If you are an Indian and you live near the airport, you might not get to experience 5G inside your home in 2023. The telecom operators are covering India with 5G networks at a rapid pace. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has asked the telcos, including Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea (Vi), not to install 5G C-band base stations within a 2.1 km range of the Indian airports. This is because the frequencies used in C-band by the telcos can interfere with critical aircraft equipment. Thus, Airtel, the only telco that had deployed 5G near several airports in the country, had to switch off 5G base stations near the airports.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is currently in the process of replacing all the aircraft radio altimeter filters. Until that is done, it is unlikely that 5G will come near the airports in India. The same issue has been there in the United States. In the US, the telcos had to delay the launch of C-band 5G multiple times because the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) also had concerns that the 5G frequencies in the C-band would interfere with the radio altimeter frequencies inside the aircraft.
While consumers living near airports can't experience 5G inside their homes, they can definitely see it in other areas of the city they go to. More than 50 towns in India now have 5G networks. Airtel is the only telecom company to deploy 5G commercially. Jio is still in the beta phase and will only launch commercially once it has covered most of India with its 5G.
In the coming months, many more cities with airports will be covered with 5G networks. But it would still take a few years for the 5G handset ecosystem to mature enough to a point where the 4G device market stands today.