Indian telco Jio will begin investment into 5G network next year.
The carrier will go into trial right away once 5G spectrum are allocated and it will prepare for filed deployment next year, Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industry, Jio’s parent firm, said at its annual shareholders’ meeting on Wednesday.
The chairman also said Google was buying a 7.7% stake in Jio for US$4.5 billion.
Last month, the India government approved Facebook’s purchase of 9.9% stake in the carrier for US$5.7 billion.
Reliance Jio has used Samsung Electronics’ network equipment for its 4G LTE network. The two signed an exclusive contract in 2012 and Samsung began supplying the goods in 2014.
People familiar with the matter said it is expected that Samsung would be a main supplier for Jio’s 5G network. The South Korean tech giant has already wrapped up the development of 5G equipment for Jio’s network, they said, and is ready to deliver them at a moments notice after a contract is signed.
Samsung has developed the equipment on schedule despite India delaying its spectrum auction for 5G, they added.
Jio is India’s largest carrier with 387.52 million subscribers.
On Tuesday, the UK government announced that telcos there must remove Huawei equipment by 2027. Ericsson and Nokia has said they are technologically ready to offer their kit to replace exiting Huawei ones, according to Reuters.
Earlier this month, Samsung executive vice president Woojune Kim told a committee of British lawmakers that can definitely supply its 5G kit there, saying it has supplied 4G LTE goods before.
It was investing in 4G, 5G and 6G technologies rather than legacy technologies, Kim said. The company can proceed with open RAN to combine existing 2G and 3G technologies with its own, he added.