Bharti Group Chairman Sunil Mittal stated that the funds from the rights issue would be deployed in 5G, fibre (both for 5G and Home and Broadband) and data centres. With 15% of the handsets shipped being 5G-capable today and 5G auctions planned in early 2022. Airtel sees 5G rollouts happening in a staggered manner from second half of 2022. We estimate that 5G handsets to constitute 40%/15% of the installed handset base in metros/India; Airtel’s rollout could thus be timely. Airtel expects 5G to become a reality and devices to become fairly prevalent in metros by 2H2022. This would be followed by increase in spread in smaller towns. It hopes that the government makes 5G spectrum prices attractive. In home Broadband, it targets
Reliance Jio has stated that it will start developing its own 5G solution, which it will roll out by end of 2021 provided they are allotted the required spectrum band by DoT’s SACFA. Jio will most likely follow the ORAN (Open Radio Access Network), as done by some other developers like Rakuten in Japan. The general idea is the software developers will combine their software with general-purpose hardware (from Intel, Nvidia, etc.), along with radios from similar vendors.
Reliance Jio in conjunction with other local IT players, has managed to build its own 5G software stack and is likely embracing Open RAN techniques or possibly even Cloud-RAN as an architecture. This would allow them to avoid paying to network gear vendors (i.e. Ericsson, Nokia or Samsung in lids case for 4G) and potentially allow them to export their expertise to