokia.