US continues to back Jio on 5G tech

(Image credit: Jio)

A few weeks back we had written a piece titled: "Can Jio grow to global dominance like Chinese companies did?"

The answer to the slightly rhetorically-sounding headline seems to be a 'yes', if the developments in the USA are anything to go by.

The Donald Trump administration seems to be almost going out on its limb to back Jio Platforms, especially on its plans over 5G technology. And in the process, there is now a genuine feeling that Jio Platforms, which also has the backing of Facebook, Google, Intel, Qualcomm, among others, to take the place of the now discredited Huawei. 

The United States's State department has listed Reliance Jio among the companies that are becoming "Clean Telcos"

According to US State Department, "Clean Network is a comprehensive effort by a coalition of like-minded countries and companies to secure their critical telecommunications, cloud, data analytics, mobile apps, Internet of Things, and 5G technologies from "malign actors" by relying on only trusted vendors who are not subject to unjust or extra-judicial control by authoritarian governments such as the Chinese Communist Party."

Some of the largest telecom companies around the globe are also becoming 'Clean Telcos.' Orange in France, Jio in India, Telstra in Australia, SK and KT in South Korea, NTT in Japan, and O2 in the United Kingdom are rejecting doing business with tools of the Chinese Communist Party's surveillance state, like Huawei, the State Department said in a statement.

Of course, this is practically a reiteration of what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said nearly a month ago.

US building global opinion against Huawei

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Aside from Pompeo and the State department, a top cyber diplomat has told global telcos to follow Jio model.

"I think the lesson of Reliance Jio is that there's nothing mystical about 5G technology. It has the same types of components that 4G technology has; it's just evolved to another level," Robert L Strayer, a top US cyber diplomat, has been quoted as saying by the newsagency IANS.

Strayer's statement is seen as very key in the scheme of things now. He is the US Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cyber and International Communications and Information Policy. Strayer leads development of international cybersecurity, internet, data, and privacy policy and negotiations with foreign governments for the United States. 

A big part of Strayer's job involves getting allies and other countries over to the US side to invest in non-Huawei equipment and components for 5G networks.

Strayer again underscored the need to"migrate" away from untrusted vendors to trusted vendors.

"Our campaign is focused on the move to 5G, but we realize the legacy 3G and 4G infrastructure will underpin the move to 5G. So we do encourage governments and telecom operators just to look at how they can start moving, migrating away -- that is, from untrusted vendors to trusted vendors," Strayer said.

US unrelenting on China

Allowing untrusted, high-risk vendors such as Huawei and ZTE into any part of 5G networks makes critical systems vulnerable to disruption, manipulation, and espionage while putting sensitive government, commercial, and personal information at risk.

Robert L Strayer

The USA is in no mood to relent on its pressure on Huawei and Chinese companies in general.

Strayer said "the tide is turning against Huawei". The world is waking up to the "dangers of the Chinese Communist Party's surveillance state and suppression of information, he added.

"Allowing untrusted, high-risk vendors such as Huawei and ZTE into any part of 5G networks makes critical systems vulnerable to disruption, manipulation, and espionage while putting sensitive government, commercial, and personal information at risk," Strayer said

"The consequences of 5G deployment choices made during the next year or so by government and by telecom operators will be felt for years, if not decades, to come," Strayer said.

Speaking on the Jio model of zero Chinese inputs, Strayer laid out the market opportunities for indigenous production in India as a "global market" of components between the antenna, base stations, backhaul, core servers and management of the network itself.

Strayer's comments come on the same day that Mike Pompeo in London again tore into China for its "untrusted" IT vendors, such as Huawei and ZTE, "broken promises" and what he called threats and bullying against India.

Starting April 29, 2020, the US announced that it would require what it calls a "Clean Path" for all 5G network traffic entering and exiting US diplomatic facilities.

Ball in Jio's court

(Image credit: Jio(YouTube))

Now that it has got the consistent and vocal backing of the USA, Jio Platforms should start delivering on 5G technology. It has been making all the right noises on it. 

Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani has already announced (at the company's 43rd AGM) that Jio Platforms has designed and developed a complete 5G solution from scratch and the same will be ready for trials as soon as 5G spectrum is available.

He said the 5G solution can be ready for field development next year.

Jio Platforms also has the backing of technological biggies like Google and Qualcomm (they have expertise in 5G), and this should help it make a real imatful player in 5G in the world.

Jio Platforms has the capacity for 5G end-to-end solution. Ambani has also said that once it is deployed in India, the 5G solution can be bundled as an entire managed service offering for other telco operators, both in India and overseas. 

If all goes well, Jio Platforms can indeed be a 5G solution exporter in the coming years elbowing out existing biggies like Huawei. 

Balakumar K
Senior Editor

Over three decades as a journalist covering current affairs, politics, sports and now technology. Former Editor of News Today, writer of humour columns across publications and a hardcore cricket and cinema enthusiast. He writes about technology trends and suggest movies and shows to watch on OTT platforms.