As the curtains fell on the 7-day auction of 5G spectrum earlier this week, the focus has now shifted to the public launch of 5G services by the three telcos that were in the fray (Adani group, the fourth participant in the auctions, will provide 5G private network solutions only).
The auctions netted the government a record Rs 1,50,173 crore — this is the biggest sale of radio waves in India. Altogether, of the total 72,098 MHz of spectrum available at auction with a validity period of 20 years, 51,236 MHz were sold to bidders.
Reliance Jio (Rs 88,078 crore), Bharti Airtel (Rs 43,084 crore), Vodafone-Idea (Rs 18,799 crore) and the Adani group (Rs 212 crore) were the sums spent by companies participating in the auctions.
As a next step in the governmental process, spectrum must be formally allocated to companies. Union Telecommunications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced that the spectrum allocation will be completed on 10 August.
Companies are now competing with each other to get out of the 5G blocks first. Both Jio and Airtel have made forceful moves, while Vodafone-Idea appears to be slow to accept. The initial launch will only be in select cities.
5G will provide higher speed, lower latency and greater capacity than 4G LTE networks. It is one of the fastest and most robust technologies the world has ever seen. 5G means faster downloads, much less lag and a significant impact on how we live, work and play. The upcoming 5G services have the potential to create new-age businesses, generate additional revenue for businesses and also create jobs.
Airtel and Jio, the first to start
Airtel has already officially announced that it will start rolling out 5G in August. The company has signed 5G network agreements with Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung for the same. Airtel tendered and acquired the 19867.8 MHz spectrum in the 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 3300 MHz and 26 GHz frequencies
Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO of Airtel said, “We are pleased to announce that Airtel will begin rolling out 5G services in August. Our network agreements have been finalized and Airtel will work with the best technology partners around the world to deliver all the benefits of 5G connectivity for our consumers. India’s transition to a digital economy will be led by telecoms and 5G presents a revolutionary opportunity to drive the digital transformation of India’s industries, businesses and socio-economic development.”
Airtel’s arch-rival Jio doesn’t look sloppy either. The news is that it may launch its 5G services on August 15th — the country’s 75th Independence Day. Akash Ambani, President of Reliance Jio Infocomm, said he will celebrate ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ with a 5G launch in India.
Jio acquired spectrum in the 700MHz, 800MHz, 1800MHz, 3300MHz and 26GHz bands in the auctions. “Jio is fully ready to launch 5G in the shortest amount of time due to its nationwide fiber presence, all-IP network without legacy infrastructure, native 5G stack, and strong global partnerships across the technology ecosystem,” he said. the company.
As of now, the 5G race seems to be between Jio and Airtel. But who has the advantage?
That’s what they claim
An IANS report, citing a study by Nomura, said: “The 700 MHz band could give Reliance Jio an edge in terms of network quality, especially indoors, and this could raise investor concerns about more spectrum for Bharti if R-Jio were able to offer a significant differentiation in network quality (vs Bharti) with 5G in the 700 band”.
But Airtel, on the other hand, said choosing multiple partners will allow it to deploy 5G services that encompass ultra-high speeds, low latency and massive data handling capabilities, which will allow for a superior user experience.
Börje Ekholm, President and CEO of Ericsson, said: “With Ericsson’s unparalleled global 5G deployment experience, we will help Bharti Airtel deliver all the benefits of 5G to Indian consumers and businesses, while seamlessly evolving the Bharti network from 4G to 5G 5G will enable India to realize its Digital India vision and promote the country’s inclusive development.
The Indian Telecommunications Ministry had previously announced that 5G services will be made available in 13 Indian cities at the beginning. Cities that can receive 5G services in 2022 include the four major metropolitan locations of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. Additionally, the country’s software capital Bangalore and the upcoming tech city Hyderabad are also on the list. The others include Jamnagar, Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Pune, Chandigarh and Gurugram. Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Jio have created 5G test sites in all thirteen cities.
There is significant consumer interest in adopting 5G, and 40 million smartphone users could adopt 5G in its first year of availability in India, according to Ericsson.