Bharti Airtel is soon going to launch 5G services in India. The telco will start by offering 5G in key cities of the country. Most likely, cities where Airtel has already tested 5G networks for different use cases will get commercial 5G services as well. If you are someone who is excited about the launch of Airtel's 5G network or 5G network in general, this one is for you. Airtel has acquired spectrum from the DoT (Department of Telecommunications) in several bands during the recently concluded 5G spectrum auctions.
Airtel shared with the media that it acquired spectrum in the following bands - 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 3300 MHz, and 26 GHz. The telco bid for a total quantity of 19867.8 MHz of airwaves for a cost of Rs 43,084. This spectrum will be with Airtel for 20 years. Airtel will need to pay this amount to DoT in equal annual instalments with a 7.2% interest applicable.
Here are the Airtel 5G launch details you must know about.
Airtel CEO Said 5G Will Come in India During this Month
Bharti Airtel CEO, Gopal Vittal said that Airtel would commence launching 5G network services in India in August 2022. We are already in August 2022, and the most likely date for the launch of Airtel's 5G is August 15, 2022. Vittal didn't give any specific date, but the government wanted the private telcos to launch 5G by August 15, 2022, as it is Independence day for India.
Airtel to Partner with Samsung, Nokia, and Ericsson for 5G Deployments
Airtel has set the ball rolling by giving 5G contracts to Nokia, Ericsson, and Samsung. The telco is going to work with Ericsson for 5G deployments in 12 circles of India. The telco didn't name these circles, but Ericsson has gotten the largest pie geographically as the remaining 10 circles will be distributed between Nokia and Samsung. This is the first time Airtel will be partnering with Samsung to deploy mobile networks. Until now, Samsung had only worked with Jio for 4G deployment as Jio didn't want to work with the Chinese vendors.
Airtel has Conducted Several Successful 5G Trials
For the last year, Airtel has been working on proving the value and power of its 5G networks. The telco has proved that its 5G network can support several business use cases. One of the recent ones was Airtel conducting a 5G trial with Apollo Hospitals and Cisco to see how a Smart 5G connected Ambulance can be a difference maker in emergencies.
The telco had also conducted 5G trials in rural India with Ericsson using 3.5 GHz spectrum. The telco has been able to achieve excellent peak download speeds with its 5G network. There are several more trials where Airtel tested the capabilities of its 5G network by working with different vendors.
Airtel 5G Spectrum Chart
Airtel bid for 5G airwaves in the recent spectrum auctions. Take a look at the table image below to understand Airtel's holdings.