5G phones supporting all bands could be expensive for budget consumers

According to a report, bringing support for every global 5G band would add up to the cost of the smartphone.

  • Most of the brands in India are working to support N77 and N77 bands.
  • Indian telecom operators want brands to support all 5G bands.
  • Adding support for all 5G bands would add up to the cost of smartphones.

After ditching the notch trend, smartphone brands jumped on the 5G bandwagon even though 5G isn’t available in India yet. Over the last year, most mainstream OEMs have launched several of 5G smartphones in India, ranging from Rs 10,000 to over Rs 1 lakh. Suffice it to say that there is a 5G phone out there for every buyer. But not all 5G phones are the same in terms of the bands they support. Cheaper 5G phones support only a few bands while higher-end devices support almost all bands. Smartphones supporting multiple global 5G bands are expensive and Economic Times reports that bringing support for every global 5G band would add up to the cost of smartphones.

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The report cites Navin Nakra, Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of OnePlus, according to whom N78 is emerging as one of India’s most important 5G bands. He further added that the OnePlus is working towards providing 5G support across the company’s product lineup. “N78 band is emerging as the priority band in India. Our intent for the Indian market is to provide 5G bands support across the product line,” said Nakra to Economic Times.

Madhav Seth, CEO of Realme India, said that the company’s current 5G smartphones come with support for multiple brands, and he further ensured that the upcoming smartphones would come with C-band support, including N77 and N78 bands, along with other 5G bands across company’s 5G smartphone portfolio.

India has reserved a frequency band of 3300 MHz-3600 MHz for the 5G network. The N77 and N78 5G bands operate within the 3200MHz to 4200MHz range. However, Indian telecom operators want smartphone manufacturers to support all global 5G bands. Currently, telecom operators in India use 800, 900, 1800, 2100 and 2300MHz frequency bands for the 4G network. Telcos can repurpose these frequency bands to offer the 5G network in India, hence wanting manufacturers to support all 5G bands.

Bharti Airtel recently requested the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to bring guidelines on the said matter so that upcoming 5G smartphones in India comes with support for all 5G bands.