There is a watershed ahead in India’s telecom journey. The much talked about 5G services are expected to launch next month. And a kind of slang game has already begun between the two main telecom players in India – Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio.
At the company’s 45th annual general meeting, Reliance Industries (RIL) President Mukesh Ambani said “Jio’s ambitious 5G deployment plan will be the fastest in the world. Jio5G, with enough capacity to serve hundreds of millions of users from day one.”
The company said its services will be the world’s largest and most advanced 5G network. “Unlike other operators, Jio’s 5G network will be autonomous, without dependence on the 4G network.” This can help deliver better performance than others as the network can connect 100 million homes with its 5G network and further accelerate its ambitions of connectivity with fixed broadband services. Jio said he natively developed an end-to-end 5G stack, which is fully cloud-native, software-defined, digitally managed with support even for advanced features like quantum security.
Jio will first launch 5G services in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, then expand to other cities and towns in phases. The company expects to quickly cover all of India in 18 months to December 2023.
Airtel’s response to Jio
Almost in response to Jio’s claim, Airtel said its 5G will provide dramatically higher speeds compared to a 4G network. It can be anywhere between 20 to 30 times the speed you get today. “This will allow you to launch an application or download a heavy file in no time. The Airtel 5G will also enable differential quality for special requirements, something called network slicing. So if you are a gamer and you want a flawless experience, we will be able to to share the network for you. Or if you’re working from home and want a consistent experience, we’ll deliver it to you.” said its CEO Gopal Vittal in a statement to customers.
Vittal also stated that there are three clear advantages with Airtel 5G. “We have chosen a specific 5G technology that has the widest ecosystem in the world. This means that all 5G smartphones in India will work on the Airtel network without any glitches. This will be true even when you travel abroad with your Airtel 5G enabled phone.”
Second, Airtel’s CEO said that in recent years, Airtel’s 4G network has consistently been rated the best for speed, video and gaming experience by independent rating agencies. “We’ve used that strength to bring the expertise of our best engineers, built state-of-the-art tools, and conducted multiple first-of-its-kind tests across multiple cities and use cases to ensure your Airtel 5G experience is unparalleled.”
Third, Airtel said it will be kinder to the environment. “The 5G solution chosen by Airtel will be the most energy and carbon efficient in India.”
Airtel 5G launch and availability
Airtel expects to launch its 5G services within a month. Until December, it should have coverage in the main metropolises. “After that, we will quickly expand to cover the whole country. We hope to cover all of urban India by the end of 2023,” he added.
If you want to know the availability of 5G in your city, you can check the Airtel Thanks app and see if your phone and city are 5G ready. This feature will be available in the app with the launch of 5G.
Most of the new smartphones that are now in India are primarily 5G enabled. But make sure it’s 5G enabled. Then enable 5G settings. To enable 5G on your phone, go to the settings tab and go to connections or mobile network. You will have the option to choose 5G in addition to 4G or LTE. Select that mode and you’re good to go. Airtel SIM is already 5G enabled, said the CEO.