Reliance Jio is moving ahead apace with its nationwide 5G standalone (5G SA) network in India. 

The operator already has network slicing implemented on its network – compare that to how long Dish, T-Mobile and Verizon have taken in the United States.

“If you look at our 5G SA deployment, we are already having multiple slices on our operation,” Jio President Matthew Oommen told Fierce at Mobile World Congress (MWC). He noted that Jio has a 5G slice for gaming, a slice for high security services, a slice for fixed wireless access and other applications.

As well having a true 5G SA network, Jio is able to implement slices quickly because Jio has implemented its own home-grown 5G core. “It is a core that does both 4G and 5G,” Oommen said.

Unlike many Western and Chinese operators and vendors, however, Jio isn’t yet offering 5G private network proof-of-concepts, trials and deployments. “We are delivering services to enterprises but as far as doing specific private 5G capabilities, we are working on use cases with enterprises,” he stated. “I’m not sure I can tell you right now when it will get launched.”

The Jio president said that defense, mining and agriculture are “very critical areas we are working on right now” in regard to private networking. Railways could also be fruitful area for 5G private networking as India has a massive rail network spread across the country

Oommen reiterated that Jio already had the network slicing part in place, so Jio would be able to offer businesses access to a separate slice of 5G for enterprise tasks.

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