5G technology is coming to India. Indian government conducted 5G spectrum auction in India earlier this year. Just two month later, Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially launched the 5G services in India on the opening day of the Indian Mobile Congress (IMC) 2022. Shortly after, top tech companies in the country, which includes Reliance Jio, Airtel, Vodafone Idea (Vi) and the state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) shared their own plans of rolling out 5G network in the country. Also Read - Airtel introduces a 'World Pass' data roaming pack in India
As telecom companies start rolling out their 5G services in India, here is everything you need to know about 5G in India. Also Read - Airtel and Meta collaborate to accelerate India’s digital ecosystem: Check details
When will Jio, Airtel, Vi, BSNL roll out their 5G service in India?
Speaking at IMC 2022, Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that over 200 cities will get access to 5G services in the next six months, that is, by March 2023. He also said that efforts were being made to cover 80–90 percent of the country in the next two years. The Union Minister also said that BSNL will start rolling out its 5G services in India starting August 15, 2023. Also Read - Vodafone Idea (Vi) quietly launches a new yearly plan with 850GB of bulk data
As far Reliance Industries’ Jio is concerned, the company will commence the beta trial for its 5G network in select cities on October 5. It will then formally roll out its 5G services this Diwali. The company plans to provide pan-India 5G coverage by December 2023.
Bharti Airtel, on the other hand, starting rolling its 5G services in eight cities across the country on October 1, 2022. It plans to provide its 5G services in key metro cities by December 2022 and pan-India 5G coverage by March 2024.
Vodafone Idea, also known as Vi, has said that it is planning to roll out its 5G services in India. However, the company hasn’t shared a timeline of launch yet.
Which cities will get 5G service first?
Jio’s 5G service will be available for beta testing in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Varanasi starting October 5. Then on October 24, the company will formally roll out its 5G services in these cities before expanding its beta trial to more cities.
Airtel, on the other, has started rolling out its 5G services in Mumbai, Varanasi, Bangalore, Gurugram, Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Chennai. It will gradually expand the service to more cities.
How much will 5G services cost in India?
None of the telecom operators in India have announced their 5G tariff plans in India so far. However, report suggest that both Airtel and Jio could offer their 5G services at an affordable price in the country in a bid to promote the adoption of 5G services.
Additionally, at the time of launch, both Airtel and Jio are offering their 5G services at the existing 4G prices. Both the companies will update their subscribers about the 5G tariffs as soon as they have decided on the pricing.
Will users have to change their SIM to get 5G connectivity?
While Vodafone Idea has not shared any details in this regard yet, both Airtel and Jio have confirmed that their subscribers will not have to change their SIM card, as they did at the time of 4G roll out, in a bid to get access to 5G services in the country.
“Your Airtel SIM is already 5G enabled. So it will work seamlessly on your 5G smart phone,” Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal had written in a letter to Airtel customers last month.