Business Business Stories Interviews Leadership Technology

Bharti Airtel is set to launch 5G services in the country in August

Gopal Vittal, the managing director and CEO of Bharti Airtel, announced on Tuesday that the telecom provider will begin deploying 5G services in August and reach all major cities and rural areas in India by March 2024.

“We intend to launch 5G starting August and extend to a Pan India roll out very soon. By March 2024 we believe we will be able to cover every town and key rural areas as well with 5G,” Vittal said.

He added that the cost of mobile services in the nation needs to increase because it is now very low.

5,000 cities across the nation have complete network rollout plans, according to Vittal, who stated this on the company’s earnings call.

“This will be one of the biggest rollouts in our history,” he added.

In the 5G spectrum auction, Airtel purchased 19,867.8 MHz.

Bharti Airtel won 19,867.8 MHz frequencies in the recently completed 5G spectrum auction by winning a pan-India footprint of the 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz bands as well as the selective acquisition of radiowaves in the low and mid-band spectrum for a total price of 43,040 crore.

Vittal downplayed the necessity of purchasing premium spectrum in the 700 megahertz band, which requires fewer mobile towers for coverage compared to other bands that telecom operators currently have. He claimed the telco’s capital spending will remain around the existing levels.

“Our competition does not have such a large mid-band spectrum. Do remember that if we did not have this large chunk of precious mid-band spectrum we would have had no choice but to buy expensive 700 Mhz spectrum.

“And once we had bought it we would have had to deploy large power guzzling radios on this band. Not only would the cost have been higher, but it would also have led to more carbon emissions,” Vittal said.

According to him, the company’s 900 Mhz spectrum band provides the same amount of coverage as the network rollout in the 700 Mhz band.

English »