The government of India expects to reach nationwide coverage with 5G in two years
India’s prime minister Narendra Modi is expected to officially announce the launch of 5G services in the country at India Mobile Congress on October 1, according to the National Broadband Mission, which operates under the Ministry of Communications.
Reliance Industries’ chairman Mukesh Ambani, Bharti Airtel’s head Sunil Mittal and Vodafone Idea India’s head Ravinder Takkar will be on stage with Modi for the official launch of 5G in the country, according to a report by Moneycontrol.
The report also noted that the launch of 5G services by Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea will begin in seven cities including Delhi and Mumbai. The government expects to reach nationwide coverage with 5G in two years.
The 5G spectrum auction in India concluded on August 1 and according to the country’s Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, local carriers purchased a total $19 billion worth of spectrum.
Reliance Jio walked away with the most spectrum, having spent $11 billion. Airtel won spectrum worth $5.4 billion, while Vodafone Idea received spectrum worth $2.4 billion. Finally, Adani purchased spectrum worth approximately $27 million, which it will use to offer private 5G network services.
According to Indian press reports, some of the cities that will initially have 5G services are Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Gandhinagar, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Jamnagar, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai and Pune.
Airtel plans to start the deployment of 5G in large cities and will gradually deploy the technology across the country.
Bharti Airtel has completed its 5G rollout strategy for the top 5,000 cities and intends to achieve nationwide coverage by March 2024, according previous reports.
Bharti Airtel recently signed 5G network agreements with Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung to start 5G deployments.
Vodafone Idea said that the launch of 5G services in the country will depend on several factors such as the evolution of use cases, customer demand and competitive dynamics,
“Vodafone Idea has actively participated in the [5G spectrum] auction and acquired the midband 5G spectrum in 17 priority circles and millimeter wave 5G spectrum in 16 circles. This will enable Vodafone Idea to embark on its 5G rollout journey in the country,” RavinderT akkar, the company’s non-executive chairman, told analysts during the telco’s annual general meeting.
Meanwhile, Reliance Jio Infocomm said at its annual shareholders meeting that it will invest INR 2 trillion (currently $24.5 billion) on its 5G rollout, and plans to reach every Indian town with 5G service by the end of 2023.
According to local reports, Reliance Jio will activate 5G service first in the cities of Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai.