Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio, two of the leading telecom operators in India, could launch 5G on August 15, 2022, i.e., today. Airtel has confirmed that it will be rolling out 5G from August 2022, while Jio's chairman, Akash Ambani, had hinted that India would get to see 5G networks on the special occasion of 75th Independence Day. Neither of the companies firmly said that it would be Independence Day when they would launch 5G. But if you think about it, PMO (Prime Minister's Office) had asked DoT (Department of Telecommunications) to speed things up because it wanted to see the 5G launch by August 15, 2022.
The day has just started, and the whole nation would be looking forward to an announcement from either Airtel or Jio about 5G networks. One telco that has stayed largely quiet about launching 5G fast is Vodafone Idea (Vi). It is understandable as well. Vi would want to focus its resources more on expanding the 4G user base rather than going for 5G. It would be slightly disheartening if neither Jio nor Airtel launches 5G today. There are a lot of hopes, and consumers are already excited about jumping to 5G networks.
Jio Made a Big Claim that Could Make Airtel, Vi Nervous
In its annual report for FY22, Jio said that it had completed 5G coverage planning for over 1000 cities in India. This could make Airtel and Vodafone Idea slightly nervous. Both the companies wouldn't want to come into a position where they again need to fight for subscriber market share from Jio (this time for 5G). Airtel is also prepared for 5G rollout and has confirmed that it will go the NSA (non-standalone) route to launch 5G.
Airtel has an impressive portfolio in the mid-band spectrum, which would enable the telco to deliver 5G with great coverage and high speeds. But theoretically, Jio could provide 5G with a better coverage performance than Airtel because it also has sub-GHz (700 MHz) spectrum to deploy with mid-band spectrum.
Solely from the perspective of the Indian consumers, hopefully, both Airtel and Jio will launch 5G today. It will be a great way to honour the special day for India, and the telcos would also be able to mark this day in the history as one when India finally converted into a 5G nation.