Airtel vs Jio: Who will Offer More Affordable 5G Plans

5G uptake in India is expected to be fast, said Opensignal in its latest report for the Indian market. This is because over 9.7% of the active smartphones in India are already 5G devices. By the time telcos launch 5G networks, that figure would definitely have shot up. At the same time, it would be really important for the telcos to have a conservative approach in terms of expectations

Highlights

  • Airtel is more aggressive about the average revenue per user (ARPU) figure than Jio.
  • Most consumers would definitely not go for 5G if the tariffs are on the expensive end.
  • Reliance Jio will be able to offer VoNR services because of deploying 5G SA.

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Airtel Jio

It is impossible to say right now, but going by the trend of what has happened in the last six years, I believe it will be Jio who will offer the most affordable 5G services amongst private telcos in India. Airtel is more aggressive about the average revenue per user (ARPU) figure than Jio. Jio earns through scale as it has way more customers than Airtel. If we are talking about 5G tariffs, no one at this point knows what that will look like. But talking to the industry people, including Airtel's CTO (Chief Technology Officer), Randeep Sekhon, during a Twitter Spaces session, I have realised that there won't be too much of a price difference between the 4G and 5G plans. But how the benefits will be bundled for the consumers is something that we will have to wait and watch.

5G Uptake in India to be Fast

5G uptake in India is expected to be fast, said Opensignal in its latest report for the Indian market. This is because over 9.7% of the active smartphones in India are already 5G devices. By the time telcos launch 5G networks, that figure would definitely have shot up. At the same time, it would be really important for the telcos to have a conservative approach in terms of expectations. There could be a scenario where consumers don't necessarily opt for the 5G services despite owning a 5G phone. In that case, the telcos would have to play the waiting game with the consumers, and there would also be a need for incentives to go around and attract customers into upgrading to 5G.

Most consumers would definitely not go for 5G if the tariffs were on the expensive end. Thus, the telcos would have to find a clever workaround to push people into opting for 5G services. At the end of the day, 5G would be a marketing play from the private telcos. There is no desperate need for 5G for consumers. In almost every part of the world, the consumer use cases of 5G have been FWA (Fixed Wireless Access) and cloud gaming. 5G VoNR

Reliance Jio will be able to offer VoNR services because of deploying 5G SA. Airtel would stick with VoLTE because of going for 5G NSA. Just how big a difference it would be between the VoNR and VoLTE is something we can only talk about after experiencing both.

Even if Jio's 5G is powerful and superior, it is most likely not going to charge at par or more than what Airtel would charge customers. Jio likes to play in big numbers, while Airtel likes to focus on high-paying customers. In October, we will get to know what's really going to happen as telcos launch commercial 5G network services.

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Tanay is someone with whom you can chill and talk about technology and life. A fitness enthusiast and cricketer, he loves to read and write.

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