Vodafone Idea is also expected to join the bandwagon soon, with promoter Kumar Mangalam Birla saying network upgrade is currently in the process of being installed.
“… as an industry, we will ensure that we have the highest quality and the most affordable rates than anyone else has in the world,” Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambanisaid after PM Narendra Modi inaugurated the services at the India Mobile Congress (organised by COAI and telecom industry). He said Jio will progressively pace up the launch and would cover the country by the end of next year. “I want to reiterate Jio’s commitment to deliver 5G to every town, every taluka, and every tehsil by December, 2023. Most of Jio’s 5G is developed in India, and carries the stamp of Atmanirbhar Bharat.”
While companies are yet to make their tariffs public, it is expected that in the initial days, the consumer bills will not be disrupted heavily. Industry analysts say companies will go for easier customer upgrades in cities where they launch the services that promise consumer network speeds of over 100 Mbps while promising to revolutionise enterprise and other areas like education, healthcare and agriculture.
Airtel said it will debut the 5G services from eight cities that include Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Varanasi. Officials said customers with 5G-enabled phones will have the option to migrate to 5G networks, though it is still not clear on how to make the transition and what the tariffs would be.
Airtel chief Mittal said the company will roll out 5G services across cities by March 2023, and throughout the country by March 2024.