India’s 5G Story So Far

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What’s Happening?

The speed challenge of Airtel 5G plus and Jio true 5G is the current talk of the town. Airtel has made its 5G network available in six cities, and the Jio 5G is available in four cities. While the two competitors are racking their heads, Vodafone Idea is still nowhere in the picture. 

The next big thing in the 5G space gaining too much traction is the ‘standalone model’ opted for by Jio True 5G.

So, what’s the deal with this traction?

Deployment Model of Jio True 5G and Airtel 5G plus

Jio has won 700MHz in the 5G spectrum auctions so that they can deploy the standalone model. While Airtel 5G plus is deploying the non-standalone network. 

What is the difference between the two?

A non-standalone model takes the help of the existing 4G infrastructure or tower to deliver a 5G network to the users. In contrast, a standalone network is self-sufficient to offer 5G services through its 5G infrastructure. It does not have to rely on any existing infrastructure to provide its services; hence, it is costlier for the company to set up.  

As Jio True 5G is based on a standalone network, it has zero dependencies on Jio 4G network. In a recent speech, Mr Mukesh Ambani said, ‘With standalone 5G, Jio can deliver new and powerful services such as low latency connectivity, massive machine-to-machine communication, 5G voice, Edge computing and metaverse.’

According to the Economic Times, a senior executive said Airtel would also move to the standalone (SA) mode of 5G in a couple of years. 

The Tariff for 5G Services by Service Providers

Jio has launched its ‘ Jio Welcome Offer ‘, where they will send invites to use Jio 5G data with a speed of up to 1GB per second to their users. These customers can upgrade to Jio True 5G on their existing sim cards. All you need is a 5G-compatible smartphone. 

To access Airtel 5G Plus, you don’t have to upgrade your sim card. Moreover, if you have a 5G compatible device, you can take advantage of Airtel 5G Plus on your existing data plans until the rollout is completed. This means that Airtel 4G SIM is 5G enabled, and you get 5G speed at 4G cost!

What’s Next?

When Jio 4G was introduced, people upgraded their smartphones to 4G compatible devices. In the case of 5G, recently launched mobiles are already 5G compatible. Currently, around 8% of headsets in the country are 5G enabled. But what about old mobile phones? Will people switch to 5G compatible devices?

To solve the problem, Jio has come up with Jio Air Fiber which will deliver 5G hotspots to multiple devices. This is similar to JioFI or the 4G dongle they introduced back in 2016. 

Jio and Airtel are all set for the 5G party and waiting for Vodafone Idea to join. Let’s see if Vodafone Idea is the slow and steady one to win the race. 

Until then, don’t forget to share the newsletter with your friends. 

*The companies mentioned in the article are for informational purposes.

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