Reliance Jio users can start using the telco’s “true 5G” services in India starting from today October 5, 2022. But conditions apply. This is not a mass rollout or a full-fledged launch. That is expected to happen a bit later, gradually. For now, only some Jio users in select cities can try out Jio 5G and that, too, by invitation only. The kicker is, if you happen to get an invite, you’ll get an automatic upgrade –possibly at no extra charge –to 5G provided your handset supports it.
So, the question is, why is Jio doing this in the first place? The telco says, this is to get feedback. To recall, Jio did something similar at the time of its 4G services rollout as well. The difference this time round is that you don’t need to get in line to get a SIM card. Your existing Jio 4G SIM card should work just fine, at least at the time of writing.
Jio’s Welcome Offer will “enable its invited customers to trial true 5G services and provide service and user-experience feedback,” it says, adding that “being a customer-obsessed organisation, Jio believes in giving the best customer experience that is strengthened by customer feedback.”
Jio True 5G Welcome Offer: Everything to know
Let’s get into the nitty-gritties now as we’re sure that you have a lot of questions. The first and foremost thing to remember is that you’ll have to be a Jio user to use its trial 5G services. The other pre-requisite is that you’ll have to be based out of one of these four cities: Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Varanasi. Lastly, you’ll need an invite from Jio itself to get started on your 5G journey with the telco.
Jio notes that invited Jio Welcome Offer users will be automatically upgraded to the Jio true 5G service without needing to change their existing Jio SIM or 5G handset. If you’re wondering why Jio calls its 5G true, it’s because it says that it is offering standalone 5G services with zero dependency on 4G network. Rivals like Airtel will be offering non-standalone 5G, which of course will have its own share of merits. But we digress.
Coming back to the topic at hand, Jio says that it is working with all handset brands “to enable their 5G handsets to work seamlessly with Jio true 5G services.” That would be a common issue, at least in the beginning, as even if your device supports 5G there is a possibility that your OEM would have to unlock it by pushing out a software update. This would be different for different telcos which is to say that brands like Samsung and Apple (and others) would have to do this individually for each telco depending on the type of band they would be using.
Once everything falls into place, Jio says customers will get unlimited 5G data with up to 1 Gbps+ speeds. Now, remember, plans and tariffs and pricing aren’t out yet. That should be announced closer to a broader commercial launch which is pegged for Diwali and even a bit later depending on how the testing goes. We’re assuming that 5G services would be free –which is to say at existing 4G rates— during the trial period. This means you may be able to continue using 5G on your current 4G plan.
Jio says it will continue to offer the beta trial until the network coverage of a city “is substantially complete to provide the best coverage and user experience to every customer,” and that other cities will be added to the list “progressively as cities keep getting ready”.