Indian telecom giant – Jio backed by Reliance Industries, will not use Chinese components for its upcoming 5G network, as told by the chairman Mukesh Ambani. He also added that Reliance Jio is currently the only network in the world that does not use a single Chinese component for its pan-India LTE-Advanced network.
While India’s other two major operators Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have jointly submitted their proposals to Ericsson, Nokia, Huawei and ZTE, Jio has partnered with South Korean company Samsung for both 4G as well as 5G networks.
Jio has also recently established an alliance with Microsoft to accelerate digital transformation in India. The telco had disrupted telecom sector in India 4 years ago with its free data and voice offers which were later turned into cheapest plans. In the present day, Jio has highest market share in India (~33%) with 100% VoLTE network. Jio’s consumer plans start from $2 that offers unlimited free voice across the country and 42 GB of LTE data for 1 month. It also has cheap pay-as-you-go rates for ISD calls and international roaming. The company has been prompt and consistent in improving its quality of service and responding to consumer feedback.
While 5G spectrum auctions in India are still on the way, other operators from India are currently suffering from various financial issues. Jio has a huge plus-side, customer base and strong backing for its upcoming 5G launch. Thus, Jio will undoubtedly be the first on India’s 5G radar.
Thailand’s leading mobile operator, AIS (Advanced Information Services) has launched its 5G service on 2600 MHz band acquired from the recent auction. AIS has highest market share in Thailand. The telco plans to spend additional 450 billion USD on 5G network expansion in next 12 months.
AIS has thousands of cell sites compatible with 2600 MHz band for 5G services. However, the full-fledged 5G adaption needs collaboration from all related stakeholders. AIS chief has invited all the industries to collaborate to shape up the ecosystem and develop the use cases. AIS currently has 16 million customers on LTE network. These customers can immediately benefit from the 5G service with 400% increased data speed, provided they have 5G handsets compatible with 2600 MHz band.
Samsung’s recently launched Galaxy S20 Ultra can be used with AIS’s 5G network, the same will be available in the country from March 6. Promotional packages for AIS’s 5G service will be introduced by April.
Currently, no information is available on mmWave 5G network of AIS. However, the country’s second largest operator True Move H Universal Communications (TUC) has acquired nine licenses on 2600 MHz band and eight licenses on 26 GHz mmWave band. TUC plans to use seven of these licenses for 5G service with the launch underway.
World’s biggest mobile trade event – the Mobile World Congress (MWC), which was scheduled to begin this year from February 24, has been cancelled citing the fears due to global epidemic of coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Many speculations were being made about the cancellation of MWC 2020 after major tech brands bailed out from the participation.
GSMA, the organizer of MWC released a statement on Wednesday confirming the cancellation of the event. GSMA regards this to the safety and health environment in Barcelona, Spain – the host city and the country. Coronavirus from China is a serious concern as this is the first time in 33 years that this annual mega event is not taking place.
This cancellation is a consequence of the current mobile market’s status, as China arguably leads as the world smartphone power. One major consequence of this cancellation is the economic impact on Barcelona as many companies are directly responsible for organisation and logistics of MWC. According to the data from GSMA, MWC received close to 110,000 visitors during last year from all over the world with 1 million business meetings being carried out.
Let’s come to the biggest question now – what will happen to the scheduled launch events and meetings? Various manufacturers have responded to this decision of GSMA by rescheduling their launch events to later dates, preferably online.
OPPO has rescheduled the launch of its latest 5G flagship, OPPO Find X2 in March with more information being shared soon. Realme will be launching its first 5G smartphone, X50 Pro 5G on February 24 online in Madrid. Xiaomi has also responded saying it will arrange a separate launch event for Mi Note 10 in Europe at later date. Any important business meetings scheduled at the event will anyways continue to happen online.
The cancellation of MWC 2020 is supposed to cause estimated loss of millions of Euros for all the stakeholders which include not just organizers, manufacturers and brands and also hotels and travel industry.