PM Modi to launch 5G services on Oct 1

Published on Sep 24, 2022 11:41 PM IST

The Prime Minister will inaugurate the four-day event next month, where leading telecom companies including Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea will detail their 5G plans for the country

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New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch 5G services in India at the India Mobile Congress on October 1, people aware of the matter said on Saturday, a month after Union minister asked all telecom service providers to prepare for the roll-out of the service.

The Prime Minister will inaugurate the four-day event next month, where leading telecom companies including Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea will detail their 5G plans for the country.

“The 5G services will roll out in India at the India Mobile Congress on October 1,” a person aware of the matter said.

The India Mobile Congress (IMC), one of the largest telecom, media, and technology forums in Asia, is jointly organised by the department of telecommunications (DoT) and cellular operators association of India (COAI).

The announcement has come nearly a month after Reliance Industries Ltd said that it will invest 2 lakh crore to roll out its 5G services in key cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata by Diwali and across India by December next year.

India’s largest carrier Reliance Jio plans to roll out Jio 5G by this Diwali 2022 across multiple key cities including metropolises of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai.

“Within the next two months, by Diwali, we will launch Jio 5G across multiple key cities, including the metropolises of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai. By December 2023, which is less than 18 months from today, we will deliver Jio 5G to every town, every taluka, and every tehsil of our country,” Ambani told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting on August 29.

Reliance’s rival, Bharti Airtel, meanwhile, plans to launch its 5G services in 5,000 cities and towns by March 2024.

“By December, we should have coverage in key metros. After that, we will expand rapidly to cover the entire country,” Gopal Vittal, the chief executive officer of the second largest telecom operator, said earlier this month.

Vodafone Idea has not announced any plans for 5G services even though it bought spectrum in 17 circles across the country in the auctions month.

Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd emerged as the top buyer in the government auction of airwaves, spending 88,078 crore, more than double that of second-placed Bharti Airtel Ltd.

Ambani’s purchases helped the government net a record 1.5 lakh crore by selling 51,236MHz of spectrum in the auction that lasted a week. About 71% of the 72,098MHz airwaves on sale, including 5G spectrum, were picked up by wireless operators, with the highest 80,590 crore coming from the sale of spectrum in the 3.3GHz band. The sale of airwaves in the 700MHz, 26GHz and 1,800MHz bands contributed 39,270 crore, 14,709 crore and 10,376 crore, respectively.

“We understand that the spectrum purchased is good enough for covering the entire country. So, there’s good reason to believe that in the coming two to three years, we’ll have very good coverage of 5G in the entire country,” telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had said after the auction.

Vaishnaw had expressed hope that 5G network roll-outs are expected to begin by October.

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