Securing Significant Funding for 5G Equipment

Reliance Jio, India’s premier telecom operator, has obtained a loan of nearly $2 billion. This substantial funding is earmarked for the purchase of 5G equipment from Nokia, as the company accelerates its deployment of the new technology.

One of India’s Largest Offshore Loans

Arranged by HSBC, this loan represents one of the biggest offshore financial deals for India in the 2024 fiscal year. The financing agreement with Nokia, secured last October, is a key part of Jio’s strategy to expand its 5G network.

Loan Details and Arrangement

According to the Economic Times, HSBC led the arrangement of this loan, which ranges between $1.5 and $2 billion. The loan structure includes an implied rate of interest spanning its tenure, finalized after several months of discussions.

Jio’s Ambitious 5G Rollout Plans

During its Annual General Meeting in August, Reliance Jio’s Chairman Mukesh Ambani set an ambitious goal for the company. Ambani aims for nationwide standalone 5G coverage by the end of the year, potentially marking the fastest 5G rollout globally.

Ambani’s Nationwide 5G Coverage Promise

Ambani assured that by December, Jio would be ready to meet any demand for 5G broadband connections across India, targeting homes, businesses, factories, schools, and hospitals.

Collaboration with Multiple Equipment Suppliers

In addition to Nokia, Jio is collaborating with Ericsson and Samsung for 5G equipment. This September, Jio arranged a similar $2 billion offshore loan through BNP-Paribas to finance equipment purchases from Ericsson.

Progress in 5G Rollout and Subscriber Growth

Jio’s investment in 5G is already showing results, with the company recently surpassing 50 million 5G subscribers and operating 85% of India’s functional 5G cell sites.

Competition in the 5G Arena

Jio’s main competitor, Bharti Airtel, is also making rapid strides in 5G. Airtel recently announced it had crossed the 50 million 5G subscriber mark, signaling a competitive race in India’s 5G network deployment.