Twenty-two cities, including Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Gandhinagar, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Jamnagar, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Pune, Siliguri, and Varanasi, would have the 5G network operational as of the initial phase of the rollout.
Telecom companies Reliance Jio, Airtel, and Vi (Vodafone-Idea) will initially launch 5G services in India. Airtel users may already experience the 5G network in select cities if they have five suitable G smartphones.
With a nationwide deployment anticipated for March 2024, Airtel’s 5G service is now accessible in specific locations of Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Siliguri, and Varanasi.
On the other side, Reliance Jio promised to finish the pan-India 5G deployment by December 2023 and offer 5G connectivity to its subscribers by Diwali this year (October 24) in Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai.
While state-run BSNL will start offering 5G services on August 15 of next year, Vi has indicated its 5G deployment would start shortly but hasn’t said precisely when its 5G services will launch in the nation.
Regarding price, Airtel stated that its 5G services will be offered at the current 4G rates and that new 5G tariffs will be released in the future. However, it will be interesting to see Jio’s pricing for 5G services, given that the company revolutionized the Indian telecom industry in 2016 by providing free voice calls and SMS and data at discounted rates. The competition referred to this as “predatory pricing,” but it helped Jio dominate the market and lower the cost of mobile data.