Since the completion of the bidding process for 5G spectrum, the telecom industry seems to be in competition over who will launch 5G first. And according to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), it looks like 5G will be rolled out to 13 cities in the first phase. That said, let’s take a look at where 5G will be available and what service providers have to say about it.
Speaking of availability, 5G will be rolled out in 13 Indian cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Pune, Gandhinagar, Ahemdabad and Jamnagar in the first phase followed by rollout at national scale. . The Telecoms Ministry said it earned more than Rs 1,50,173 crore from the 5G spectrum auction.
Airtel has spent around Rs 43,084 crore and paid installments for the next four years amounting to Rs 8,312.4 crore. The company also announced that it would launch 5G before the end of August. “This 4-year upfront payment allows us to steer the deployment of 5G in a concerted manner given our operating free cash flow. Airtel also has access to Rs 15,740.5 Cr of capital from the yet to be called rights issue,” said Gopal Vittai, MD and CEO, Bharti Aitel Ltd, in a press release.
The company is currently working with Nokia, Samsung and Ericsson as network partners to set up and deliver 5G services in the country. He also said key cities and rural areas will be covered by the end of March 2024.
Vodafone-Idea has also spent Rs 18,800 crore on the 5G auction, which includes radio waves in the midband and spectrum in the 26 GHz band. However, a recent report suggests that the service provider plans to charge a premium for the service but will also provide more data. While Vodafone has yet to officially announce when 5G will be available, some subscribers in the Delhi-NCR area have received a text message that the service will be available in the region in the coming days.
Coming to Reliance Jio, the company is expected to make an announcement regarding 5G availability during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) event. Interestingly, Reliance Jio emerged as the biggest spender during the 5G spectrum auction, spending Rs 88,078 crore, which accounted for about 59% of the total revenue generated from the auction.
The government has already issued spectrum allocation letters, which means telecom service providers can start rolling out 5G as soon as they are ready.