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India@100 Summit: Expect 5G services to rollout from October, says Bharti Airtel head

India@100 Summit: Expect 5G services to rollout from October, says Bharti Airtel head

Sunil Mittal also assured that there won’t be any significant change in tariffs for 5G customers.

Sunil Bharti Mittal Sunil Bharti Mittal

Head of India’s second-largest mobile network Sunil Bharti Mittal is looking at launching 5G services from October.

“5G is now as we all know around the corner. We are almost ready. Some people think that India is late, but I think we are not late. It's the perfect timing. Some use cases are being developed. You can see devices coming through with prices of devices falling, which perfectly suits a country like India," chairperson of Bharti Airtel, Mittal said during a fireside chat moderated by news director, India Today and Aaj Tak, Rahul Kanwal at Business Today India@100 summit.

Praising the government for releasing abundant spectrum to telcos during the recent 5G spectrum auctions, Mittal said it will help in an effective rollout of the technology.

“Otherwise you don't really get the joy of it. We already expect launches beginning from October. It could even be from very early in October or sometime in October. You will start to see 5G icons coming on your phones,” Mittal stated.

Mittal said there are very important use cases for 5G, which are being around the globe and will prove to be game changers.

“Robotic surgeries, deep healthcare management in rural areas and distribution of our centres of excellence. Virtual teaching and participative experiments, everything can be done in a distributed way because of 5G,” he said.

Mittal said there were two important aspects to 5G. Firstly, slicing and dicing it as per the subscriber’s need.

“Imagine a packet of data being delivered to Spotify to listen to music versus an autonomous bus driving school to an intersection of a crossing,” he said.

Latency is the second aspect of the 5G technology. Like, responding to the surgeon’s need while he is performing a robotic surgery.

“In this case, the latency is so low … It is less than 10 milliseconds when you are virtually sitting next to me.”

Replying to a question on the cost of services, Mittal assured that there won’t be a significant change.

“You will be consuming more data, therefore, you'll end up paying a little bit more.”

Mittal asserted that telcos were the spine of digital connectivity and telecom tariffs in the country continued to be low.