Jio in discussion with Elon Musk's Tesla to build captive private network: Report

NEW DELHI: India's Reliance Jio is in talks with Elon Musk's Tesla to build a private captive network for the electric vehicle (EV) company, Financial Express reported, citing unnamed industry sources.

However, the sources said the discussions are currently preliminary and could only progress further if Tesla "confirms" its plans to set up a manufacturing unit in India, according to the report.

The captive private network manages all critical operations at faster speeds, while driving connected car solutions, automating production processes and more, the report added.

A Jio executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the publication that “5G is about business connectivity” and that the telco is reaching out to companies in automotive, healthcare, manufacturing, and other industries with potential use cases, while offering to build and manage your networks.

To recall, in December 2022, Airtel partnered with IT services company Tech Mahindra to implement a captive private 5G network at Mahindra & Mahindra's Chakan plant, which became India's first-ever automotive-enabled unit.

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While Jio is rolling out 5G Standalone (SA) network, Airtel is rolling out 5G Non Standalone (NSA) network. Private networks are said to be among the top use cases for 5G technology, but significant use cases are expected after only a few months.

Under private networks, corporates can create their own Wi-Fi and data instead of taking the services of a telecom service provider as is the norm now.

The issue of direct spectrum allocation for companies to create reserved private 5G networks has been controversial, pitting technology companies against telecom operators.

Since June 2022, when the Cabinet approved a proposal to allocate direct spectrum to companies, telcos have opposed the move, claiming it would distort the level playing field and give tech players back-door entry to provide 5G services to businesses.

ET reported last year that Infosys, Capgemini, GMR, Larsen & Toubro, Tata Communications, Tata Power and Tejas Networks are among more than 20 companies that have applied for direct allocation of 5G band to build private telecom networks, after launching an application study by the Department of Communications (DoT).

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