Nokia, Ericsson and Samsung have managed to secure 5G equipment deals from India’s top two telecom operators, Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel, which have skipped considering China’s Huawei and ZTE from their 5G network deployment strategy.
While Samsung has managed to secure network business from Bharti Airtel for the first time, Europe’s Ericsson and Nokia will reportedly get network business from Reliance Jio, which has worked solely with Samsung for 4G wireless network-related requirements.
With these new contracts, Huawei and ZTE’s presence will be reduced further as Airtel will remove their 4G equipment with those provided by Nokia, Ericsson and Samsung, according to a report by the Economic Times.
Huawei and ZTE will only be present with cash-strapped telecom operator, Vodafone Idea, which hasn’t awarded 5G contracts and is still in talks with all vendors.
The report said that Airtel decided to award 5G business to Korea’s Samsung in some of its telecom circles due to its concerns over the possible duopoly of Nokia and Ericsson in the absence of Chinese vendors.
The publication reported that Sweden’s Ericsson might emerge as the most prominent 5G vendor for Reliance Jio. Ericsson has been aggressive with its equipment pricing to secure more business in the country.
The Mukesh Ambani-led telco will place a “significantly bigger purchase order” with Ericsson besides giving deals to Nokia and Samsung after the conclusion of the ongoing spectrum auction. Nokia and Ericsson were in talks for 5G trials with Jio.
The report added that Jio is planning to replicate its 4G network deployment strategy and will aggressively roll out new 5G sites to cover more urban cities under the first phase of the commercial launch. On the other hand, Airtel will place an order of 15,000-20,000 5G sites in the initial stage.
“Nokia and Ericsson’s 5G gear is better than those of Samsung in terms of performance quality,” a source was quoted while explaining the logic behind the telco’s move to look beyond Samsung. European vendors are aggressive in terms of trading margins to get entry into Jio’s network, he added,
Jio plans to cover the entire population in the next 3-4 years with its 5G and will deploy many more 5G sites this fiscal year than Airtel. Both operators will launch non-standalone 5G in the initial phase.