5G was launched in India exactly a year back today, on Oct 1, 2022. Now, it has reached almost all parts of the country and millions have experienced it already. India has witnessed the fastest 5G rollout in the world. It was only possible because of the fast policy changes from the government and the sector regulator and the aggressive strategies employed by the Indian telecom operators Airtel and Jio. Since it is the first anniversary of the 5G launch in India, let's talk about what has changed so far.
How Many People Have Experienced 5G So Far?
Both Jio and Airtel have claimed that more than 50 million users have latched on to their 5G networks. The numbers will definitely increase as 5G networks reach more cities and towns across the nation. Further, with the expected rise in the availability of more affordable 5G phones, the numbers will grow fast.
One thing that has helped with the faster adoption of 5G networks amongst consumers is free unlimited 5G data at no extra cost. Indian consumers recharging with Rs 239 plans and above (Airtel and Jio users only) will get unlimited 5G data if they are under the 5G coverage.
Where Have Airtel and Jio Reached with Their 5G?
Airtel said, "Making it one of the fastest rollouts in the country, Airtel 5G Plus is available across all the 28 states and 8 union territories."
Airtel is actually much ahead of its plans of rolling out 5G. At the same time, Reliance Jio has reached 7,764 cities/towns with its 5G. Jio aims to reach every district and town with 5G by the end of 2023.
5G FWA is Now Available
5G FWA (Fixed Wireless Access) services are also now available for consumers of both Airtel and Jio. Airtel Xstream AirFiber is the name of the service from Airtel while Jio calls its service Jio AirFiber. Mentioned below are the links to understand both the services in depth.
Read about Jio AirFiber- Jio AirFiber Launched: Live in 8 Cities, Check out all the Plans
Read about Airtel Xstream AirFiber - Airtel Xstream AirFiber: Where to Get, Cost and Other Details
5G Speeds Have Bumped India Higher in the Global Positioning
Because of widespread 5G and improved 4G networks, telcos can now deliver much better speeds to consumers. As per Ookla's Global Speedtest Index, India was in the 188th spot in September 2022 with a median mobile download speed of 13.87 Mbps. But after one year of the 5G launch, Ookla's Global Speedtest Index says that India is in the 47th rank overall globally (this is a huge jump from the 188th rank) and the median mobile download speed is 50.21 Mbps.
State governments across India have understood the importance of 5G and have aligned their RoW (Right of Way) policies with those of the central government. More work is needed to update the existing policies to ensure that the best 5G ecosystem can be built so that new-age technologies such as AR/VR, AI and IoT can flourish in the Indian market.