5G is the latest talk of the town. And the arrival of 5G Technology in India is something that many people are talking about around the country. We already have seen multiple companies release several devices with 5G compatibility as well. Several countries around the world have rolled out 5G such as the US, South Korea, China, Japan, and several European countries as well. But the question remains when will the technology come into the country? And when will the telecom companies start offering the service to the masses? And When will the Indians get the chance to join the 5G Bandwagon? Continue reading to find out!
Expected 5G Availability In India
5G has been in discussions for quite some time now. And the government is also working towards making it available for the people. But so far the auction for the spectrum bands hasn’t started in the country. It is very difficult to comment on so as to when the process will begin from the government’s end, but going by the reports and the anticipation along with the high expectation around the same, it can be expected that this year the 5G spectrum sale will be announced by the Government of India.
As soon as the auction for the spectrum is done, the big players who will be offering the service in the country namely Jio, Airtel, Vi, and a few others will start rolling out the service in phases based on the infrastructure readiness from their end.
Now, let’s take a look at what the top companies have in store in terms of 5G readiness.
Jio is amongst the companies said to lead the 5G revolution in the country. The Chairman of the company, Mukesh Ambani had announced last year that the company will lead India in bringing an accessible 5G network across the country. He also said that by the second half of 2021, the company would be launching 5G in the country.
Moreover, Jio had also announced that the 5G to be launched by them would be powered by the indigenously developed hardware and technology components. The company has the largest consumer base of any other telecom company in the country and this will also certainly help their case.
Airtel is arguably the second-biggest telecom company in India. But in terms of readiness of 5G, the company has not revealed its plans so far. The company is said to be 5G ready but supposedly has not revealed any plans of entering the 5G market in 2021 as of now. Despite this, Airtel is likely to be final stages of 5G development and might be on track to release 5G very soon.
Although, the company did carry out India’s first 5G trial in partnership with Huawei back in 2018 in Gurgaon. In terms of preparations, Airtel has developed India’s first state-of-the-art Massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) technology which is said to be key in providing 5G connectivity.
Airtel’s chief executive Gopal Vittal said that “The fundamental issue with 5G is spectrum cost, which is way over the top.” According to him, the ecosystem in the country is underdeveloped right now which will make the spectrum much more expensive.
Vi or Vodafone and India as many would be familiar with is amongst the telecom companies being ready for the 5G network. If reports are to be believed, Vi will be launching 5G in India as soon as the Government of India allocates the spectrum.
Our network is very much 5G-ready. When the 5G auction takes place, we will be able to launch 5G. However, there is a need to develop India 5G use cases. India is unique and some global use cases might not be relevant. Ravinder Takkar, Vodafone Idea MD and CEO
The company is said to have upgraded a lot of its 4G network with 5G architecture. They are also said to have upgraded technologies like dynamic spectrum refarming (DSR) and MIMO. Vi is also in talks to carry out trials for 5G with multiple vendors including Huawei and Ericsson.
The state-owned BSNL is also in line to build 5G network connectivity in the country. There is no clarity on the timeline and actual plans from the company yet. Although, they did announce to build a 5G corridor in Delhi back in 2019.
But the company did not announce anything regarding 5G post that. Doing it would have been a good showcase from the company regarding its readiness of the technology. Anupama Shrivastava, Chairman of BSNL also said in an interview to ETT then, adding that the telco is also putting up an in-house test centre.
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