If you are someone who is eagerly waiting for 5G to arrive in India so that you can see seriously high download speeds such as 4 Gbps which Vodafone Idea (Vi) demonstrated during a media event, you are waiting to be disappointed. You are definitely not going to get such high download speeds on your mobile directly. First of all, those speeds will only be possible if you are in the coverage of mmWave 5G.
Telecom operators aren’t going to invest heavily in mmWave 5G for the consumers. There are multiple reasons why. Firstly, telcos won’t get a return on their investment. You ask why?
Well, mmWave bands have a very fragile nature. They can be interfered by simple objects such as trees and walls to the extent that their coverage is no more than a few hundred meters. This means the telcos would have to set up micro sites every few hundred meters to make mmWave 5G a possibility.
Telcos Will be More Interested in Launching 5G with Mid-Band Spectrum for Consumers
Instead, the telcos would roll out 5G for consumers with the mid-band spectrum in the 3.5 GHz range. This makes a better business case for the telco to deliver 5G to consumers directly. With 3.5 GHz bands, telcos can deliver better coverage as well as higher speeds.
Even that speed would be distributed amongst millions of consumers. So, you are likely going to see a speed boost with 5G. But it isn’t going to be speeds such as 4 Gbps and more. You will only be able to do that with mmWave 5G, and that you won’t get access to. mmWave investments are likely suitable for a closed or restricted environment for enterprise clients.
Consumers don’t even require that kind of speeds. A few reports suggest that 5G speeds are, on average, 10x faster than 4G. So, for example, if you are getting around 20 Mbps download speed with your 4G connection, you can expect to get around 200 Mbps with 5G. This is just an example and an estimated figure. The actual performance might be better or worse.
Right now, India is preparing for 5G spectrum auction slated for July 26, 2022.