Reliance Jio GenNext, a startup accelerator of telecom operator Reliance Jio Infocomm’s parent Reliance Industries, has made buyout or investment proposals to companies like Vihaan Networks, Himachal Futuristic Communications, Tejas Networks, Lekha Wireless, Signalchip, Nivetti, Mymo Wireless and Niral Networks to launch a locally built next-generation 5G network.
Reliance Jio GenNext advises and mentors founders of startups and brings them into the Jio fold through commercial partnerships and strategic investments.
“India has all the expertise available to develop latest and complex telecom products, many of which have large software content, where India is considerably strong,” said RK Bhatnagar, former advisor, Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
In July 2020, Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani had announced during the Annual General Meeting that the company’s subsidiary – Jio Platforms had developed a complete 5G technology, which would enable the company to launch a ‘Made in India’ 5G solution. Ambani had said that the company’s 5G solution would be ready for trial once the country’s 5G auctions begin.
This major decision of buyout is also in line with the Indian government’s move to promote Atma Nirbhar (self-reliance) Mission to develop homegrown technology. Reliance Jio claims to be building its own 5G software stack and embrace Open-RAN techniques will help it save up on hefty premium payouts to existing 4G networks suppliers. Moreover, Jio’s pact with Qualcomm Inc would also help it roll out advanced 5G infrastructure and services.
In 2018, Reliance had bought US-based Radisys to accelerate innovation in the areas of Internet of Things (IoT), 5G and open-source based architecture adoption, and its push for local enterprises would further build on the company’s acquired capabilities.
Bengaluru-based Niral Networks, an open source networking operating software provider, confirmed that Jio’s startup accelerator had sent a proposal but did not divulge any further details.
“We have been interested in selling our networking equipment to Jio. Our home-grown solution is an alternative to the likes of Huawei and Cisco. If Jio can support us in our vision by using our product in their 5G network, it will also help us to grow internationally,” said a Niral Networks spokesperson.