Indian mega-company Tata unveils surprise 5G networking venture • The Register


Indian mega-conglomerate Tata Group has revealed that it has created a 5G networking kit business.

The company announced Monday that it has built an “O-RAN-based radio and NSA / SA core and integrated a fully native telecommunications stack.”

Indian mobile operator Airtel, which has more than 340 million subscribers, will integrate Tata’s offer into its 5G deployment, starting with a pilot in early 2022.

Tata operates 30 different businesses spanning industries such as tourism, steel, chemicals and, in a role probably more familiar to The register readers, IT services with its Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) operation.

TCS will be implementing the kit, which Tata says will not strain the capabilities of the service set, as much of the 5G kernel is software-defined.

Tata said that once Airtel proves its 5G kit in action, export opportunities will follow. Tata will therefore find itself in competition with Nokia, Samsung, Ericsson and Huawei for 5G offers around the world.

Another competitor could be Indian industrial conglomerate Reliance Jio, which has also created a 5G stack.

Competition between Jio and Tata could also intensify on other fronts, as Indian media reports that Tata is set to seek billions of dollars in funding for an app that will offer a wide range of products from shopping, transport and financial services. Jio already offers many of these services through its MyJio app.

So-called “super apps” are becoming more prevalent in Asia, with Grab from Singapore and Line from Korea adding more and more services to their offerings. Indonesian companies Gojek and Tokopedia recently merged to ensure their combined apps are big enough to stay relevant. ®


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