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Asia’s Richest Man Mukesh Ambani Eyes 5G Rollout in India Without Help from Huawei, ZTE in 2021

© AP Photo / Manu FernandezFILE - This Feb. 25, 2019 file photo shows a banner of the 5G network is displayed during the Mobile World Congress wireless show, in Barcelona, Spain.
FILE - This Feb. 25, 2019 file photo shows a banner of the 5G network is displayed during the Mobile World Congress wireless show, in Barcelona, Spain.  - Sputnik International
India stepped into 2020 intending finally to go through with the 5G trials. However, its plans were frustrated because of the coronavirus pandemic. The trials of the fifth generation internet have been delayed until 2021.

Mukesh Ambani, the chief of India’s highest-valued company, Reliance Industries, said on Tuesday that his telecom brand Jio will be the first to introduce 5G services in India, probably in the second half of 2021.

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Reinstating Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of making India “aatmanirbhar” or self sufficient, Asia’s richest industrialist also said that Jio’s 5G hardware and technology will not be imported, but would instead be “Made in India”.

“I assure you that Jio will pioneer the 5G Revolution in India in the second half of 2021. It will be powered by locally developed network, hardware and technology components. Jio's 5G service will be a testimony to your inspiring vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat," the 63-year-old multi-billionaire said, speaking virtually at the India Mobile Congress (IMC) event.

Reliance Jio has been talking about a 5G rollout as soon as the spectrum is ready for sale in India. 

The news was met with a buzz on social media, especially among the country's techies and telecom enthusiasts, members of which are sharing updates on social media.

​Because of the ongoing tensions on the India-China border, India is limiting its dependency on Chinese equipment players such as Huawei and ZTE to support the 5G ecosystem in the country since there are concerns the country's national security and data of 1.37 billion Indians will be compromised.

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Since spring 2020, the two countries have been involved in a border stand-off after they accused each other of violating the Line of Actual Control (LaC) that passes through India’s Ladakh region. In hand-to-hand combat, India lost 20 soldiers in June and that increased the stress keeping the two nations away from resolving the situation.

For suitable equipment, Indian telecom companies are teaming up with other global manufacturers such as Finland’s Nokia and South Korea’s Samsung, among others.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also addressed the IMC and noted that “India has the lowest mobile tariff, fastest growing app market”. 

During his speech, Modi also announced that every village in India will have high-speed fiber optic data connectivity within the next three years.

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