India sees launch of first 5G networks
India is taking its first steps into 5G as two of its main local operators kickstart 5G operations.
The live switch on of 5G was announced collectively by India’s telecoms sector alongside the Indian government as part of the India Mobile Congress event held in New Delhi.
India’s two largest telecoms operators, Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel, said services had gone live in select cities.
Airtel confirmed it had rolled out 5G services in eight Indian cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Nagpur and Siliguri – at the start of October. The firm said it plans to have all of “urban India” covered by its 5G services by the end of 2023.
“Bharti Airtel will today start 5G services in eight cities of India. The telecom operator will cover the entire country by 2024,” said Bharti Airtel’s chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal in a PTI report.
Chief rival Jio – with more than 382 million active mobile users – has also said it is set to launch its 5G services later this month in line with the beginning of the Diwali, a five day celebration known as the “festival of light”.
According to TelecomTV, the telco said it will spend $25 billion to achieve nationwide coverage by the end of 2023.
India may soon become a big player in 5G as both the telecom sector and the BJP placed emphasis on positioning India as a “hotbed” of 5G innovation at the event last week.
Tech media platform Inc42 said the competitors launch of 5G services will be “extremely” beneficial for the Indian startups working in diverse sectors including logistics, health, insurance, education, and finance.
Elsewhere in 5G news, telco Vodafone sets its sights on Europe after joining forces with Google Cloud to build a new platform for its customers which it said should resolve 80% of all incidents without the need for human intervention in the next few years.
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