Prime Minister Narendra Modi formally introduced the 5G services in India today on Saturday at India Mobile Congress (IMC) in Delhi. While Airtel has confirmed that it will roll out 5G in eight cities from today, Jio will bring 5G to select cities first, and plans to cover the entire country by 2023. Vi has not unveiled any plans yet. The jointly organised event by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) opened today and will continue till October 4. The main objective of the event is to promote new technologies with the theme this year being “Encapsulate, Engage and Experience a New Digital Universe”.
After inaugurating the exhibition at Pragati Maidan, PM Modi went around pavilions set up by different telecom operators and technology providers to get a first-hand experience of what 5G can do. Flanked by Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and billionaires Mukesh Ambani of Reliance, Sunil Bharti Mittal of Bharti Airtel and Kumar Mangalam Birla of Vodafone Idea, he spent time understanding the indigenous development of end-to-end 5G technology.
According to a statement by the Ministry of Communications, “5G can unleash new economic opportunities and societal benefits giving it the potential for being a transformational force for Indian society. It will help the country leapfrog the traditional barriers to development, spur innovations by startups and business enterprises as well as advance the ‘Digital India’ vision. The cumulative economic impact of 5G on India is expected to reach $450 Billion by 2035.”
Reliance Jio and Vi have also announced plans to roll out 5G in India. Earlier this year, Reliance Jio said that it will introduce 5G services in at least four cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai by Diwali this year. However, Vodafone Idea has not yet unveiled its plans for launching 5G services even though it bought spectrum in 17 circles across the country.