Telecom operator Bharti Airtel’s 5G services will be available from Saturday in eight cities announced chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal at India Mobile Congress.
Bharti Airtel has become the first company to launch 5G services in the country. The services will be available in eight cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, Bangalore, and others.
“When you (Prime Minister) will launch 5G today. 5G from Airtel will be available in 8 cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, Bangalore and other cities,” Mittal said.
He said that Airtel will roll out 5G services in several cities across the country by March 2023 and across India by March 2024.
According to the telecom department, 5G technology is expected to deliver ten times better download speed than that of 4G and up to three times greater spectrum efficiency.
Mittal praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s understanding of technology and connecting it with the nation’s progress.
“We are proud and very fortunate that we have amongst us a leader who understands technology meticulously. Many leaders appreciate technology but its granular understanding and linking it for the progress of the country, according to me what Modi Ji can do no one else will be able to do,” he said.
Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal said that Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio’s efforts to push 4G technology in India forced him to ‘catch up’.
“I would like to remind Mukesh (Ambani) when he gave a lot of pace to 4G and we had run very fast to catch up with it. When COVID hit, the pulse of this nation did not stop even for a minute. Our work continued round the clock and its credit goes to Digital Mission,” Mittal said.
He said that the Prime Minister gave the slogan of startups, which led to the creation of unicorns every month.
“I believe that with 5G hundreds of used cases will create thousands of entrepreneurs and dozens of new unicorns,” he said.
According to a senior company official, Airtel 5G services will be available at existing 4G rates and new tariff scheme for 5G will be announced after some time. The 5G services are also being launched in Chennai, Hyderabad, Nagpur 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,” Sekhon said.
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. They will not need to replace their existing 4G sim,” he further added.
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. PTI PRS MBI BAL
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