How 5G services are being rolled out in India
Vaishnaw’s statement comes amid a phased rollout of 5G services in India — presently at a very early stage of deployment. At present, private telecom operators Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel are undertaking a phased rollout of services in the country. While Jio has rollout its 5G services in Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi and Kolkata, Airtel has so far offered it across eight cities — Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Nagpur, Siliguri and Varanasi.
Varanasi, it is interesting to note, was not named in the initial list of 13 cities across India that were shortlisted to be among the first to receive 5G connectivity. Furthermore, fellow private operator Vodafone Idea is yet to announce when its 5G rollout would commence.
So far, the union government has maintained that the rollout of 5G services will take place at prices that will remain in line with the highly competitive tariffs for 4G in India. While Bharti Airtel is offering a non-standalone (NSA) 5G network, Jio has opted to offer standalone (SA) 5G — known in some quarters as ‘true’ 5G. The new generation network will require telcos in India to significantly upgrade their networks — a capital intensive move, at the very least.