Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched 5G services in the country after a long wait. 5G services will start rolling out to users in India starting today. Leading telecom operator Airtel has announced that it will start rolling out its 5G services in 8 regions.
This makes Airtel the first company to launch 5G in the country. Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal said that Airtel 5G will be launched in India starting today. The company has not yet revealed all the eight regions, but Mr Mittal said that Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, and Bangalore are some of them. Mittal also said that Airtel plans to launch 5G in several cities by March 2023 and all over India by 2024.
According to a senior company official, Airtel 5G services will be available at existing 4G rates and a new tariff for 5G will be announced after some time. The officer said the 5G services are also being launched in Chennai, Hyderabad and Siliguri. Bharti Airtel Chief Technology Officer Randeep Singh Sekhon said that the company’s backend infrastructure is ready.
“We need to install some equipment on mobile towers for 5G service. We are doing it gradually. As of today, the service will be available in the area close to towers where the equipment has been installed," Mr Sekhon added.
He said every day Airtel is adding new cities for 5G services and increasing penetration within cities. “People need to have 5G phones to access the service, which is being launched today," Mr Sekhon said.
Bharti Airtel had placed the order for 5G gears with Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung immediately after the auctions were over. The Sunil Mittal-led firm recently acquired 19,867.8 MHZ spectrum in 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 3300 MHz and 26 GHz bands, bolstering its spectrum holding. Bharti Airtel acquired spectrum worth ₹ 43,084 crore in the just-concluded auction.
(With inputs from PTI)