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NEW DELHI : Bharti Enterprises chairman Sunil Mittal on Tuesday said India will be ready for rollout of 5G technology in the next two-three years, even as rival Mukesh Ambani claimed his company would launch the fifth-generation wireless service in the second half of 2021.

“I think India, to my mind, in two or three years’ time will be ready to receive the benefit of the investment that the globe would have made onto the 5G standard and 5G ecosystem," Mittal said at the fourth edition of the India Mobile Congress.

Ambani, who was also speaking at India Mobile Congress, said the country requires policy developments for early implementation of 5G services. His telecom company Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd has developed an indigenous 5G solution, he added.

Mittal reiterated Bharti Airtel Ltd’s stand that the next generation of mobile technology will need more time to be rolled out across the country. Airtel’s chief executive Gopal Vittal has repeatedly said the ecosystem for 5G is underdeveloped and that spectrum is expensive.

Ambani, who was speaking at the fourth edition of India Mobile Congress, said the country required policy developments for early implementation of 5G services. His telecom company Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd has developed an indigenous 5G solution, he added.

Vittal, in an analysts’ call, said the fundamental issue with 5G is the cost of spectrum, which “is way over the top for any kind of business model to work". “We have always maintained that the indicative reserve price on the spectrum of 5G, the 3.5 GHz band, is very, very expensive, and we will not be able to afford it at those levels," he said.

"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," Ambani said on Tuesday.

In October, Jio Platforms Ltd announced that it is working with US-based Qualcomm Inc. to develop 5G solutions and accelerate efforts to bring the high-speed network to the world’s second largest mobile market by subscribers.

Ambani, at RIL’s 43rd annual general meeting in July, had said, “Jio has developed a complete 5G solution from scratch. This will enable us to launch a world class 5G service in India using a 100% homegrown technology and solution".

He had said the made-in-India solution will be ready for field deployment next year, and Jio will be able to easily upgrade its 4G network to 5G due to the telco’s converged network infrastructure.







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