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Qualcomm, Reliance Jio light up India’s first 5G trials, top 1Gbps speeds

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Reliance Jio-led super app battle to intensify in India in 2021

By Nikhila Natarajan (IANS) Inching closer to its 5G rollout, India’s Reliance Jio, which counts 400 million subscribers on its 4G network in India, achieved a 1000 Mbps throughput milestone for its first round of 5G trials in partnership with US wireless-communication chip giant Qualcomm Inc.

The two companies announced that they have achieved over a 1 Gbps (1,000 MBPS) speed on the Reliance Jio 5GNR solution and the Qualcomm 5G RAN Platform.

Two standout features – phenomenal speed and stunning reduction in latency – will separate current 4G/LTEA networks from fifth generation (5G) networks. The new technology is drummed up to transport us into a world where entire movies can be downloaded in seconds and the time between command and execution is nearly wiped out, leading to exciting new applications in the realm of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Oommen pointed to the combined muscle of Qualcomm’s chips that are crucial for superfast 5G networks and smartphones and Jio Platforms’ scale to deliver a homegrown 5G solution.

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At the RIL AGM 2020, Chairman Mukesh Ambani announced plans for a 100 percent “homegrown 5G” network in India.

Currently, only the US, South Korea, Australia, Switzerland and Germany are able to offer 1GBPS speeds to 5G customers, RIL said.

Qualcomm’s 5G thrust comes at a time of escalating US and China tensions over tech leadership.

Qualcomm CEO Steven Mollenkopf has described as a “mortal sin” the scenario that the company is not prepared for the 5G opportunity riding on the back of geopolitical tensions.

“We’ve really got a great opportunity with where 5G goes. Let’s not blow it. When the pandemic struck my view was that the mortal sin is to not be prepared for the opportunity on the back side of this,” Mollenkopf told The Wall Street Journal, earlier this month.

5G has emerged as a new frontier for US-China rivalry, with the most dramatic escalation coming in the summer of 2020. Starting from within its own borders, the US is leading a worldwide campaign to convince foreign governments, particularly those in allied nations, to bar Chinese 5G from their advanced telecommunications networks, arguing that allowing them into those systems would lead to violations of their citizens’ privacy.

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The US sees Huawei, the world’s largest telecoms equipment company, as an arm of the Chinese Communist Party’s surveillance state, and therefore a conduit to sabotage.

On July 12 this year, Qualcomm Ventures, the investment arm of Qualcomm Inc, committed to invest upto Rs 730 crore in Jio Platforms which translated into a 0.15 per cent equity stake in Jio Platforms on a fully diluted basis. Jio Platforms Ltd is a majority-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), India’s largest private sector company, with a consolidated turnover of Rs 659,205 crore ($87.1 billion) and net profit of Rs 39,880 crore ($5.3 billion) for the year ended March 31, 2020.

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