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Jio partners with Ericsson to build India’s first standalone 5G network

It looks like Reliance Jio will become the first Indian operator to deploy an independent 5G network in the country, after signing an agreement with Ericsson.

The two companies signed a long-term strategic 5G contract to launch an independent 5G network in the country.

The partnership is also the first between Jio and Ericsson to deploy its wireless access network in the country, and follows the operator’s recent investment in 5G, with $25 billion set aside to roll out its standalone 5G network across the country by the end of 2023.

Ericsson will deploy its energy-efficient 5G Wireless Access Network (RAN) products and solutions, as well as its E-band microwave mobile transport solutions in Jio’s 5G network. All of these products and solutions are being deployed on newly built standalone 5G networks, the vendor confirms.

“India is building a world-class digital infrastructure that will drive innovation, job creation and entrepreneurship across the country,” said Börje Ekholm, Ericsson CEO and President, Börje Ekholm.

The operator wants to provide 5G service to more than 1,000 cities across the country, according to its chairman Mukesh Ambani, with Jio acquiring $11 billion worth of spectrum in the 900MHz, 3500MHz and 26GHz bands in August.

The company’s commercial rollout of 5G services in India will be supported by a combination of Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung, as well as its own solution, the CEO confirms.

Unlike other operators in India, Jio is the only operator deploying its 5G networks in Standalone (SA) mode, with rival operators like Bharti Airtel opting for Non-Standalone (NSA), which leverages existing 4G infrastructure as medium spectrum. ​Band (1800MHz and 2100MHz), while the spectrum of 3300MHz enables 5G speeds.

Bharti spent $5.4 billion on spectrum in the 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 3300MHz, and 26GHz band, while Vodafone Idea spent $2.4 billion, on the 3300MHz and 26GHz spectrum bands in Few target circles.