Reliance’s telecom unit Jio Infocomm tied up $2.2 billion in funding from Swedish Export Credit Agency (EKN) in the last financial year to buy 5G equipment, the company said on Sunday. During FY 2022-23, Reliance and its subsidiary Jio Infocomm Limited (JIL) tied up $3 billion equivalent through syndicated term loan facilities, the conglomerate said in its annual report 2022-23.

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The transaction was heavily oversubscribed in the primary syndication market by global lenders across geographies, Reliance said, adding that the proceeds from the loans were used to meet the capital expenditure requirements of both companies.

« RJIL tied up its first ever Swedish Export Credit Agency (EKN) supported facilities of $2.2 billion equivalent making it the largest cover ever provided by EKN for a deal to a private corporate globally, » Reliance Industries said, adding that the proceeds of the facilities shall be utilised to finance the equipment and services in relation to JIL’s pan-India 5G roll out.

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Jio has committed to an investment of Rs 2 lakh crore to fulfill its ambitious pan-India 5G rollout plan, the company said. Jio started 5G network rollouts in October 2022. « Jio has launched its True 5G services across 2,300-plus cities/towns as of March 2023 and targets to achieve pan-India coverage by December 2023, » the annual report said.

The Economic Times last month reported that Jio was on the verge of finalising a significant contract worth around $1.7 billion (Rs 14,000 crore) with Nokia, a leading telecommunications company based in Finland. This deal, which is yet to be announced, would be in addition to Jio’s previous announcement of a $2.1 billion equipment purchase from Ericsson, a Swedish multinational networking and telecommunications company.

In October last year, Ericsson and Nokia separately announced bagging contracts from Reliance Jio to build a mega 5G network. Ericsson announced a long-term strategic 5G contract with Reliance Jio to roll out a 5G standalone (SA) network in the country. The Swedish firm said that its energy-efficient 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) products and solutions from Ericsson Radio System and E-band microwave mobile transport solution will be deployed in the 5G network for Jio.

All products and solutions are deployed on new-build 5G SA networks, designed to maximise the benefits of 5G to communications service providers and their customers, be it individual subscribers or enterprise and industry customers. This is the first partnership between Jio and Ericsson for radio access network deployment in the country, the company said in a statement.

Separately, Nokia said it had won a multi-year deal from Reliance Jio to build one of the largest 5G networks in the world. Under the contract, Nokia said it will supply equipment from its AirScale portfolio, including base stations, high-capacity 5G Massive MIMO (multiple input multiple output) antennas, and Remote Radio Heads (RRH) to support different spectrum bands, and self-organising network software. « Nokia today announced that it has been selected as a major supplier by Reliance Jio to supply 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) equipment from its comprehensive AirScale portfolio countrywide in a multi-year deal, » the company said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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