Bharti Airtel announced that it would start rolling out 5G services this month. The company has officially announced that it will start providing 5G services in India from August 2022.
Airtel also announced in the press release (opens in new tab) which signed agreements with Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung for 5G deployment. Airtel already had agreements with Nokia and Ericsson, this being the first time that it makes agreements with Samsung for 5G.
Airtel MD and CEO Gopal Vittal had this to say about the agreements, “We are pleased to announce that Airtel will start rolling out 5G services in August. Our network agreements are finalized and Airtel will work with the best technology partners around the world to bring all the benefits of 5G connectivity to our customers. 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.”
The telecommunications company led by Sunil Mittal recently acquired 19,867.8 MHz 5G spectrum in 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 3300 MHz and 26 GHz bands in the 5G spectrum auction. Airtel 5G will be present across the country, but will likely start 5G service in major cities first.
Will I get 5G signals this month?
Airtel has been testing 5G in several locations. And this announcement by Airtel is the first of a mobile network after the auction on the rollout of 5G.
But we can expect Airtel to start 5G services in at least a few cities initially in order to compete with Jio, which has hinted at launching 5G on August 15th. Let’s wait and see. It signed agreements with several partners for the deployment of the necessary equipment for the 5G network. If a nationwide 5G rollout is happening this month, the network should have 5G equipment on all of the company’s existing towers. That may not be the case, as the announcement of deals with equipment manufacturers has only just come.
Over the past year, Airtel has tested multiple use cases with multiple partners in multiple locations. From demonstrating India’s first 5G experience on a live 4G network in Hyderabad to India’s first rural 5G trial, first 5G cloud gaming experience and successful deployment of India’s first private captive network on spectrum test, Airtel has set the pace in the industry.