Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel are the two top telecom operators in India in terms of subscribers’ market share. While these two operators are gaining market share both in terms of revenues and subscribers, Vodafone Idea (Vi) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) are doing what they can to survive. 5G is not far away from here, and the telcos are already in the testing process of their 5G solutions. These trials will help them in understanding the use cases of the technology and also enable an efficient rollout without any errors.
Looking at the market predictions by all the analysts and just how things have unfolded, it isn’t hard to assume that Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel will be the key players in the telecom industry. Look, I am not ruling out Vodafone Idea and BSNL’s future yet. Both the telcos can still run their operations on 4G, and it wouldn’t be a big problem since 4G isn’t going from India anytime soon. But when it comes to 5G, there’s hardly any conviction that BSNL and Vi offer to the market.
While Vi is already testing its 5G solutions, the telco doesn’t have the kind of money it is required to invest in the 5G spectrum. But there’s one thing that Vi can manage to do when it comes to 5G. Vodafone Idea can repurpose its 4G network and core for offering 5G services with the help of Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) technology which Bharti Airtel has already done.
Why Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel Will Be Leaders In 5G?
The reason why Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel will lead the 5G race in India is their current market standing. They are in a very good position to invest money into the 5G spectrum, 5G equipment, and overall infrastructure to rollout 5G services as soon as possible. The same can’t be said for Vodafone Idea and BSNL.
BSNL can’t even think about jumping to 5G before it has a live 4G network present in India. The telcos can go about 5G in two different ways. One is the 5G standalone (SA) and the 5G NSA (non-standalone).
While 5G SA can be built by any telco regardless of whether it has a 4G network or not, the 5G NSA requires the presence of a 4G core. BSNL can’t go for 5G SA because it simply doesn’t have the resource and the kind of market standing where it would see a return on its investment. It can go for 5G NSA, but it doesn’t have 4G networks present around the country.
Jio and Airtel Have Made Huge Leaps With 5G
Both Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel have already made huge leaps when it comes to 5G. Jio has developed and tested indigenous 5G solutions with success, while Airtel had just announced successful cloud gaming with the help of its 5G network in Gurgaon.
In the coming months, it is only expected that both the operators will make more announcements regarding 5G. It’s absolutely alright for Vi and BSNL for focusing on 4G and keep developing 5G in the backend because 4G will still be a consumer play for the telcos for at least the next 5 years.