The putting in of 5G modems in the smartphones was a big leap for the smartphone manufacturers to make. It goes without saying that the inculcation of 5G capability makes the cost of smartphones skyrocket. This was visible from the price hike done by phone makers on their flagships with the launch of 5G enabled smartphones. However, that is not the only issue, the support of various 5G bands on the smartphone is yet another thing to be taken into consideration. The smartphone manufacturing companies like Realme and OnePlus have played a strategic move by launching devices that support 5G bands especially pertaining to the Indian sector.
OnePlus to Launch Only 5G Phones in India
Navnit Nakra, vice president, chief strategy officer of OnePlus India, told ET Telecom that if they decide to support all 5G bands being globally used across the world, then the smartphone prices will also rise. On these lines, currently, the band which dominates India is the N78 5G band, and hence the OnePlus series 8 and 9 smartphones support the N78 5G band only.
Brands Balance Price and 5G Support
Realme CEO Madhav Sheth has also shed some light on the launches of Realme smartphones and which band they support in India. According to him, Realme is bullish on launching 5G smartphones in the budget segment; as such, the phones offer support to N77 and N78 bands which operate within the 3.2 GHz to 4.2 GHz frequency range. The range of around 3.3 GHz and 3.8 GHz offers a balance between coverage and speed; hence, these bands will be most preferred globally for 5G services. OnePlus, on the other hand, has decided that it will launch 5G smartphones only for Indian markets. Realme also said that it would be aiming to launch a smartphone in the Rs 10,000 marker with 5G capabilities.
An executive from a leading Chinese brand said that the brands take caution while pricing their smartphones, lest they increase the prices unnecessarily. Hence, a lot of smartphone manufacturers, including the likes of Realme, are working in tandem with Indian telecom operators to keep in check which bands are supported in the Indian telecom industry so that they can be supported in smartphones as well.
Indian Telcos Asking for More Band Support
As for the telecom operators, they want the OEMs to support bands like 1800/2100/2300 MHz and sub-GHz bands 800/900 Mhz because the telcos might use Dynamic Spectrum Sharing or spectrum refarming for 5G deployment. Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel have already started the task of 5G field trials.