India plans nationwide 5G coverage within two years

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India plans nationwide 5G coverage within two years Duncan is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in journalism. Having launched his tech journalism career as editor of Arabian Computer News in Dubai, he has since edited an array of tech and digital marketing publications, including Computer Business Review, TechWeekEurope, Figaro Digital, Digit and Marketing Gazette.

India’s National Broadband Mission, which operates under the Ministry of Communications, has revealed that the country’s Government will announce the launch of 5G services in the country at India Mobile Congress on October 1.

Mukesh Ambani, India’s Reliance Industries’ chairman, Bharti Airtel’s CEO, Sunil Mittal, and Vodafone Idea India’s CEO, Ravinder Takkar, are expected to unveil the plan during a joint presentation at the event.

According to reports, the rollout of 5G services will begin in seven cities, including Delhi and Mumbai, with nationwide coverage expected to be achieved in two years.

The auction for India’s 5G spectrum was finalised on August 1 with local carriers having purchased a total $19 billion worth of spectrum.

Reliance Jio bought $11 billion worth of spectrum, Airtel paid $5.4 billion, Vodafone bagged $2.4 billion of spectrum, and Adani purchased spectrum worth around $27 million, which it will use to offer private 5G network services.

Airtel plans to begin 5G deployment in large cities before gradually deploying the technology across the country. Bharti Airtel has completed its 5G rollout strategy for the top 5,000 cities and intends to achieve nationwide coverage by March 2024. The company recently signed 5G network agreements with Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung to start 5G deployments.

Vodafone Idea said that the launch of its 5G services in the country will depend on several factors, including the evolution of use cases, customer demand and competitive dynamics.

RavinderT akkar, Vodafone Idea non-executive chairman said: “Vodafone Idea has actively participated in the 5G spectrum auction and acquired the midband 5G spectrum in 17 priority circles and millimeter wave 5G spectrum in 16 circles. This will enable Vodafone Idea to embark on its 5G rollout journey in the country.”

At its shareholders meeting this year, Reliance Jio Infocomm said it will invest $24.5 billion on its 5G rollout, and intends to reach every Indian town with 5G service by the end of 2023.

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