The Chronicles of 5G deployment in India : News and Updates

Gautam

Team StratFront
Feb 16, 2019
11,643
7,084
Tripura, NE, India
Global vendors don't want to agree to India's TSDSI's 5G RIT (Radio Interface Technology) standard even though it is compatable. The Indian RIT standard wants to have 6km radius for large cell remote radio units(RRU) in rural locales, where as the global companies want 3GPP's 3km standard. The opposition is largely commercially driven as having a small radius will require more RRU deployments thus benefitting the radio vendors. This is why having domestic capability and setting your own standards is necessary.


One contract after the other for ITI. After the recent FTTH contract from Airtel, now they are going to get another from Army Static Switched Communication Network (ASCON) Phase IV tender :


In other news, the liberalisation of satcom policy as is suggested below will greatly benefit Airtel. Airtel has brought the OneWeb company and SATCOM based broadband is what OneWeb offers. This is perhaps the only great technology differentiator that Airtel has over Jio. Also if SATCOM based broadband usage blows up in India like SATCOM based TV broadcast did, then internet connectivity especially at the last miles of the country will be greatly enhanced. This will also benefit Airtel's terrestrial telecom network by reducing load and thus enabling faster internet speeds.

 

Gautam

Team StratFront
Feb 16, 2019
11,643
7,084
Tripura, NE, India
This is a big shot in the arm for domestic phone makers. With GoI's PLI, Jio and Airtel's venture into feature & smartphones the industry will certainly go places :

Airtel can bring cheap 4G smartphones, talks ongoing with vendors


Since the launch of Jio Phone 4G in 2018, news has been coming that Airtel is preparing to bring cheap 4G smartphones to compete with Jio, although after two years, preparations are going on for Airtel itself. Now the news is coming once again, Airtel is in talks with vendors for a 4G smartphone that will cost up to Rs 2,500.

Airtel's SIM inbuilt will be available on this phone, with offers like free data. According to the report, Airtel is in talks with domestic mobile company Micromax, Lava, and Karbonn Mobile for cheap smartphones, although Airtel has not officially made any statement on this issue. Let us know that there are about 40 crore people in India who are still using feature phones. In such a situation, the telecom companies are keeping a close watch on these people.

Jio's cheap 4G phone can be launched by December


Earlier this week, there were reports that Reliance Jio will offer 100 million cheap 4G smartphones by the end of December 2020 or January 2021. Data offer will also be available on the phone. It is being said in the reports that Jio's cheap 4G Android smartphone will be launched in partnership with Google. Let me tell you that a few months ago, Google has announced to invest $ 4.5 billion in Jio.

In July this year, Jio had said that Google is working on a cheap Android version and will also offer its phone with this version. This cheap 4G smartphone from Google and Jio will increase the troubles of companies like Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, Samsung, and Nokia. Let us know that Realme, Oppo, and Vivo have a share of about 14,713 crores in the 7,360 price smartphone market in India.

JioPhone 5 for Rs 399 ?

We know that in July this year, it was reported that Reliance Jio is working on JioPhone 5. Jio Phone 5 will also be a feature phone and will also have 4G support. Jio Phone 5 will be the light version of Jio Phone, which can be priced at Rs. 399. Kai OS will also be available on this phone like Jio Phone 1 and 2 i.e. you will be able to use apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, and Google on this phone.


This is the original report. Of course its behind a paywall :

 
  • Like
Reactions: AbRaj

Gautam

Team StratFront
Feb 16, 2019
11,643
7,084
Tripura, NE, India
This is a big shot in the arm for domestic phone makers. With GoI's PLI, Jio and Airtel's venture into feature & smartphones the industry will certainly go places :

Airtel can bring cheap 4G smartphones, talks ongoing with vendors


Since the launch of Jio Phone 4G in 2018, news has been coming that Airtel is preparing to bring cheap 4G smartphones to compete with Jio, although after two years, preparations are going on for Airtel itself. Now the news is coming once again, Airtel is in talks with vendors for a 4G smartphone that will cost up to Rs 2,500.

Airtel's SIM inbuilt will be available on this phone, with offers like free data. According to the report, Airtel is in talks with domestic mobile company Micromax, Lava, and Karbonn Mobile for cheap smartphones, although Airtel has not officially made any statement on this issue. Let us know that there are about 40 crore people in India who are still using feature phones. In such a situation, the telecom companies are keeping a close watch on these people.

Jio's cheap 4G phone can be launched by December


Earlier this week, there were reports that Reliance Jio will offer 100 million cheap 4G smartphones by the end of December 2020 or January 2021. Data offer will also be available on the phone. It is being said in the reports that Jio's cheap 4G Android smartphone will be launched in partnership with Google. Let me tell you that a few months ago, Google has announced to invest $ 4.5 billion in Jio.

In July this year, Jio had said that Google is working on a cheap Android version and will also offer its phone with this version. This cheap 4G smartphone from Google and Jio will increase the troubles of companies like Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, Samsung, and Nokia. Let us know that Realme, Oppo, and Vivo have a share of about 14,713 crores in the 7,360 price smartphone market in India.

JioPhone 5 for Rs 399 ?

We know that in July this year, it was reported that Reliance Jio is working on JioPhone 5. Jio Phone 5 will also be a feature phone and will also have 4G support. Jio Phone 5 will be the light version of Jio Phone, which can be priced at Rs. 399. Kai OS will also be available on this phone like Jio Phone 1 and 2 i.e. you will be able to use apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, and Google on this phone.


This is the original report. Of course its behind a paywall :

So got myself ET prime membership, read that article and here is what I found. Airtel and Jio are targeting the 400 million featurephone market and trying to get them to upgrade to a smartphone. The spec sheet of the phones Airtel is looking for :
  • 5-inch touch screen
  • 8GB RAM
  • Android OS probably
  • Price up to Rs. 2500
  • Locked in Airtel 4G SIM
Airtel will bulk purchase the phones and spread out the cost over time. Airtel is even planning to reduce the acquisition cost by spreading out the phone & data prices. Even at low cost they will have an user that is locked in with Airtel. Ditto as Jio's Jio Phone plans. Airtel is undecided whether to sell the phone under their own brand or use the manufacturers brand and call it bundled services.

LAVA, Micromax & Karbonn are the 3 manufacturers Airtel met. All 3 manufacturers are going to launch new products in months time.

Next part is pure speculations in my mind:
1600015725553.png


LAVA has already launched their new Z66. It not bad looking at all. Specs :
  • 3 GB RAM
  • 32 GB internal memory, expandable Upto 128 GB
  • 15.44 cm (6.08 inch) HD+ Display | Resolution 720x1560 pixels
  • 13MP + 5MP Back camera | 13MP Front Camera
  • 3950 mAh Lithium Polymer Battery
  • 1.6 GHz Octa Core Processor
  • Android 10 OS
  • Connectivity : Micro USB, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, 3.5mm audio jack etc

That's a lot of phone for Rs. 7,777. LAVA designed these in India, screen is from Samsung's display fab, processor from Taiwan, manufacturing and assembly in India. Currently only available online, was launched during the online sales season. All sold out in a day.

Except the RAM all else is better than what Airtel wants. Increase the RAM and bulk manufacture these I say. Given the target market is 400 million strong, I am sure if Airtel commits to buy 100s of millions of these price can easily tumble bellow Rs. 2500.
 

Gautam

Team StratFront
Feb 16, 2019
11,643
7,084
Tripura, NE, India
So got myself ET prime membership, read that article and here is what I found. Airtel and Jio are targeting the 400 million featurephone market and trying to get them to upgrade to a smartphone. The spec sheet of the phones Airtel is looking for :
  • 5-inch touch screen
  • 8GB RAM
  • Android OS probably
  • Price up to Rs. 2500
  • Locked in Airtel 4G SIM
Airtel will bulk purchase the phones and spread out the cost over time. Airtel is even planning to reduce the acquisition cost by spreading out the phone & data prices. Even at low cost they will have an user that is locked in with Airtel. Ditto as Jio's Jio Phone plans. Airtel is undecided whether to sell the phone under their own brand or use the manufacturers brand and call it bundled services.

LAVA, Micromax & Karbonn are the 3 manufacturers Airtel met. All 3 manufacturers are going to launch new products in months time.

Next part is pure speculations in my mind:
View attachment 17728

LAVA has already launched their new Z66. It not bad looking at all. Specs :
  • 3 GB RAM
  • 32 GB internal memory, expandable Upto 128 GB
  • 15.44 cm (6.08 inch) HD+ Display | Resolution 720x1560 pixels
  • 13MP + 5MP Back camera | 13MP Front Camera
  • 3950 mAh Lithium Polymer Battery
  • 1.6 GHz Octa Core Processor
  • Android 10 OS
  • Connectivity : Micro USB, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, 3.5mm audio jack etc

That's a lot of phone for Rs. 7,777. LAVA designed these in India, screen is from Samsung's display fab, processor from Taiwan, manufacturing and assembly in India. Currently only available online, was launched during the online sales season. All sold out in a day.

Except the RAM all else is better than what Airtel wants. Increase the RAM and bulk manufacture these I say. Given the target market is 400 million strong, I am sure if Airtel commits to buy 100s of millions of these price can easily tumble bellow Rs. 2500.
Now Jio is making there moves :

Inside Jio's new plan to poach 2G subscribers from Airtel, Vodafone Idea

A fierce fight is set to break out among telcos for some 350 million feature phone users, with Reliance Jio close to finalising partnerships with Indian and Chinese handset makers to launch subsidised SIM-locked smartphones bundled with 4G data, voice, and own content services, people familiar with the matter said.

By Danish Khan
ET Telecom
Updated: September 14, 2020, 21:57 IST


NEW DELHI: A fierce fight is set to break out among telcos for some 350 million feature phone users, with Reliance Jio close to finalising partnerships with Indian and Chinese handset makers to launch subsidised SIM-locked smartphones bundled with 4G data, voice, and own content services, people familiar with the matter said. They added that telco has already inked its first such tie-up with China’s iTel brand for launching 4G smartphones likely in the Rs 3,000-4,000 range.

The launches—which will come in the lead up to the affordable 4G smartphones to be developed under the Jio-Google partnership—is aimed at attracting a bulk of the roughly 350 million featurephone subscribers, most of whom are on the networks of rivals Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, especially in semi-urban and rural areas, people familiar with the matter said.

As reported by ET in its September 12 edition, No. 2 carrier Airtel, with some 108 million 2G/3G users of its 280-million subscriber base, is also in talks with handset makers for similar subsidized SIM-locked phones in the Rs 2,000-2,500 range. Industry executives say Vodafone Idea, with the most number of 2G/3G users at a 138 million, may have little choice but to follow suit with similar bundling tie-ups to protect its base. The cash strapped telco has already lost over 120 million users since the merger in August 2018, to end the June quarter with under 280 million subscribers.

“While the iTel partnership is done. Jio is also working on forming similar partnerships with other Indian handset brands for low-end 4G smartphones. This is a part of their 2G-mukt Bharat project,” a top executive with an Indian handset brand told ET, on the condition of anonymity.

Jio and iTel didn’t respond to ET’s queries.

“Airtel and Vodafone Idea have big 2G subscriber bases, which they would like to maintain and gradually shift to 4G. If Jio pips them in launching lucrative 4G offerings, then it will be crucial for them to offer an equivalent or a better offer,” one of the people said.

Navkendar Singh, research director at IDC India, said that Jio will have to work on total cost, which should not be more than Rs 2,500 after the subsidy, and should focus on an end-to-end experience as merely subsidising the device will not really yield results.

“In addition to bundling of data and Jio’s own services, total cost of ownership needs to come down for customers along with after sales support. The messaging has to be fixed around use cases like education, payments and healthcare as well,” said Singh.

Tarun Pathak, associate director at Counterpoint Research, added that local handset makers and key feature phone players have a strong know-how of the device experience needed for this segment, and can cash in by tying up with telcos.

Another top executive at an Indian handset brand, which acts as a contract manufacturer for other companies, said that Jio has also begun talks with Indian handset players and global contract manufacturers for a low-cost 4G smartphone—likely to be Jio-branded—to be developed in partnership with internet major Google.

Currently, for this device, Jio is gathering information about capacity of vendors and sourcing of equipment, another senior executive with a contract manufacturer said. Jio’s plan is to place orders for some 10 million smartphones initially, but the timing is all dependent on the regulatory approvals.

US contract manufacturer Flex had made 4G feature phones, Jio Phone and Jio Phone 2 previously and people familiar with the matter said it could be roped in again for the Jio-branded Android smartphones, but nothing has been finalised yet. Indian listed contract manufacturer Dixon Technologies, people said, is in talks with Jio, for this device. Flex and Dixon didn’t respond to ET’s emailed queries.

“But the Google-Jio partnership needs regulatory approvals first… Hence, it (Jio) is more focused on bundling with brands currently,” the executive said.

An executive with Reliance Jio said that Jio-branded smartphone development is taking its own time as supply chain issues are being identified and will accordingly be ironed out. “It is likely that devices will only hit the market early next year since OS optimization and making the phone ready for Indian needs will take time.”

Jio’s plan is to place orders for 10 million smartphones initially as and when it is ready with its business plan and regulatory approvals for its Google partnership, sources said, adding that recent reports of 100 million smartphones is incorrect.

Pathak said that Indian feature phone users (~350 million) present a massive opportunity for Jio. “Local handset players and key feature phone players have a strong know-how of the device experience of this segment and these players can potentially cash in by partnering with telecom operators, especially Jio,” he said.

Pathak, however, said that it will be difficult to target he migration from 2G to 4G entry level smartphone users, ecosystem level partnerships will be required for Jio as it will be difficult to target the segment on its own.This is mainly because there is an absence of a good entry level (sub $50) device in the market and very few OEMs have the expertise to make a device that provide a good overall experience as managing the BoM ( Bills of Material) in this segment is tricky.

"Secondly, users upgrading now to smartphones requires a lot of upskilling as compared to their previous feature phones -Language barriers, data charges, form factor are some of the key challenges which new users have. Thirdly, Jio will need to customize the overall software experience to make a dent in this segment which involves apps and OS experience," Pathak said.

"As a result of these three factors sub $50 smartphone segment never kicked off in India but a good price in this segment can actually attract some of the immediate upper tier price band users($50-$100) to downgrade in an attempt to save during this pandemic," he added.



I thought their agreement with iTel ended. That's why Jio stopped selling JioPhones and LYF phones. So they are getting a new agreement ? Why though ? Does Flex, Dixon et al not have enough domestic capacity yet ?
 

Gautam

Team StratFront
Feb 16, 2019
11,643
7,084
Tripura, NE, India
In other news, VVDN is getting the right deals everywhere. They were making WiFi 6 gear for HFCL & optic fible gear and 5G gear for Sterlite and Rakuten. Now they are getting into 5G Artificial Intelligence IoT (A-IoT) devices with MediaTek :

MediaTek partners with homegrown VVDN to launch A-IoT solutions in India

Taiwanese fabless chipmaker MediaTek on Wednesday said it has partnered with homegrown tech firm VVDN Technologies to launch a new range of MediaTek A-IoT solutions in India for home and office use cases.

By ET Telecom
September 09, 2020, 14:24 IST
1600154405937.png


NEW DELHI: Taiwanese fabless chipmaker MediaTek on Wednesday said it has partnered with homegrown tech firm VVDN Technologies to launch a new range of MediaTek AIoT solutions in India for home and office use cases.

Under the partnership, the new range of products will be rolled out in India in the fourth quarter of 2020.

MediaTek and VVDN will be working closely to design, develop, and manufacture innovative and new-age AIoT solutions, including camera solutions, home automation solutions, and Voice Assistant Devices / smart speakers, said MediaTek in an official statement.

MediaTek said through this partnership it reiterates its commitment to the ‘Make in India’ initiative. Further, the partnership comes amid the rising call for an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.

The chipmaker additionally has two R&D centers in India located in Noida and Bangalore.

“India remains a key growth market for us, both in terms of business value proposition and talent pool. We are keen to enable the ’Make in India’ narrative by collaborating with indigenous device makers like VVDN Technologies to create smart solutions in India, targeted at both Indian and global consumers,” said Anku Jain, Managing Director, MediaTek India.

“VVDN’s collaboration with MediaTek will enable us to work together on innovative and cost-effective smart devices at our Global Innovation Park (GIP) manufacturing hub in Manesar which houses an elaborate R&D, design, engineering and electronic Manufacturing Facility. We look forward to a long and successful alliance with MediaTek,” said Vivek Bansal, President Engineering and Co-Founder, VVDN Technologies.

The chipmaker also reaffirmed its commitment to enable the Indian smart devices ecosystem and boosting of 5G capabilities to make the next-gen tech accessible for all.

 

Gautam

Team StratFront
Feb 16, 2019
11,643
7,084
Tripura, NE, India
Airtel picks STL to fiberize 10 telecom circles

Updated: 15 Sep 2020, 07:42 PM IST
By Romita Majumdar
1600266821805.png

The new optical network will enable Airtel to deliver world-class customer experience through enhanced scalability, reduced latency, and improved bandwidth, claimed the companies

Mumbai:
Sterlite Technologies Limited (STL), an integrator of digital networks, today announced a partnership with telecom operator Bharti Airtel, to build a modern optical fibre network for Airtel across 10 telecom circles.

The new optical network will enable Airtel to deliver world-class customer experience through enhanced scalability, reduced latency, and improved bandwidth, claimed the companies. The densely fiberized network, will also form the foundation for many next-gen services such as 5G, FTTH, IoT, enterprise networks, and Industry 4.0. STL has been a long term partner to Airtel in the optical connectivity space and in this project, STL will closely work with Airtel to design and build a network that will shape the future of connected India.

India's fibre penetration, according to industry estimates, is extremely low, with only 25% of the 5 lakh telecom towers connected via fibre — an essential backhaul requirement to deploy high-speed data networks. Telecom experts estimate that as the demand for 4G services increases and the country moves towards 5G trials, there will be a massive need for fiberization to support wireless services as well.

Recently, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) released a consultation paper to address the slow proliferation of broadband services in the country which require a strong fibre network.

Trai has also asked for possible reasons for slower growth of FTTH (fibre-to-the-home) subscribers and what is possibly preventing Local Cable Operators (LCOs) from providing broadband services. Trai asked if the reason for slow fixed and mobile broadband speeds, are the design and capacity of core network and equipment such as RAN.

For this project, STL will use its end-to-end deployment solution – LEAD 360 deg. It comes with features like robotics cable blowing and Artificial Intelligence bots along with a pre-integrated suite of optical fibre, cable, network design, and integration services. This solution will create multiple efficiencies, enable faster launch readiness, and enhanced network quality for Airtel.

Commenting on the partnership, Randeep Sekhon, CTO, Bharti Airtel said: “We are pleased to deepen our collaboration with STL to build a competent, future ready network. Airtel has always been committed to delivering customer delight and building a connected ecosystem. This 5G-ready and high capacity network will enable us to provide faster delivery of new services, while delivering an enhanced user experience."

In July, Bharti Airtel renewed its agreement with Swedish telecom equipment provider Ericsson to provide pan-India managed network operations through Ericsson Operations Engine.

K.S. Rao, CEO- Network Services and Software, STL said “As an integrator of end-to-end digital networks, we are constantly innovating to provide smarter and intelligent networks to our customers. We are excited about this stronger and renewed strategic partnership with Airtel. The need for dense fiberization shall continue to grow on the back of investments in 5G, FTTH, data centres, and next-gen digital networks. STL, with its diverse capability across all network layers, is uniquely positioned to deliver significant value for Digital Service Providers."

Telecom operators have been upgrading their technology partnerships rapidly in light of both the geo-political concerns around equipment vendors as well as the increasing dependency on telecom services due to the global pandemic.

 

Gautam

Team StratFront
Feb 16, 2019
11,643
7,084
Tripura, NE, India
Article is paywalled but it still provides a good idea of the reason for all the recent moves by Airtel in the FTTH space

Jio Fiber holds all the broadband cards. Now it must play them

Reliance Jio is restructuring its spider web of companies to put Jio Fiber in the living rooms of 50 million homes. Armed with revamped tariff plans and a combined TV+OTT offering, it’s looking to conquer both broadband and television

By Pranav Balakrishnan, 17 Sep 2020

Highlights :
  • Internet has blurred the lines between cable tv and OTT streaming platforms, and Reliance Jio plans to take full advantage of this.
  • Its new tariffs, which begin from Rs 399, and come with a set-top box, a modem and subscriptions to nearly 12 OTT platforms.
  • Jio Fiber has the backing of RIL media empire that also includes in-house content creation platforms and cable distributors.
  • With 4G prices set to rise, Jio’s real problem however will be making sure its customers don’t go back to cable when prices finally do rise.
  • Jio Fiber holds all the broadband cards. Now it must play them.

Background

Evolutionary leaps in technology adoption are hard to pull off. Designing a better mousetrap will not result in the world beating a path to your door if people don’t realise that they have a rodent problem. Put differently, people won’t buy your brilliant solution if they don’t understand they have a problem that needs solving.

And when a widely prevalent problem intersects with a well-crafted offering, we see a “killer app”. A solution that people want badly enough for them to purchase or adopt a new offering they hitherto didn’t want.

Today’s giants like Apple and Microsoft, for instance, owe their existence to the killer app called spreadsheet programmes. VisiCalc, the world’s first modern spreadsheet software, went on sale in 1979 and gave people a reason to want to buy computers.

Back in the present, Jio—the telecom arm of India’s largest private conglomerate, Reliance Industries—has been uncharacteristically struggling for the past few years to find a killer app for its broadband services.

It wasn’t speed. Because what Jio was offering wasn’t all that disruptive for people to drop their existing ISPs. It wasn’t price or freebies either. Because even after offering “free” TVs with new subscriber contracts, Jio couldn’t win the market. By and large, Indians liked Jio’s broadband offerings, but not enough that they were signing up in droves. And Jio doesn’t have the patience for slow-burn growth.

Thus, in its second avatar now, Jio is offering a killer app bundled together with its broadband services—television.

In an extensively reported story, Pranav explains how Jio wants to own the television content bundle so that they can then offer it to Indian families as a replacement for two of their current subscriptions—cable or satellite television, and broadband. By bundling and discounting the price of existing linear TV channels and newer OTTs like Netflix, Disney+Hotstar, and Amazon Prime, Jio reckons it has found its killer app.


Summary

For the last couple of years, those on public transport have seen a curious phenomenon. People of all ages glued to their phones, whether streaming music or videos, or simply scrolling through endless TikTok (till it was banned) videos. The rise of cheap mobile data meant that you could squeeze in that extra episode of whatever you were bingeing at the moment on the bus or train ride to work. Efficient use of time, no?

Indians, especially after Reliance Jio burst onto the 4G, have gotten used to the idea of smartphones and streaming. These days, you can even watch live television on your phone. For Jio, its enticing tariff plans gave it 300 million customers. However, when the company tried to replicate its success with its Jio Fiber offering back in August 2019, people weren’t interested. Much.

For one, the price of a gigabyte of broadband data was hovering around a measly Rs 5 ($0.07). That’s not a lot of incentive when setting up a fibre connection involves dealing with customer care, getting holes drilled into your walls, getting cables laid etc, especially when the price of 4G data was less than Rs 8 ($0.11).

Jio did end up signing a million people, but fell way short of its target of 36 million connections. And so it thought. Strategised. Moved pieces around its chess board. And realised Covid was a fantastic opportunity. There was only so much Zoom calling a 4G connection could handle, even if it was Jio’s.

So it came up with a new plan. Instead of trying to woo customers one by one, it decided it would just throw everything and the kitchen sink at them. And this time, it’s also aiming higher—for 50 million connections.


Article

“The price war in broadband has begun,” a Mumbai-based analyst tells The Ken, referring to Reliance Jio’s new tariffs for its broadband offering, Jio Fiber. The last time someone said this about what is now India’s leading telco, an entire industry was upended.

..........................

 
  • Like
Reactions: Proud_Indian

Gautam

Team StratFront
Feb 16, 2019
11,643
7,084
Tripura, NE, India
Japanese telco Rakuten says collaboration with Jio on 5G possible; wants India to develop telecom supply chain

Japanese telecom operator Rakuten Mobile said that there could be a possibility of technical collaboration with Reliance Jio for the development of network technologies in the 5G domain.

By Danish Khan
ET Telecom
Updated: September 16, 2020, 17:32 IST
1600318553317.png

Rakuten Mobile CTO & Executive Vice President, Tareq Amin.

NEW DELHI: Japanese telecom operator Rakuten Mobile said that there could be a possibility of technical collaboration with Reliance Jio for the development of network technologies in the 5G domain. The telecom operator also wants to work with Indian telecom and IT service providers to develop a complete supply chain for Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP), which it wants to offer to global telecom operators, including Indian telecom operators.

“I find similarities between both the organizations [RIL and Rakuten] in many different ways...both have charismatic chairmans and their hunger and vision for what they want to do not just locally and globally is unbelievable. They share similar beliefs...I always believe competition is a very healthy thing for everybody. But I also believe collaboration is very much possible,” Rakuten Mobile chief technology officer Tareq Amin told ET in an interaction.

Rakuten has developed its own platform, Rakuten Cloud Platform (RCP), which is essentially packaging its mobile network strategy into a product, which is a “containerised, cloud platform” for 4G and 5G networks. The RCP comprises around 71 platforms through partners.

Jio, on the other hand, has also claimed that it has built its end-to-end 5G network stack which it intends to offer to global telcos after deploying in India across all circles. It is currently looking for partners to fully develop the 5G portfolio and will soon start discussions with various local players in the domain of system integration and local manufacturing of its 5G gear, ET previously reported.

Rakuten has been the most vocal supporter of OpenRAN technology and has adopted the technology to build its telecom network in Japan to offer 4G services and will soon offer 5G services as well. Jio is also expected to leverage OpenRAN technology for its own 5G telecom equipment and solutions in India.

Besides OpenRAN, Amin himself is a common link between both telecom operators. He earlier held a senior position at Reliance Jio, which he joined in 2013 and left in 2018.

Amin said that it is impossible to develop everything internally or have skill sets that cover everything end to end. “...I believe that there could be potentially a model in which collaboration is absolutely possible among operators.”

Rakuten is currently working on various different business models with a few large system integrators like Tech Mahindra in India to tap not just the Indian telecom operators but take the RCP to the global telecom market. “...we are absolutely intending to do quite a bit of strategic initiatives with Tech Mahindra and hopefully optimistically these strategic initiatives will translate into tactical actions that you would see in India, whether it is for BSNL, or maybe other future things that they might do there,” Amin said.

IT services provider Tech Mahindra recently said that its partnership with Rakuten will help it get more meaningful business in India’s telecom industry. The Indian company is working very closely with the Japanese telco for the latter’s Rakuten Cloud Platform (RCP).

Amin, who also serves as Executive Vice President, CTO of Rakuten, Inc, said the Japanese company will be “extremely active” in India to grow and enable the IT and telecom ecosystem. “If it grows, then I have another supply chain that I can go to and we feel comfortable about. It's security. After all, it's about quality and meets our technical requirements as well.”

Rakuten is currently working with Sterlite Technologies to source Wi-Fi 6 hardware for its network in Japan. Rakuten also has a stake in Altiostar, which has its engineering team in Bangalore.

“We have huge investments that we're doing in India, we have very large offices in India, we continue to grow there. And we want to be part of this journey about how to help the industry in India into this transformation and maybe possibly export the technologies that we have done,” Amin said.

The executive said that all major component makers like Qualcomm, Cisco have their hubs in the Indian market. “You guys have the entire ecosystem, maybe you just need the enablement of how to bring all these ingredients together,” he said.

“We have a great story in the making of collaboration between Rakuten and the right Indian partners that are really willing and one team to embrace and build indigenous technology in India and create a win-win model for us as Rakuten then and for future business partners in India,” Amin added.



This is the second time Rakuten CTO, Tareq Amin mentioned a possible collaboration with Jio. People like him don't just say stuff for no reason. Jio like all other Indian telecom providers don't have a cloud platform. They have to get a deal with either Microsoft's Azure or Amazon's AWS. Rakuten's RCP is a competitor to both. India is one of the largest markets for cloud services providers, both Microsoft and Amazon are setting up data centres in Telangana. Given Tech Mahindra's involvement with Rakuten in 5G, cloud services and also being the joint owner of Altiostar, it is difficult to see Tech Mahindra not offer Rakuten's RCP to BSNL on the 4G/5G network that Tech Mahindra is building for them.

So to summarize:
Sterlite recently secured a huge optical fibre deal from Airtel, they are collaborating with VVDN to make WiFi 6 & 5G Remote Radio Units(RRUs) hardware for Rakuten. ITI also secured a large fibre optic deal from Airtel. ITI also tied up with Tech Mahindra to make 4G/5G hardware for BSNL. Altiostar also got some orders from Airtel. All of these companies: Sterlite, ITI & VVDN and others like Saankhya, Signalchip etc are on Jio's radar for possible collaboration/tie ups or acquisitions.

It's raining deals for Indian telecom gear makers. Indian phone makers may have the same luck too with Jio and Airtel going in to get cheap 4G smartphones. Its good to be an equipment manufacturers these days, a far cry from the past where all electronics deals would go to the Chinese. I do hope the PLI scheme gets extended to laptop/computer makers and we see similar competition to get cheap computers with locked in SIMs from Jio and Airtel.
 

Gautam

Team StratFront
Feb 16, 2019
11,643
7,084
Tripura, NE, India
BSNL 4G: DoT panel wants Indian core, SI approach, source code of telecom gear

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) panel for Bharat Sanchat Nigam Ltd.'s (BSNL) 4G tender has recommended allowing only Indian companies to provide core network products and services to the state-run telco.

By Danish Khan
ET Telecom
Updated: September 17, 2020, 15:12 IST
1600359537984.png


NEW DELHI: The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) panel for Bharat Sanchat Nigam Ltd.'s (BSNL) 4G tender has recommended allowing only Indian companies to provide core network products and services to the state-run telco.

“The core shall be Indian...Indian vendor need to pass through PoC for proven-ness of the product...not more that two System Integrators can offer PoC for Indian Core, if that fails, BSNL will be not able to procure Core,” the committee said in its recommendations, reviewed by ET.

The government had set up a panel to recommend fresh clauses for BSNL's 4G expansion tender. This, after the government a few months back cancelled the Rs 8,697 crore 4G contract of the telco for over 50,000 sites in the backdrop of heightened Indo-China border tensions. The previous vendors - Finland's Nokia and China's ZTE - had been asked to upgrade the telco's 2G and 3G networks to 4G, but this was cancelled. The government has since decided not to allow Chinese telecom gear makers like Huawei and ZTE from participating in the bidding process to provide 4G gear to state-run telcos.

Tech Mahindra to gain ?


The recommendations if accepted will pave the way for Indian companies like Tech Mahindra that acts as a system integrator to bid for the BSNL tender for 50,000 4G sites. Even for radio access networks (RAN), it has recommended that state-run equipment vendor ITI be allowed to provide 20% of equipment with an Indian technology collaborator.

“A comprehensive Indian telecom stack needs to be put together with focus on indigenous manufacturing and national security,” the committee noted.

Tech Mahindra recently said it will bid for BSNL’s 4G tender. It has recently joined hands with ITI to build software IP, implement and maintain the 4G radio access network that will be upgraded to 5G tech.
The IT company may also partner with Japanese telco Rakuten Mobile to use the latter's Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP) for the BSNL 4G tender.

Panel wants source code


The committee has also recommended all participating vendors to submit their equipment and solutions source code, a clause that foreign vendors had previously opposed.

“The source code should be deposited in an escrow account. The escrow version of the software shall be the same as the version in the field. The source code should be compiled with non-proprietary compilers by the supplier and installed in the field. Same conditions apply for the RAN equipment also,” the committee said in its recommendations.

In its recommendations, the committee said that the RAN specifications should be open for all for which all Indian companies can bid. It added that the tender should be a 4G only tender without any requirements for 2G/3G equipment (hardware or software).

“There shall be a PoC (Proof of Concept) for the Indian companies only not having prior experience and for proven-ness of products. PoC shall be completed in 4 months. Technical specifications for PoC shall be the same as in Tender,” it said in its recommendations.

The eight-member committee, headed by DoT member (technology) K Ramchand, in its recommendations to Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, also suggested allowing system integrators to participate as lead bidders with technology consortium partners supplying the core and RAN equipment to the state-run telecom operator.

The panel also includes, T K Paul DG Telecom, Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthy, Director lIT Madras, Prof Abhay Karandikar, Director, lIT Kanpur, G. Narendra Nath, JS NSCS, S.K. Mishra. Director (CM), BSNL, Sanjeev Kumar, Director (Technical) MTNL and Sanjeev Gupta, DDG (PM) DoT, Member-Secretary.

All committee members, except BSNL, recommended that this tender should be 4G only. BSNL wants a common BBU (2G + 4G) BTS for around 22500 sites. The committee noted that no Indian vendor can provide multi-technology (2G+4G) RAN. “Moreover, the Committee feels that BSNL should not further invest in 2G technology. If required, BSNL may go for separate tender or Add-on order in Phase-8.4 tender,” the committee said.

“If proved a success, which the committee fully hopes, as per Atma Nirbhar initiative of the Government of India, this country shall have indigenous technology in the telecom sector, starting with the two PSUs,” the committee said in its presentation. “And as per the PM's vision, this country shall achieve self-reliance and also address the security concerns in the Telecom sector.”

The committee recommended that BSNL may upgrade or augment its existing 2G/3G RAN deployed in phase 8.4 tender through L-1 bidder as per the latest Ministry of Finance guidelines referred to earlier based on its techno-commercial considerations. The government had amended the General Financial Rules 2017, restricting companies from countries sharing a land border with India - such as China and Pakistan - from securing government contracts. The L-1 bidder was Finnish company Nokia, while ZTE was the L-2 bidder.

BSNL's unpaid dues: Nokia, ZTE, Ericsson seek immediate relief

BSNL owes Nokia Rs 910 crore out of which Rs 600 core is pending for allocation since January 2020. ZTE is also waiting to be paid more than Rs 1,000 crore in network-related dues by the state-run telco. Ericsson is also seeking over Rs 480 crore from BSNL in network-related dues for the phase five GSM expansion. Nokia recently told BSNL that it will terminate its employees working on BSNL project in absence of any clarity on network-related payment dues from the state-run telecom operator.


It is essentially set in stone now, BSNL's 4G deal is going to Tech Mahindra. When the deal is signed is a matter of formality. Tech Mahindra will handle software core, the hardware will be from ITI and the cloud will be from Rakuten's RCP. With this Rakuten has its 2nd 4G/5G tech deal, 1st was this :


Rakuten wants to partner with Jio. If that works that will be their 2nd deal in India. RCP is a very young platform compared to Microsoft's Azure and Amazon's AWS. Right now all 3 have one confirmed deal from an Indian telco. The only outlier is Jio, whichever cloud platform secures an order will invariably become the leader in India given Jio's market share. Given Reliance and Amazon's rivalry elsewhere I don't think Amazon's AWS will be even an option.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: Proud_Indian

Gautam

Team StratFront
Feb 16, 2019
11,643
7,084
Tripura, NE, India
JioPhone running on Android expected to release by end of 2020: Details here

Reliance Jio is set to tap into the budget smartphone market as it is looking to outsource the manufacturing of more than 10 crore smartphones based on Android OS.

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 11, 2020 10:59:16 am
1600360744991.png

The upcoming Jio Phone is set to be powered by Android OS (Express Photo)

Reliance Jio is set to tap into the budget smartphone market as it is looking to outsource the manufacturing of more than 10 crore smartphones based on Android OS. The smartphone will come along with data packs and is set to be launched in December 2020 or in the first quarter of 2021 according to a report by
Business Standard.

Earlier this year in July, Alphabet’s Google said it will invest 4.5 billion dollars (Rs 3,30,02,79,75,000). The upcoming affordable smartphone was promised by Reliance owner Mukesh Ambani in the company’s Annual General Meeting virtual event. With this move, Reliance is looking to make India a “2G-mukt Bharat”. This smartphone can either support 4G or 5G network. However, 5G is yet to be launched in India by any telecom company despite several 5G smartphones available in the Indian market.

In the AGM meeting, Reliance also revealed that it has designed and developed a complete 5G solution from scratch which will be ready for trials as soon as the 5G spectrum is available and can be ready for field deployment next year. “Jio has created a complete 5G solution from scratch, that will enable us to launch a world-class 5G service in India, using 100 per cent homegrown technologies and solutions,” Ambani said.

There is no information about the design, camera, or the processor used by the upcoming 4G/5G phone. But, it will take on the likes of Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, Motorola, and others in the affordable segment.

This will also be a major upgrade to the Jio Phone which ran on the Linux-based KaiOS platform instead of Android. However, it is to be noted that this operating system was used on a 4G feature phone. The current version of the phone, Jio Phone 2 has a QWERTY keypad, 2.4-inch QVGA TFT display, and is priced at Rs 2,999.


I do hope the domestic manufacturers bags most of the contract. With both Jio and Airtel's help mobile manufacturing will acquire even bigger scale in India.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Proud_Indian

Gautam

Team StratFront
Feb 16, 2019
11,643
7,084
Tripura, NE, India
VVDN Announces 5G IP Software for Xilinx T1 Telco Accelerator Card

16 Sep, 2020, 09:00 BST
1600361378376.png

5G network deployments accelerated with leading IP, O-RAN Fronthaul and L1 Offload to enable more efficient platforms
  • Solution delivers 10x performance increase over software only implementation (>20x solution cost reduction)
  • Engineered for Telco Grade Reliability
SAN JOSE, California: VVDN Technologies, with its complete product engineering and manufacturing expertise, is set to simplify and accelerate 5G networks using its software on the Xilinx T1 Telco Accelerator card, announced today from Xilinx Inc.
VVDN supports the Xilinx T1 – a multi-function small form factor PCIe card that performs both O-RAN fronthaul and 5G NR layer-1 acceleration in a single slot PCIe card. With its advanced offload capabilities, the Xilinx T1 provides a dramatic reduction in the number of CPU cores required in a virtualized system.
  • VVDN developed the IP's for O-RAN Fronthaul (on MPSoC ZU19EG) and 5G NR channel coding functions (on RFSoC ZU21DR), which can be offloaded to the T1 card that is designed for O-DU acceleration.
  • The L1 offload design is available from VVDN with BBDEV standard APIs, which can easily interface with compliant 5G L1 software stack.
  • O-RAN split option 7-2x fronthaul design with 2x25G Ethernet/eCPRI interfaces from VVDN is available with DPDK standard APIs for interfacing with compliant 5G L1 software stack.
Through this convergence of Soft IPs and Hardware VVDN intends to bring:
  • Interface design simplicity,
  • Transport bandwidth scalability,
  • Interoperability,
  • Lower O-RU complexity,
  • Industry standard software framework,
  • Reduced CAPEX and latency
Saurav Gupta, Vice President – Sales (North America), VVDN Technologies, said, "VVDN has put in a significant investment in 5G solutions and is committed to simplify the challenges of latency and power consumption for our customers. Taking a step further by using Xilinx's T1 and our IPs, we expect to enable efficient 5G infrastructures. We are offering IPs as well as custom engineering services both for O-RAN Fronthaul and Layer 1 offload, along-side Xilinx's T1 Telco Accelerator Card."

Dan Mansur - Vice President, Wired and Wireless Group Xilinx said, "The promise of O-RAN is here and provides a platform for engaging with ecosystem partners like VVDN to deliver the widest breadth of 5G solutions possible. Xilinx's T1 card with MPSoC and RFSoC FPGAs, along with VVDN's IP solutions for 5G baseband processing is engineered to bring significant power and cost savings, a critical benefit for advancing 5G infrastructure globally."


VVDN is doing amazing work & they are doing it organically not by buying up companies. They are making 5G RRUs, WiFi 6 gear & now 5G software IP. At this rate they will end up having almost a complete spectrum of hardware and software solutions for the telecom industry.
 

Gautam

Team StratFront
Feb 16, 2019
11,643
7,084
Tripura, NE, India
The telcos have put forth multiple options in 5G trials. The oldest were with Chinese vendors, then Jio and Airtel filed additional trials with Samsung and Nokia/Ericsson. Most recently Jio has filed for 5G trials alone without any partners. With 4G gear Jio has no Chinese vendors, Airtel is replacing their Chinese gear with European. Airtel currently uses Chinese gear in 3-4 telecom circles, it used to be 10-12 last year. VI and BSNL has the largest number of gear from Chinese makers. BSNL is going all domestic with 4G/5G. VI will continue to trouble us for the foreseeable future.

The DoT has put forth recommendations to telcos not use Chinese gear for 5G. While Sanjay Dhotre is right that DoT hasn't banned them yet, he also states the decision to ban Chinese companies is under consideration of the MHA & the decision will be taken keeping national security in mind. Curiously the article doesn't mention the MHA part. I think articles like the one here are a probing attempt to get some comment from the govt., if GoI can ban so many apps and what not the logical next step is banning these companies. GoI's ambiguity is hurting their business prospects.

These tie ups spoken of here between Jio/Airtel and Chinese companies are at least a couple of years old. Situations have changed drastically, I doubt Jio or Airtel would go ahead with something like this with or without a official ban. That said, I would very much like to see an end to ambiguities here. The GoI/MHA must declare the policy officially.
 

Gautam

Team StratFront
Feb 16, 2019
11,643
7,084
Tripura, NE, India
Rakuten wants to partner with Jio. If that works that will be their 2nd deal in India. RCP is a very young platform compared to Microsoft's Azure and Amazon's AWS. Right now all 3 have one confirmed deal from an Indian telco. The only outlier is Jio, whichever cloud platform secures an order will invariably become the leader in India given Jio's market share. Given Reliance and Amazon's rivalry elsewhere I don't think Amazon's AWS will be even an option.
Rakuten has its priorities set and they are going at it hard.

#ETDigitalTelco: Rakuten’s Tareq Amin says to form big partnerships in India for RCP

Japanese telco Rakuten Mobile said that it will soon form big partnerships with Indian companies around its Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP) and is working towards making India “a hub” of engineering for its operations.

By Danish Khan
ET Telecom
September 18, 2020, 12:19 IST
1600630273185.png


NEW DELHI: Japanese telco Rakuten Mobile said that it will soon form big partnerships with Indian companies around its Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP) and is working towards making India “a hub” of engineering for its operations.

“I personally motivated quite a bit to make India a hub for a lot of the engineering we do, because I found that we have aligned at the government level between Japan and India, or at the personal level myself with my counterparts in India, or even the company as a whole, I want to see the Rakuen Communication Platform to become a life,” Tareq Amin, CTO at Rakuten Mobile said during a fireside session at ETTelecom.com’s Digital Telco Summit.

For RCP, Amin said, Rakuten is currently examining different business models with a few large system integrators in India. “We have a great story in the making of collaboration between Rakuten and the right Indian partners that are really willing and one team to embrace and build indigenous technology in India and create a win-win model for us as Rakuten then and for future business partners in India.”

“RCP is far more than just a cloud layer. RCP comes with orchestration, the manual layer, it comes with what we call an EMS list architecture that we have built with OBF, OSS, VSS, we have a lot of portfolio companies for this, including Altiostar,” he explained. Amin said that the creation of its Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP) is a “fundamental big departure” from the traditional way of running, managing, and engineering telecommunication networks.

RCP is based on a telecoms App store principle where Rakuten has tightly integrated the IT and network workloads together and removed the complexities of integration, he said. Rakuten Mobile Wednesday said it has entered into a partnership with Spanish telecoms operator Telefonica S.A. to jointly develop OpenRAN architecture in 5G networks and to take steps to advance 5G Core and OSS (operations support systems).

Amin said telecom networks need to be built on open source technologies keeping collaboration and co-innovation in mind. Rakuten, he said, has deployed 100% of its network infrastructure on 4G and 5G openRAN platform. It is working with another Japanese company NEC to develop a standalone 5G core.

“...big initiatives to build a telecommunication network like Rakuten was not an easy task. This was a choice. We had a choice. Maybe the easier choice was to select a traditional vendor. But this was a choice to think about the world from a different lens, to think about the disruption that we want to bring to society, to believe in the engineering, organization and then people, and to build a foundation that is built for the delivery of Agile services,” he said while explaining about Rakuten’s telecom network journey.

On RCP, Amin emphasized that Rakuten Mobile doesn't consider itself as the system integrator rather as a platform provider. “What AWS did for the IT industry, we would love to do for the telco industry. My approach has been not just to go and incubate technologies by ourselves and create a black box but to work with partners as well,” he said.

“We absolutely worked tirelessly to bring all of this fragmented partner ecosystem together. And that by itself, a lot of people don't know how fragmented this ecosystem we live in,” he added.

 
  • Like
Reactions: Proud_Indian

Gautam

Team StratFront
Feb 16, 2019
11,643
7,084
Tripura, NE, India
#ETDigitalTelco: Airtel, Vodafone Idea urge govt to release spectrum in E & V bands for 5G backhaul

Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel have urged the Indian government to release spectrum in E and V bands which will enable telecom operators to build a strong backhaul as they modernise their existing 4G networks with 5G-ready technologies.

By Danish Khan
ET Telecom
September 18, 2020, 18:02 IST
1600630641018.png


NEW DELHI: Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel have urged the Indian government to release spectrum in E and V bands which will enable telecom operators to build a strong backhaul as they modernise their existing 4G networks with 5G-ready technologies.

“...there are some enabling things related to spectrum as well, which is the backhaul. E-band spectrum, which is for the backhaul...The government should really take a look at and see what they can do to make it more readily available. The operators will need that backhaul, there's no point in putting in a lot of spectrum in the front end of the radio without having a proper backhaul,” Vishant Vora, CTO at Vodafone Idea said. He was speaking at ETTelecom.com’s Digital Telco virtual summit.

Bharti Airtel’s CTO Randeep Sekhon also said that spectrum in E-band and V-band will be key to 5G backhaul in India, adding that the government will have to allow these bands at the earliest. “A robust transport network is needed. 5G will need backhaul, which will be much larger than the backhaul of a 4G site needs because of the sheer spectrum 5G brings in. Backhaul readiness is what Airtel is doing,” Sekhon said during a fireside session at the Digital Telco virtual summit. Sekhon said that Airtel is already deploying 5G-ready technology in its wireless and backhaul networks.

TRAI had given its recommendations in November 2015 and even after almost 5 years, no decision has been finalised. Telcos and internet service providers want the use of spectrum in these bands to be restricted to them, others support delicensing as it will allow more companies to offer Wi-Fi services.

Airwaves in the E band, which falls between 71-76 GHz and 81-86 Ghz, and V band, between 57-64 GHz, can transmit data with speed of around 1,000 megabit per second. The bands are mostly used as backhaul, which means connecting the core of a telecom network to nodes and then onto towers, to transmit data. In places where telcos cannot lay fibre – – which typically requires manpower for laying and maintaining, national and local level permissions besides a lot of investments – the E and V bands can be used, which is also more cost efficient when compared to fibre.

This spectrum is also called fibre wireless or fixed spectrum, because like fibre it has the capacity to carry bandwidth since it is point-to-point, but it is not used for direct mobile connectivity. The telecom regulator had recommended that both E (71-76 gigahertz frequency and 81-86 Ghz) and V (57-64 Ghz frequency range) bands should be opened up in the country for acceleration of broadband penetration and DoT should accelerate the process of opening these bands in line with other technologically developed countries of the world.

The V band has been delicensed in countries like the USA, UK, Canada, China, Australia, Japan etc. TRAI had recommended that E-band spectrum should be charged at Rs10,000 per annum per slot of 250 MHz each and there should be an initial promotional discount of 50% for three years from the date of allocation of first carrier in this band. For spectrum in V-band, the regulator has recommended that it should be charged at Rs1,000 per annum per slot of 50 MHz each. Prices will be reviewed after 5 years based on deployment and usage.



Excellent suggestions. The only problem is ISRO already uses these bands. Especially the V-band. The E-band is relatively unused in India, at least users aren't publicly known.
 

AbRaj

Well-Known member
Dec 6, 2017
764
587
Republic of Wadiya
Global vendors don't want to agree to India's TSDSI's 5G RIT (Radio Interface Technology) standard even though it is compatable. The Indian RIT standard wants to have 6km radius for large cell remote radio units(RRU) in rural locales, where as the global companies want 3GPP's 3km standard. The opposition is largely commercially driven as having a small radius will require more RRU deployments thus benefitting the radio vendors. This is why having domestic capability and setting your own standards is necessary.


One contract after the other for ITI. After the recent FTTH contract from Airtel, now they are going to get another from Army Static Switched Communication Network (ASCON) Phase IV tender :


In other news, the liberalisation of satcom policy as is suggested below will greatly benefit Airtel. Airtel has brought the OneWeb company and SATCOM based broadband is what OneWeb offers. This is perhaps the only great technology differentiator that Airtel has over Jio. Also if SATCOM based broadband usage blows up in India like SATCOM based TV broadcast did, then internet connectivity especially at the last miles of the country will be greatly enhanced. This will also benefit Airtel's terrestrial telecom network by reducing load and thus enabling faster internet speeds.

There is a lot of infrastructure is getting renovated in the nearby ITI plant. Its was nonfunctional since my childhood. (I thought Govt sold it to some pvt company but hearing many positive news about ITI, I think I was wrong)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gautam

AbRaj

Well-Known member
Dec 6, 2017
764
587
Republic of Wadiya
So got myself ET prime membership, read that article and here is what I found. Airtel and Jio are targeting the 400 million featurephone market and trying to get them to upgrade to a smartphone. The spec sheet of the phones Airtel is looking for :
  • 5-inch touch screen
  • 8GB RAM
  • Android OS probably
  • Price up to Rs. 2500
  • Locked in Airtel 4G SIM
Airtel will bulk purchase the phones and spread out the cost over time. Airtel is even planning to reduce the acquisition cost by spreading out the phone & data prices. Even at low cost they will have an user that is locked in with Airtel. Ditto as Jio's Jio Phone plans. Airtel is undecided whether to sell the phone under their own brand or use the manufacturers brand and call it bundled services.

LAVA, Micromax & Karbonn are the 3 manufacturers Airtel met. All 3 manufacturers are going to launch new products in months time.

Next part is pure speculations in my mind:
View attachment 17728

LAVA has already launched their new Z66. It not bad looking at all. Specs :
  • 3 GB RAM
  • 32 GB internal memory, expandable Upto 128 GB
  • 15.44 cm (6.08 inch) HD+ Display | Resolution 720x1560 pixels
  • 13MP + 5MP Back camera | 13MP Front Camera
  • 3950 mAh Lithium Polymer Battery
  • 1.6 GHz Octa Core Processor
  • Android 10 OS
  • Connectivity : Micro USB, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, 3.5mm audio jack etc

That's a lot of phone for Rs. 7,777. LAVA designed these in India, screen is from Samsung's display fab, processor from Taiwan, manufacturing and assembly in India. Currently only available online, was launched during the online sales season. All sold out in a day.

Except the RAM all else is better than what Airtel wants. Increase the RAM and bulk manufacture these I say. Given the target market is 400 million strong, I am sure if Airtel commits to buy 100s of millions of these price can easily tumble bellow Rs. 2500.
Though I trust your source, I doubt Airtel would take such a risk. AFAIK Airtel follows more of a adaptive (less risk taking) than disruptive approach.
Even jio smartphones are not that popular despite their lesser price.

But the idea if true is good no doubt and I hope its true.

Also looks like we are going the US way ie Varizon and AT&T way
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gautam

Gautam

Team StratFront
Feb 16, 2019
11,643
7,084
Tripura, NE, India
Reliance Jio says “fine-tuning” 4G network to prepare for 5G services; use cases important

Reliance Jio, India’s 4G-only telecom operator said that it is currently working on “fine-tuning” its 4G network to prepare for 5G services in the country, and a certain focus in on finalising a footprint for this high-speed services upon the availability of commercial spectrum

By Danish Khan
ET Telecom
September 21, 2020, 12:32 IST
1600710877678.png

Shyam Mardikar, Group CTO -Mobility of Reliance Jio. (File Photo)

NEW DELHI: Reliance Jio, India’s 4G-only telecom operator said that it is currently working on “fine-tuning” its 4G network to prepare for 5G services in the country, and a certain focus in on finalising a footprint for this high-speed services upon the availability of commercial spectrum. Getting the infrastructure ready is an “end to end” transformation project for Jio, Shyam Mardikar, Group CTO -Mobility of Reliance Jio, adding that the telco is in a good position to move on very seamlessly from its existing 4G network with the scale and capability towards a brand new 5G network.

“From an infrastructure perspective, with all the advantages we have got, the only thing which we are now aligning ourselves to understand what kind of footprint we need to create and what kind of then fine-tuning towards this existing infrastructure, which we have been building over last six, eight years to service our 400 million customers on 4G today, and then 5G tomorrow is going to happen,” Mardikar said in a panel discussion of ETTelecom’s Digital Telco summit.

Mardikar said that 5G will be the “socket” for the new age digital world and will connect all cross-industry collaborative forces like education, medicine, industry 4.0 to build their use cases. “...the whole realization of 5G is crucial. Telecom will become a use case or application or vertical driven industry. From a fiber perspective, from an IP perspective, from a buyer perspective, the first lever is getting around infrastructure readiness for 5G.”

Mardikar said that the telco is also looking at the power readiness for new radio equipment for 5G which will consume more power than existing 4G equipment. “...most of the new radios will start consuming more power and getting the sites upgraded to handle those new radios will be another point on the infrastructure side.”

Mardikar said that the 4G-only telco has heavily invested in getting its telecom towers fiberised. “ The fiber penetration which is another one of the most important critical levers for getting 5G operationalized is also playing to our advantage,” he said during a panel discussion at the event. Mardikar added that Jio will have a clear “head start” towards its readiness for 5G because of its IP-based non-legacy network.

Jio, he said, has the “whole network intelligence piece” ready for the network elasticity which will be crucial in the 5G space. “Our network intelligence includes understanding the customer behavior, understanding the network performance, correlating them digitally over a big data platform, and then taking those digital decisions will harness this whole elasticity of the network.”

Jio recently said that it has built its end-to-end 5G network stack which it intends to offer to global telcos after deploying in India across all circles. It is currently looking for partners to fully develop the 5G portfolio and will soon start discussions with various local players in the domain of system integration and local manufacturing of its 5G gear.

The telco is awaiting the telecom department’s nod to start 5G field trials in the country using its own technology along with gear from its partners.

 

Gautam

Team StratFront
Feb 16, 2019
11,643
7,084
Tripura, NE, India
A $50 smartphone is Mukesh Ambani's weapon to dominate India's telecom market

Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani is aiming to remake the country’s smartphone industry much like he did in wireless services, where his aggressive prices and simple plans quickly made him the dominant force.

By Saritha Rai, Bloomberg
Updated: September 22, 2020, 19:33 IST



Reliance Industries Ltd. has asked local suppliers to ramp up production capacity in India so they can make as many as 200 million smartphones over the next two years, according to people familiar with the matter, a potentially enormous boost for the country’s technology ambitions and a warning shot to rivals such as Xiaomi Corp.

India’s most valuable company is in talks with domestic assemblers to make a version of its Jio phone that would run on Google’s Android and cost about 4,000 rupees ($54), said the people, asking not to be identified since the plans are private. The inexpensive phones will be marketed with low-cost wireless plans from Reliance Jio, the parent company’s carrier, they said.

Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani is aiming to remake the country’s smartphone industry much like he did in wireless services, where his aggressive prices and simple plans quickly made him the dominant force. The billionaire is also aligning himself with the Indian government’s plans to build more domestic manufacturing, a possible boost for local assemblers like Dixon Technologies India, Lava International and Karbonn Mobiles.

“We are of course trying to build our domestic companies. We have a sweet spot in entry level phones,” said Pankaj Mohindroo, chairman of the India Cellular & Electronic Association, during an interview on Bloomberg Television. “The world has realized that India is a great place to do business and a great place to do manufacturing also.”

Representatives for Reliance declined to comment. Reliance’s target of selling 150 million to 200 million phones over two years would represent a massive boost for local factories. India assembled an estimated 165 million smartphones in the year ended March, and about an equal number of basic feature phones, according to Mohindroo’s association. About a fifth of the smartphones cost less than 7,000 rupees, or about $100.

Reliance rival Bharti Airtel is also in talks with assemblers to build its own 4G device, local media has reported. The Business Standard reported earlier that Ambani was considering outsourcing phone-making. Reliance in July struck a broad alliance with Google, in which the Alphabet Inc. unit would invest $4.5 billion and cooperate on technology initiatives. The partnership is still under regulatory review so Reliance is proceeding with the mobile phone initiative on its own for now.

Ambani has drawn more than $20 billion in investments from U.S. giants like Facebook Inc. for Jio Platforms Pvt, whose subsidiary Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. is placing the order. It’s worked with assemblers on prototypes for at least two years in secret and can bring a phone rapidly to market, though it’s likely to miss the November Diwali shopping season, the people said.

If Reliance succeeds in popularizing the new gadget, it could lift the prospects for Jio Platforms, accelerating Ambani’s efforts to build an empire spanning e-commerce, social media and games. Many of Jio’s nearly 400 million users use no-frills second-generation devices, paying $2 monthly for voice and data -- a large potential market for the new device. It could eventually erode the market share of Chinese phonemakers such as Xiaomi.

“Jio has an opportunity to target more than half billion Indians who don’t own a smartphone and trigger a blue ocean market opportunity,” said Neil Shah, research director at Counterpoint Research. “With Reliance expected to work with Indian vendors, Chinese brands will lose out on a potential opportunity and market share”. Reliance’s own requirements could hover around 5 million gadgets per month initially, but no single Indian company currently has that kind of capacity so the order will get split between multiple assemblers, the people said. At least two domestic smartphone makers are in discussions with the telecom giant, the people added.

Phones have become essential for accessing lite versions of apps from WhatsApp to YouTube in a country with an average GDP per capita of around $2,000. That’s why basic devices costing between $100 and $250 accounted for three-quarters of sales in the second quarter of 2020, according to Counterpoint. Reliance’s fourth-generation wireless gadgets -- one tier below 5G -- are aimed at the estimated 350 million users of basic or feature phones that now dominate India’s industry. Speaking at an industry event a few weeks ago, Ambani said millions were “trapped in the 2G era”. “Their feature phones keep them excluded, even from the basic uses of internet at a time where both India and the rest of the world are standing at the doorsteps of 5G telephony,” he said.

The pandemic is spurring people to upgrade and creating new market opportunities. For example, parents are anxious to put a device in the hands of their kids so they can keep up with online lessons. There’re an estimated 250 million children between the ages of 6 and 16, according to UNICEF. “If they’re successful in getting even 10% of this base to upgrade, Jio can become one of the leading smartphone brands of 2021,” Shah said.