Apply for India eVisa

Experience India like Never Before with 5G

India's 5G network represents the country's next-generation telecommunications infrastructure, aiming to provide significantly faster data speeds, lower latency, and enhanced connectivity. As a technological leap forward from its predecessor networks, 5G holds the potential to revolutionise various industries by enabling advanced applications such as Internet of Things (IoT), smart cities, augmented reality, and remote surgery. India's move towards adopting 5G technology is poised to bring transformative changes to communication, connectivity, and digital innovation across the nation.

5G Network

Things to note about India 5G Network

The launch of 5G services in India was officially announced earlier this week at the IMC 2022 event in New Delhi. 5G will enable faster data speeds for mobile users, allowing quicker downloads of large files and opening up many new use cases across industries. 

However, widespread access is still some time away. Vodafone Idea is not launching 5G in the near future. Jio plans to start its 5G service around Diwali. Airtel has only rolled out 5G plans for a few cities so far. So while most Indians will need to wait before being able to use 5G, here are five key points to consider in the meantime:

  • 5G in India
  • Check Cities
  • Sim Card
  • Data Plans
  • Indian 3G, 4G, 5G Network Coverage

Cities that get 5G Network in India

The rollout of 5G will be limited to certain areas of India initially. Airtel has launched 5G services in only 8 major metropolitan cities so far. Jio is also taking a phased approach, with plans to start 5G beta trials in 4 cities beginning October 5th, followed by a wider launch around Diwali confined to select regions. So in both cases, 5G access will be restricted to certain cities when services first become available. Broad, nationwide coverage will come later.

Airtel and Jio have stated that nationwide 5G coverage will take significant time, potentially over a year. This means that unless you reside in a major metropolitan area, you may not have access to 5G networks for several months to a year or longer. The telecom operators are initially limiting 5G services to certain Tier-I cities and regions. Broad, pan-India 5G availability is still a ways off. So users outside of major urban centres should expect to wait before being able to effectively utilise 5G, anywhere from a few months to a year or more depending on location.

About SIM Cards

Users will not need a new SIM card to access 5G networks from Airtel or Jio. Both operators have confirmed that existing SIMs will be compatible with their 5G services. Specifically, Jio mentioned that ahead of its 5G beta trials beginning today, a new SIM will not be required for users to get Jio 5G connectivity. The existing SIMs of Airtel and Jio customers will work on the new 5G networks as they are rolled out.

Here is a re-written version without changing the meaning:

Airtel has also confirmed that their latest 4G SIM cards will be compatible with 5G networks in regions where service is available. Customers will not require a new SIM. As for Vodafone Idea, they have yet to announce 5G plans so it's unclear if their customers will need new SIMs. We'll have to wait for more information from Vodafone Idea on any potential SIM requirements when they do launch 5G services. But as of now, neither Jio nor Airtel are requiring new SIMs, with existing 4G SIMs supported for 5G connectivity in covered areas.

  • Airtel Mobile

- Airtel has the largest 4G network in India covering over 25% of the country's population as of 2022. 

- 4G coverage is available in all major towns and cities. Airtel claims to cover over 91% of urban India with 4G.

- However, rural 4G coverage is still limited. Only around 31% of Airtel's mobile sites are 4G enabled in villages as per recent data.

- Airtel's 3G network has a much wider presence in rural India compared to its 4G coverage. 

- For 5G, Airtel has launched services in 8 cities so far - Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Siliguri, Nagpur and Varanasi.

- Pan-India 5G rollout will take time. Airtel is aiming to cover all towns and key rural areas with 5G in the next 1-2 years.

- Airtel uses spectrum in 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz and 2300 MHz bands for 4G services. For 5G it has acquired spectrum in 3500 MHz and 26 GHz bands.

In summary, Airtel has the best 4G coverage in urban India but lags rivals in rural presence. 5G availability is very limited as of now. 3G fills rural gaps to some extent. Airtel is rapidly investing to expand 4G and 5G coverage.


SIM Card 5G


Largest Cellular

  • BSNL Mobile

- BSNL has the largest cellular footprint across India covering all telecom circles pan-India. 

- It provides 2G connectivity in the 900 MHz band in even remote rural areas where no other operator is present.

- BSNL's 3G network is also extensive covering all major towns and cities using 2100 MHz spectrum.

- However, BSNL lagged heavily in deploying 4G networks and launched 4G only in 2019. 

- 4G coverage is limited to certain areas of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Maharashtra, UP, Punjab, Rajasthan, etc. 

- There is no timeline yet for BSNL rolling out 5G services. The company is still focused on expanding 4G coverage to more circles.

- BSNL has spectrum in 800 MHz and 2100 MHz bands which can be utilised for 4G and 5G in the future.

In summary, BSNL has unmatched rural presence with 2G and 3G but very limited 4G availability as of now. 5G rollout will take time. BSNL is working to enhance 4G coverage to more regions first before eyeing 5G launches.


5G Launches


4G Network Covering

  • Jio Mobile

- Jio launched 4G services in 2016 and has rapidly expanded coverage across India since then. 

- As of 2022, Jio claims to have the world's second largest 4G network covering over 92% of India's population.

- Jio's 4G coverage spans urban and rural areas across 27,000+ cities and towns in India.

- The company aims to connect 100% of India with 4G in the near future.

- For 5G, Jio plans to launch services in 4 metros initially followed by a phased rollout to other cities and rural areas by 2024. 

- Jio has acquired 5G spectrum in 700 MHz, 3500 MHz and 26 GHz bands to power its 5G network.

- Jio uses LTE in 800MHz, 1800MHz and 2300MHz bands for its widespread 4G services. 

- Jio has also been bolstering fibre capacity to support 5G deployments.

In summary, Jio has rapidly grown its 4G network over the last 5 years to achieve almost pan-India coverage. Its 5G plans will build on this infrastructure to expand next-gen services nationwide in the coming years.


Services Across

  •  VI Mobile

- Vodafone Idea is the third largest telecom operator in India after Jio and Airtel. 

- The company offers 2G, 3G and 4G services across all 22 telecom circles in India.

- VI claims to cover over 1 billion Indians with its 2G/3G/4G networks in over 124,000 mobile sites. 

- However, 4G coverage is relatively weaker compared to competitors. VI has 4G presence in around 17,000 towns across India.

- The operator aims to expand its 4G coverage to over 33,000 towns in the short term by deploying dynamic spectrum refarming.

- VI currently does not offer 5G services yet. It acquired 5G spectrum in 3300 MHz and 26 GHz bands but is still working on 5G rollout plans.

- VI leverages 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz bands for its 2G/3G/4G networks pan-India.

- Financial struggles have impacted VI's network expansion plans in recent years.

In summary, VI has pan-India mobile network presence but relatively limited 4G coverage compared to Jio and Airtel. The company is yet to launch 5G services in India.

Cellular Towers

Will the 5G Network depend on cellular Towers?

According to multiple reports, Airtel and Jio customers will need to be in close proximity to 5G towers to get the full benefits of the high-speed network. The 5G signals have limited range compared to 4G. So users will have to be relatively near the cellular towers for the fastest speeds and peak performance. 

Being in close range of a 5G tower will be crucial, at least in the initial rollout stages. If you are not situated near an active 5G tower, you may struggle with poor, intermittent 5G reception or possibly no 5G signal at all. 

What updates are needed for the 5G Network functioning?

You may need a software update on your 5G phone to enable 5G, even if the hardware supports it. Some 5G phones work on both SA and NSA networks but have software locks. Your ability to use 5G can depend on your phone brand providing an update to remove the lock. 

If the update comes late, you may not be able to access 5G right away, regardless of your carrier. So 5G access relies on phone makers releasing updates in addition to carriers launching services. Check for software updates if 5G isn't working on your device. Timely updates are key.

Data Plan Costs

5G data plans will likely have separate pricing, whether implemented immediately or down the road. For now, Airtel is said to be offering 5G data at the same rates as its 4G plans in regions with coverage. Jio has not yet announced its 5G plan pricing, though the company has indicated it will offer affordable 5G rates. 

While Airtel currently appears to be including 5G in existing plans, operators may introduce distinct pricing for 5G in the future. Jio's rates remain to be seen. But 5G-specific plans and costs are expected eventually, if not at launch. Users should prepare for the possibility of paying a premium for 5G data.

India Network Coverage

  • 3G Network Coverage

3G networks have the widest coverage across India currently. 3G services were launched in the country in 2008 and all major telecom operators provide 3G connectivity. However, 3G speeds are quite slow by today's standards.

  • 4G Network Coverage

4G networks have seen rapid growth in recent years but coverage is still limited compared to 3G, especially in rural areas. Reliance Jio's entry in 2016 accelerated 4G proliferation. Top operators like Airtel, Vodafone Idea and BSNL also provide pan-India 4G services. But 4G is still unavailable in many smaller towns and villages

  • 5G Network Coverage

5G networks are in the initial stages of rollout and have very limited coverage right now. Airtel and Jio have launched 5G services in select metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Varanasi. Wider availability is expected in 1-2 years time. 5G will require dense fibre infrastructure and telecom investment to expand across India, especially rural areas.

In summary - 3G has the most extensive coverage pan-India but lacks speed and capacity. 4G coverage is improving steadily but is still limited compared to 3G. 5G is only available in a handful of cities for now but holds the promise of fast, low latency connections in the future. Rural access remains a challenge for all generations.


What is the significance of 5G technology in India?

5G technology in India brings a revolutionary shift in connectivity, offering faster data speeds, lower latency, and the potential to enable cutting-edge applications like IoT, smart cities, and more.

How will 5G enhance the user experience in India?

With 5G, users in India can experience seamless streaming, quicker downloads, and improved online gaming experiences due to its high-speed and low-latency capabilities.

What industries will benefit from India's 5G network?

Various sectors like healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, and entertainment will benefit from 5G's capabilities, leading to innovations and advancements in each domain.

Can 5G contribute to India's digital transformation?

Absolutely, 5G's capabilities will accelerate India's digital transformation journey, fostering innovation, economic growth, and improved communication infrastructure.

Will 5G impact India's economy?

Yes, 5G's widespread adoption can drive economic growth by enabling new business models, increasing efficiency, and attracting investments in emerging technologies.

How will 5G transform daily life in India?

5G will enhance daily life through smart homes, connected devices, virtual reality experiences, and improved communication methods, enriching how Indians work, communicate, and interact.

What challenges does India face in implementing 5G?

Challenges include infrastructure development, spectrum allocation, cybersecurity concerns, and ensuring affordable access to 5G services for all citizens.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *