India’s Reliance Jio is blazing a trail to all-IP mobile networks


Fast-growing Indian mobile operator Reliance Jio may offer a glimpse of where all mobile networks are going eventually, to packet-based Internet Protocol infrastructure.

At Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest gathering of the mobile industry, Reliance Jio stands out by having none of the specialized 2G and 3G infrastructure that long distinguished cellular carriers.

Almost all mobile operators still have circuit-switched network gear in addition to IP systems. It came along with the 2G and 3G networks the carriers used before adopting LTE. Most are likely to keep older networks running for years, though some are moving faster than others to clear the decks.

The move to packet-based networks is helping many carriers move to software-defined networking and virtualized network functions, which are designed to make it easier to start up and modify services. Going all-IP saves the cost of operating two different kinds of infrastructure.

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