Reliance Jio named Ericsson and Nokia as RAN equipment suppliers for its standalone (SA) 5G network, diversifying its vendor list after relying on Samsung as its major 4G provider.

Jio chairman Akash Ambani stated it is committed to developing the latest network technology and was confident its 5G network will accelerate India’s digital goals.

Nokia stated it agreed a multi-year deal to supply equipment from its AirScale portfolio including base stations, high-capacity 5G Massive MIMO antennas and remote radio heads compatible with different spectrum bands.

Pekka Lundmark, Nokia president and CEO, branded the deal a significant win in an important market with “a new customer with one of the largest RAN footprints in the world”.

“This ambitious project will introduce millions of people across India to premium 5G services”.

In a separate statement, Ericsson explained it will provide 5G RAN and E-Band microwave mobile transport equipment.

Ericsson president and CEO Borje Ekholm added standalone connectivity will be a major catalyst in meeting India’s digital transformation goals.

Jio earmarked INR2 trillion ($24.3 billion) to deploy a nationwide SA 5G network by December 2023, with service to begin in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai by the Diwali festival later this month.

The operator started developing 4G and 5G network equipment in-house in 2020 to reduce its reliance on imports and cut costs.

Rival Bharti Airtel launched 5G service in eight cities earlier this month: it selected Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung as its equipment suppliers.