Mukesh Ambani: India tycoon launches $25bn 5G rollout plan

Indian multi-billionaire Mukesh Ambani has announced a $25bn (£21.3bn) plan to launch 5G mobile internet services in the country within two months, BBC reported.

Mr Ambani, who heads the telecoms-to-retail group Reliance Industries, says the high-speed network will be introduced first in major cities, including New Delhi and Mumbai.

He said it will then be expanded to the rest of India by December 2023.

The company is also working with Google to develop a budget 5G smartphone.

Speaking on Monday at Reliance’s annual general meeting, Mr Ambani said that once the firm’s 5G network is fully operational it would be the biggest in the world.

The service will be rolled out through Reliance’s subsidiary Jio – which is India’s largest mobile carrier.

Mr Ambani also said that Reliance was working with US technology giant Google to develop an “ultra-affordable” 5G smartphone, without giving further details on its price or planned launch date.

The cheapest 5G-ready smartphones in India currently cost around $150.

The announcements came as the battle for domination in India’s digital future is heating up.

Earlier this month, the Indian government concluded a record $19bn auction for airwaves, including 5G airwaves, where Jio emerged as the top buyer.

It also drew bids from other major players Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel – and a fourth new entrant, Adani Data Networks.

The fifth generation of high-speed mobile internet – or 5G – supports emerging technologies such as driverless cars and artificial intelligence.

It seen to be central to India’s plans to transform the country into a $1tn digital economy.

In May, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that 5G would “not only accelerate internet speed but also boost development and employment.”

Mr Ambani also said that Reliance was working with US technology giant Google to develop an “ultra-affordable” 5G smartphone, without giving further details on its price or planned launch date.

The cheapest 5G-ready smartphones in India currently cost around $150.

The announcements came as the battle for domination in India’s digital future is heating up.

Earlier this month, the Indian government concluded a record $19bn auction for airwaves, including 5G airwaves, where Jio emerged as the top buyer.

It also drew bids from other major players Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel – and a fourth new entrant, Adani Data Networks.

The fifth generation of high-speed mobile internet – or 5G – supports emerging technologies such as driverless cars and artificial intelligence.

It seen to be central to India’s plans to transform the country into a $1tn digital economy.

In May, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that 5G would “not only accelerate internet speed but also boost development and employment.”

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