Jio negotiates funds with banks to buy gear from Nokia: Report

Jio negotiates funds with banks to buy gear from Nokia: Report

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Jio has already deployed its 5G service in 5,657 cities across 36 states in India

Indian carrier Reliance Jio Infocomm is reportedly looking to raise around $1.6 billion with the aim of securing funds for the purchase of equipment from Finnish vendor Nokia, according to a Bloomberg report.

The report stated that the Indian company was in ongoing discussions with a number of banks, including Citigroup, HSBC Holdings and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The report also revealed that the potential loan will likely be priced over the Secured Overnight Financing Rate, a benchmark interest rate and will have a maturity period of as much as 15 years. The loan structure and terms would be stipulated in a way to provide favorable conditions for Reliance Jio Infocomm, which is currently in the process of deploying 5G across India.

Finnvera, a Finland-based export credit agency will potentially participate in the structure of the deal by issuing guarantees covering the majority of the loan, according to the report.

Last October, Nokia announced that it had reached an agreement to supply Jio with equipment for its 5G rollout in India.

According to the report, Jio has already raised $3 billion from 55 banks and an additional credit of $2 billion from 18 financial institutions. The report stated that the funds will be used to continue its nationwide rollout of 5G infrastructure.

Reliance Jio has already deployed over 50,000 base stations and 300,000 cells to support its 5G service, according to recent press reports.

The carrier’s CTO, Shyam Mardikar, previously said that the operator expected to complete full urban coverage before the end of May.

Jio started to deploy its 5G Standalone (SA) network in October 2022 and has recently stated that it is on track to cover all towns and cities by December 2023. The telco had initially launched the beta trial of its 5G services in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Varanasi.

Jio is offering the 5G connectivity on an invitational basis, with users living in 5G-enabled cities who have 5G compatible smartphones receiving invitations.

Last year, Reliance Jio Infocomm announced 5G contracts with Swedish vendor Ericsson. The deal with Ericsson marks the first partnership between Jio and Ericsson for radio access network deployment in the country.

Reliance Jio had previously secured a mix of wireless spectrum for 5G across 700 MHz, 3.5 GHz, and 26 GHz bands. Jio is the only Indian operator with the 700 MHz low-band spectrum.

The telco has already deployed its 5G service in 5,657 cities across 36 states in India, according to the carrier’s website.

Meanwhile, rival operator Bharti Airtel already deployed 5G across thousands of towns and cities across India, while Vodafone Idea is in the final process of negotiations with banks to secure the funds that will enable it to launch 5G in the coming months, according to previous reports.


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