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Jio takes lead as Vodafone yet to set up first 5G base station

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Vodafone Idea is yet to start setting up a 5G base station network in India according to local reports from the country.

This has allowed Reliance Jio to take an early lead over both Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel in the race to roll out 5G in India.

The country’s telecoms minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said in August that the 5G launch was imminent after several operators acquired 5G spectrum at the long-awaited auction in the country.

Vaishnaw asked companies to set up at least 10,000 base station every week, however, only 2,500 base stations have begun showing up according to figures from the government.

Reliance Jio has set up just over 17,000 base stations by November 26 and has launched 5G services in 10 states including Delhi, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

Airtel, meanwhile, has only set up around 3,293 base stations during the same period but has started its rollout in 13 states.

Vodafone Idea has had its fair share of financial struggles and was near “a point of collapse” before the Indian government intervened and took a controlling stake in the operator in January.

But a spokesperson told local outlets that Vodafone Idea will still play a “vital” role in 5G deployments across the country.