Reliance Jio is India's number one telecom operator. Mukesh Ambani, the Chairman of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), announced the 5G launch timeline from Jio at the company's 45th Annual General Meet (AGM). Ambani said that Jio's 5G would reach every town in India by December 2023, which is mostly 15 months away from here. In addition, Ambani said that Jio's 5G launch would come in four cities in India by this Diwali; the four cities are - Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata.
Jio to Not Go with 5G NSA Like Airtel, Vi
Reliance Jio will chart its own territory with 5G by going with 5G SA (standalone), which is more expensive to deploy, instead of 5G NSA (non-standalone), which is less expensive and already has a ready ecosystem. 5G NSA can operate as a layer above the existing 4G core, but for 5G SA, there's a need for deployment of completely new infrastructure.
Ambani said that 5G NSA offers no breakthrough improvement in performance, and that is the reason why Jio is directly going for 5G SA. Gopal Vittal, CEO of Bharti Airtel, had said that 5G NSA is the more logical choice for the Indian market given there's no ready ecosystem of 5G SA devices.
But then, it is also worth noting that in future, every telco would eventually shift from 5G NSA to 5G SA at a given cost. Jio is just paying that cost earlier. Jio is trying to reach every part of the country as fast as possible with its 5G networks. The telco already has the best spectrum portfolio amongst all the telecom service providers (TSPs) in India and would be the best placed to offer deep coverage with 5G networks. The exact dates of the 5G launch from Jio aren't out yet. But is not far away from here.