Jio says it has completed 5G coverage planning for 1,000 top Indian cities

5G planning Jio India
City lights of India from space. Image by scaliger | Bigstockphoto

Reliance Jio, India’s top telecom operator, says it has completed 5G coverage planning for 1,000 top cities based on targeted customer consumption and revenue potential.

The Mukesh Ambani-led telecom operator is using heat maps, 3D maps and ray tracing technology for precise coverage planning to target high consumption and high perception locations.

“…in advance of the full-scale rollout, we have already started the planning work for rolling out the 5G network. Thanks to the rich analytics that we have and the very clear visibility that we have of usage across our network, we have a very specific understanding of where the data consumption is the highest and growing is the highest,” Jio President Kiran Thomas said in the earning calls on Friday evening.

Thomas said that the telecom operator now has very clear visibility about all the handsets, especially 5G-ready handsets, connecting to its network and the locations from where they are connecting.

“And, we are using the most modern approaches towards network planning, especially 3D maps and ray tracing technology because, 5G is pretty unique technology, which requires very advanced network planning techniques, and we are undertaking that for all of India, so that as and when the approvals are received for us to roll this network, we will be well geared-up to prioritise our rollout, where we can make the maximum contribution,” Thomas added.

Jio is also augmenting fibre and power across all of its sites to prepare for 5G. “…as the time comes to roll out 5G gear, especially when we have fibre assets, we have all of the planning in place to be able to deploy that extremely quickly,” he added.

The company has also created a seed team for product management in India and USA, dedicated vertical for partnerships and alliances, and a technical team in Europe developing long term 5G capabilities to make a rich set of 5G solutions available in India, “on par or even better than the rest of the world.”

“And, we have even initiated certain partnerships, as well as we’ve created a technical team in Europe to develop long term capabilities, even beyond 5G,” he said.

To fine-tune its indigenously developed 5G technology, Jio is undertaking active 5G field trials across multiple cities in India. Some of the 5G use cases include 5G robots delivering food trays to patients controlled by a fleet management system in the cloud; connected ambulances streaming vital information via 5G; 5G site inspection using a 5G connected drone; and 5G Robotics in warehouse automation.

Jio claimed to have developed its operating system, Jio OS, for its home devices such as set-top boxes, used as shared devices for connected home solutions.

Jio’s net profit increased about 9.8% year-on-year in the October-December quarter at Rs 3,615 crore ($488.51 million), driven by higher data and voice consumption and growing average revenue per user (ARPU). The company, however, lost mobile subscribers for the second successive quarter, which it said was a result of SIM consolidation and was mostly of low-end users. It closed the quarter with 421 million subscribers.

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