India's 5G efforts finally gain momentum as Jio teams up with Qualcomm

Reliance Jio Mukesh Ambani
Reliance Jio Mukesh Ambani (Image credit: Reliance Jio)

What you need to know

  • Jio has announced that it hit 1Gbps in 5G trials.
  • The carrier is leveraging Qualcomm's 5G radio access tech as the backbone of its 5G infrastructure.
  • There's still a long way to go before Jio is able to roll out commercial 5G, but this is a good step along the way.

This year has seen 5G gain momentum as carriers and phone manufacturers push to make the next generation of wireless connectivity more accessible. 5G connectivity is now available in several major cities in the U.S., and carriers in the UK, Korea, China, and other markets are making strides in bringing 5G to a mainstream audience.

The one country that was missing from the 5G conversation was India. There has been little in the way of news around India's 5G rollout, with the likes of Airtel and Vodafone unable to invest the huge sums needed to build out the infrastructure needed to deliver 5G. Thankfully, that's not the case with India's largest carrier Jio; the carrier saw a huge infusion of funds to the tune of $20.2 billion over the course of 2020, and it is now teaming up with Qualcomm to lay the groundwork for 5G in India.

Jio is leveraging Qualcomm's radio access solution on its Jio 5GNR platform to achieve a 1Gbps throughput in 5G trials, a key milestone in the development of the cellular standard. The carrier is still some way away from announcing any commercial plans yet, but it is laying the groundwork for the eventual switch to 5G.

From Reliance Jio Infocomm president Mathew Oommen:

We are excited about working with Qualcomm Technologies in developing new generation cloud native 5G RAN technology that is truly open and software defined.The development of secure RAN solutions with Qualcomm Technologies combined with Jio Platforms and scale provides the ideal combination for local manufacturing and for accelerating the realization of Atmanirbhar Bharat for an inclusive 5G nation.

As for Qualcomm, the first 5G-enabled Snapdragon 400 series chipset is set to debut in 2021, and it should make 5G that much more accessible once coverage starts rolling out in markets like India.

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Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is Android Central's Senior Editor of Asia. In his current role, he oversees the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, networking products, and AV gear. He has been testing phones for over a decade, and has extensive experience in mobile hardware and the global semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.