Airtel, Jio 5G service to roll out in select areas of Varanasi and Ahmedabad tomorrow: Report

Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio will each debut their 5G services on Saturday in Varanasi and a village close to Ahmedabad tomorrow.

Highlights
  • 5G network will be launched by PM Narendra Modi in India tomorrow at the India Mobile Congress.
  • Airtel and Jio 5G networks will reportedly roll out in Varanasi and Ahmedabad.
  • Expect to hear more details about 5G recharge packs & roll out.

In the presence of state Chief Ministers, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio will respectively launch their 5G services on Saturday in Varanasi and a village close to Ahmedabad, as per a report in Business Standard. As per the report, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi launches the service at the India Mobile Congress, he will connect with the chief ministers of Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath and Bhupendra Patel, respectively. This comes after the National Broadcast Mission announced on Twitter earlier this week that the PM Modi will launch India’s 5G network at IMC 2022.

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Jio service will be available in Ahmedabad, while Airtel 5G will launch in Varanasi, as per the report. In the beginning, just a few sites will offer 5G service; therefore it will only be accessible in a few parts of Varanasi and Ahmedabad. All areas of the cities will eventually receive the service.

Jio seems to be on track for 5G deployment in four metro cities by Diwali as it disclosed during its AGM 2022 back in August.  As for Airtel, the company is planning to cover key metro cities by December followed by a pan India rollout in 2023-24.

In the most recent 5G auction, telecom providers bought spectrum worth Rs 1.5 trillion across multiple bands. Jio paid Rs 88,078 crore, while Airtel paid Rs 43,084 crore for the spectrum. There are still some unanswered questions around the price of data plans for 5G and the timing of wider deployment, though reports suggest that the 5G tariff plans will be more or less similar to the current 4G plans to encourage mass adoption. Currently, it appears like tomorrow’s release is primarily intended for enterprises, with the general public likely joining the service by the end of the year.

5G price in India is expected to be along similar lines as 4G, as telcos initially aim for higher adoption rates across the country. 5G recharge plans should be announced soon.