5G telecommunications services are to be launched in India on Saturday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the India Mobile Congress trade show in New Delhi. The event will see India’s three major telecom providers – Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea (Vi) and Airtel – present technology demos to demonstrate the potential of 5G technology in India. Separately, it was announced on Friday that Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport has become the country’s 5G-ready airport.
Reliance Jio, Airtel, Vi and Adani Group were the four main participants in India’s 5G spectrum auction. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) received bids worth Rs. 1.50 lakh crore in this auction.
The first phase of 5G rollout in India will take place in 13 major cities – Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Gandhinagar, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Jamnagar, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai and Pune.
Reliance Jio reportedly aims to have the fastest 5G rollout in the world. The company revealed that it plans to offer 5G coverage across India by the end of 2023. Similarly, Airtel aims to provide pan-India coverage by 2024. Meanwhile, Vi will base its 5G deployment on factors such as use cases, customer demand, competition, and more. The company also plans to increase the prices of its network plans in the near future.
A recent report claims that Indian consumers are willing to pay up to 45% premium for a 5G upgrade. The country would have more than 100 million users of 5G compatible smartphones.
5G technology should be around 10 times faster than current 4G connectivity. Its low latency will likely benefit the mining, warehousing, telemedicine, and manufacturing sectors, among others.
It is also said to be very reliable and energy efficient, which can be ideal for using virtual reality/augmented reality in education and skill development. 5G connectivity would bring high quality video services at high speeds. This technology could also be used for real-time disaster monitoring and drone farming.