Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel, two leading private telecom players in India, who have already rolled out 5G in select parts of the country, are now gearing up to launch it in other cities as well. Jio and Airtel have already declared their plans in public about how fast they are looking to cover the entire nation with their 5G networks. Jio and Airtel both plan to add several thousand 5G sites every week in the coming months to ramp up their process of 5G rollout. This is not something that Vodafone Idea can follow. What's impressive here is that Jio is deploying 5G SA, and it is not just an upgrade over the existing 4G layer like with 5G NSA, but a whole separate network infrastructure, which means that it takes more time. Regardless, Jio is trying to roll out 5G faster than Airtel, which is deploying 5G NSA.
How Airtel and Jio Plan to Rollout 5G Fast in India?
Jio and Airtel combined plan to deploy 9000 to 10000 5G sites every week in the coming 3 to 4 months. Currently, the number of sites that the telcos are deploying every week is around 3500 sites per week, ET Telecom reported. But as the equipment becomes more easily available with the domestic production of radios, Airtel and Jio will ramp up the number of 5G sites they are deploying in a week.
The report said that Jio is looking to add up to 5000 to 6000 5G sites every week in the coming three to four months. Jio had said that it would roll out 5G in the entire India by December 2023, and it would be the fastest 5G rollout the world has ever seen. While Airtel said that it would be able to roll out PAN-India 5G by March 2024.
Airtel is currently adding about 1200 sites in a week, but that is going to be increased soon, the report added. Further, Jio is adding about 2500 sites. Jio is deploying two base stations in a single site - one for the 700 MHz band spectrum and the other for the 3300 MHz band spectrum. Remember that Jio only has sub-GHz spectrum for 5G rollout in India.