At the India Mobile Congress, Reliance Industries chair Mukesh Ambani said that Jio will have 5G services ready in India by the second half of 2021. “I assure you that Jio will pioneer the 5G Revolution in India in the second half of 2021. It will be powered by indigenous-developed network, hardware and technology components. JIO’s 5G service will be a testimony to your [Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s] inspiring vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat,” Ambani said, according to a transcript provided by Reliance.
Ambani added that “We cannot rely on large-scale imports in this area of critical national need,” a reference to Jio’s use of domestically manufactured radio equipment. “I clearly foresee India becoming a major hub for state-of-the-art semiconductor industry.”
Directly addressing Modi, who also spoke at the event, Ambani said, “As many as 300 million mobile subscribers in India are still trapped in the 2G era. Urgent policy steps are needed to ensure that these underprivileged people have an affordable smartphone, so that they too can benefit from Direct Benefit Transfer into their bank accounts, and actively participate in the Digital Economy.” Ambani has riffed on this theme before, assailing 2G, a technology that Jio’s network does not support, as a relic of the past.