Airtel announces its first public 5G ready network in India

airtel announces its first public 5g ready network in india

Bharti Airtel, India's second-biggest network in terms of users, announced its first public 5G demo in Hyderabad. While Jio has announced its plan to launch its 5G in the second half of 2021, Airtel showed through the demo that it is not far behind and can roll out the 5G service in a matter of few months if the Government allocates the spectrum at a reasonable cost. India has been lagging behind in the 5G rollout, as the 5G spectrum prices are very high, and the telecom sector is bleeding due to tough tariff competition from the top three major private players, including Jio, Airtel, and Vi.

Airtel demonstrated its 5G in Hyderbad over its existing liberalized spectrum in the 1800 MHz band through the NSA (Non-Stand Alone) network technology. The company also noted that it used a "first of its kind, dynamic spectrum sharing to operate 5G and 4G concurrently within the same spectrum block." This demonstration has clearly demonstrated the preparation of Airtel for the commercial rollout.

Airtel claims that 5G will be capable of delivering 10x speeds, 10x latency, and 100x concurrency when compared to existing technologies. The users in Hyderabad could test out the same if they have a compatible 5G phone. However, the public rollout will happen only when the Government allocates the spectrum. Also, the users wouldn't require to upgrade SIM cards for latching on to the 5G network.

Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO, Bharti Airtel, in a statement, said, “I am very proud of our engineers who have worked tirelessly to showcase this incredible capability in Tech City, Hyderabad today. With Airtel being the first operator to demonstrate this capability, we have shown again that we have always been the first in India to pioneer new technologies in our quest for empowering Indians everywhere.”