Reports circulating on the internet suggest that PM Narendra Modi will launch 5G at the inauguration of the India Mobile Congress (IMC) on September 29. Telecom operators like Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vi, and Adani Data Network, who were a part of the auction, are all working to roll out 5G services soon. Bharti Airtel CEO now says that Airtel will roll out 5G services in India this month, without mentioning the exact date of the release.
Two of the major telecom operators Jio and Airtel are working hard to rollout 5G services in India as early as possible. While Jio is yet to reveal official details about the rollout of its 5G services, Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal has shared some details. He said that Airtel will roll out 5G services as early as this month. He also added that Airtel plans to cover all towns and cities, including rural areas by 2024. Some reports, though, suggest that Jio will launch its 5G services on August 15.
Considering the timeline that Airtel is sharing, it could be possible that it could be the first telecom operator to roll out 5G services in the country. Reliance Jio is also not far away. To recall, Jio was the first operator in the 4G race and it is also likely that the telecom company will repeat history. Only time will say who will win the 5G race between Airtel and Jio.
CEO Gopal Vittal has also highlighted that Airtel intends to start off with 5,000 towns as a setup to support the system that is already in place. The telecom operator is expected to diversify the network and cover every town and key rural areas by 2024.
The CEO previously told India Today Tech that Airtel 5G plans will be almost at par with 4G plans in terms of pricing. "We will know the final costs only after the spectrum auction. If you look at other markets, where operators are already proving 5G, we haven't seen them charging a premium for it over 4G," Airtel's CEO said during an interaction a few months ago. The final prices of 5G plans haven't been revealed yet but we still need to wait for some more time.
Airtel recently announced that it will start deploying the 5G network in India by the end of August and announced partnerships with tech companies like -- Samsung, Nokia, and Ericsson.
In the first phase, 5G services are said to roll out in 13 cities including -- Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Gandhinagar, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Jamnagar, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, and Pune. Other cities will follow.
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