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Tech Analyst Calls Jio Partnership With Qualcomm to Bring 5G to India a 'Breath of Fresh Air'

© REUTERS / Shailesh AndradeCommuters use their mobile phones as they wait at a bus stop with an advertisement of Reliance Industries' Jio telecoms unit, in Mumbai
Commuters use their mobile phones as they wait at a bus stop with an advertisement of Reliance Industries' Jio telecoms unit, in Mumbai - Sputnik International
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US-based chipmaker Qualcomm hosted a virtual event on Tuesday night and announced that in partnership with the Indian telco Jio, they were able to achieve a superfast internet speed of 1GBPS while working on developing independent 5G tech for India. Jio, with 385 million users, is India’s largest telco, headed by Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani.

Presently, both India and the US are tightening up scrutiny over the involvement of Chinese tech giants in their 5G-enabled future against the backdrop of Coronavirus and trade tensions.

Taking advantage of the situation, earlier in July, 63-year-old Indian business tycoon Mukesh Ambani announced that his telecom brand Jio was working on developing a made-in-India 5G technology to reduce dependency on foreign players. 

During the event, representatives from the companies revealed that Qualcomm and Jio were able to develop a secure Radio Access Network (RAN) for this 5G working system. A RAN makes for an integral part of a 5G system as it manages radio communications between the base station and mobile devices using the high-speed internet.

​Commenting on Jio and Qualcomm teaming up to develop an independent 5G tech and infrastructure for India, senior tech analyst Achen Jhaker said this “enormous step comes as a breath of fresh air against the monopolistic reign that China projects to have established in the area of 5G with its equipment makers like Huawei and ZTE”. 

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Everyone knows about China’s habit of waging snooping wars on other countries using their front line companies. Governments all over the globe have either banned or giving serious thoughts about banning tech products and apps from China. Qualcomm and Jio’s foray in the world of 5G equipment manufacturing is a welcome step globally. For far too long everyone has struggled with monopolistic reign of China,” Jhaker told Sputnik. 

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US President Donald Trump has often accused Chinese tech players of spying on other nations for classified information, putting national security at risk - an allegation that Beijing and the accused firms have repeatedly denied. The US lack of trust in China with data security has played a vital role in the trade war that kept both, US and China tense, even before Coronavirus happened. 

Last year, snubbing the US’ constant warnings concerning national data security, India allowed Chinese tech players to participate in its 5G trials.

India was supposed to move forward with its 5G trials in the beginning of this year, but the pandemic outbreak pushed the trials to 2021.

In April, however, China entered a deadly border dispute with India in the Ladakh region. Both countries blamed each other for violating the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

In a string of “digital strikes”, India banned over 230 Chinese apps from operating in the country, citing national security reasons.

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In recent months, India has been trying to limit China’s involvement in its development.

Hence, Jio’s partnership with Qualcomm in developing a 5G infrastructure for India comes as a welcomed step, the analyst said.

“India being one of the largest telecom markets in the world has a massive in-house requirement for high-speed networks and with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative being taken seriously by everyone, this is truly a great moment. 5G system created by Jio, which is world’s third largest telecom company backed by Qualcomm’s advanced technologies will surely emerge as a great alternative to similar products in fthe market,” Jhaker added.

The news has created a buzz on social media in India, with netizens giving mixed reactions. While some say this is good news, the others say they are not so sure as yet. 

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