Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the launch of 5G services in the country at this year’s India Mobile Congress (IMC). At the event, Airtel, Jio, and Vodafone Idea (Vi) announced their respective 5G networks. Not to be left behind, BSNL’s own 5G services were announced. However, BSNL will be rolling out its 5G network next year, on August 15.
BSNL 5G Rollout
At the IMC 2022 held at New Delhi, telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw declared that BSNL’s 5G services will roll out in India by August 15, 2023. According to an earlier report, the telco is still laying the groundwork for its 4G network across the country, hence the delay. The report added that the company will utilize an indigenous 5G infrastructure. The telco aims to launch 5G over the 4G core, implying that it will make use of 5G NSA technology for its 5G services in India. However, to do so, BSNL will require a sound 4G infrastructure.
Hence, the telco aims to build a stable 4G infrastructure in India by the end of this year. 4G will first arrive in states including Maharashtra and Kerala. If everything goes according to plan, 4G testing will commence in four districts of Kerala by August 2022. As per BSNL’s timeline, we can expect the telco to roll out a country-wide 4G network, followed by its 5G services in India by August 2023.
Airtel And Jio 5G Launch Timeline
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Meanwhile, Airtel is already ahead of the competition as far as 5G service are concerned. The popular telco is already rolling out 5G in eight cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, Bangalore, Siliguri, Chennai, and Hyderabad. Airtel’s chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said that the telco will roll out 5G services in more cities within the country by March 2023, and across India by March 2024.
Airtel’s close competitor, Jio, is expected to introduce 5G services later this month. Mukesh Ambani spoke about BSNL’s 5G launch at the IMC 2022, “A strong BSNL will bring the balancing presence of a government in this very strategic sector.”
Ashwini Vaishnaw added that 5G connectivity will be expanded to over 200 cities in the coming six months. Furthermore, in the next two years, we can expect 5G services to be available in 80-90 percent of the country at affordable prices. Speaking of prices, although Airtel and Jio haven’t declared their 5G rates, the telcos have announced that the rates will be close to that of the current 4G plans.