5G networks have launched in India. Telecom operators Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel have been rolling out 5G at a rapid pace. Already millions of customers in India have experienced 5G. But one thing that has been common amongst all these consumers is that all of them mostly used 5G for speed tests. This is primarily because there are no real use cases of 5G for consumers. The 5G SA device ecosystem is also yet to reach a point where the telecom operators can start getting a return on their investments for 5G.
At the moment, the consumers are mostly going to stick with 4G as using 5G would be slightly more expensive because 5G consumes data at a faster speed. In addition, 5G phones are quite expensive because of supply chain issues across the world. For 5G to be a real success in India, the device ecosystem would have to expand to a point where there are several devices under Rs 15000 which support 5G.
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But the consumers are likely not going to rush to upgrade to 5G phones because there's no real advantage of doing so. 5G is only good for speed tests and that would remain the case until the time cloud gaming and other use cases of 5G which directly impact the lives of the consumers become common.
At this point, consumers "want" 5G, they don't need it. Whereas most consumers need 4G to get through their daily lives. People take a little time to change their habits and once 5G is readily available everywhere in the country, it might start changing the behavior of the users into using 5G more than 4G. Still, the question of whether it is a need or want would be there for the next few years. If users get decent 4G networks, they can do everything they do on their smartphones in India.
5G has already reached more than 100 cities of India. The telcos are working hard to ensure that they can cover the nation with their 5G networks in the next 1 to 1.5 years.
At this point of time, 5G makes a lot of sense for the enterprises. There are use cases of 5G that enterprises can leverage to boost their operations. As for the consumers, all they can do mostly is run speed tests. It doesn't matter whether a movie can be downloaded in 20 seconds on 5G networks if the consumer has to pay more money for it. While the telcos are currently offering 5G at no additional cost to the 4G consumers, they would start charging for it sometime in the future.