India’s all major telcos – Jio, Airtel, Vodafone Idea and BSNL – have made announcements of the 5G services at the India Mobile Congress, held on October 1-4, at New Delhi’s Pragati Maidan. It was the sixth edition of India Mobile Congress – which was inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi.
While Airtel bags the prize for launching the 5G services – being the first telco in India to do so, BSNL loses the track. The company will reportedly bring 4G services in India, next month. Apart from Bharti Airtel, Jio has also rolled out its 5G services in select cities by invitation only.
Reliance Jio users have already started using its “true 5G” services in India, starting October 5, however – it is not a mass roll out and is available in select cities by invitation only. Jio has relaunched its Welcome Offer – the similar offer was trending at the time of Jio 4G launch as well.
Jio’s Chairman Akash Ambani says that PM has given a clarion call for accelerated rollout of 5G across India to realise the full potential of a Digital India. As a response, Jio has prepared an ambitious and the fastest ever 5G roll-out plan for a country of our size, he adds.
Airtel became the first one to offer 5G services in India – Bharti Airtel’s 5G services don’t require the need to change the existing 4G SIM as it is 5G enabled. Airtel 5G Plus is now live in 8 cities, starting today and aims to cover all the metro cities by 2023.
Bharti Airtel’s MD & CEO says that the telco has been at the forefront of India’s telecom revolution since last 27 years. Launching the 5G services, he adds, “Today marks one more step in our journey as we build out the finest network to deliver the best experience for our customers. For us, our customers are at the core of everything we do. Our solution will therefore work on any 5G handset and the existing SIM that customers have. Airtel 5G Plus is all set to redefine the way people communicate, live, work, connect and play for years to come.”
India’s third telco is also planning to launch 5G services to compete with the likes of Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel, however the company has not mentioned a specific date or deadline by which its 5G services are expected.
Aditya Birla Group’s chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla said that Vi will soon begin to roll out 5G services. “We will leverage our strong presence in rural India, our enterprise customers, our tech partners, and global experience of Vodafone Group for progressively rolling out our 5G network and services in the coming period,” he added.
State-owned BSNL comes last in the 5G race – as the company is yet to launch its 4G services. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited announced that the company is planning to launch its 4G services, starting November. The announcement regarding the launch of 4G as well as 5G services was made at the India Mobile Congress event. It was mentioned by the Ashwini Vaishnaw – Minister of Communications – that the 5G services will be made available starting August 15, 2023. The company is reported to be working with TCS and a state-led R&D firm to develop 5G services locally.