5G in India, Check Cities, Sim Card, Data Plans: India officially announced the inauguration of 5G network services in the country earlier this week during the IMC 2022 event hosted in New Delhi. With 5G in India, expect faster data speeds from when using mobile data that will enable you to download large files quicker, as well as open the country’s networks in general to a number of other use-cases across industries.
However, with Vodafone Idea not launching 5G in the immediate future, Jio not launching its service till around Diwali and Airtel only rolling out 5G plans for a handful of cities, most Indians will not be able to use the next-gen network just yet. While you wait for 5G to be available in your area, here are five pointers to consider
Which cities get 5G?
5G will initially be available in limited regions across the country. In the case of Airtel, these are just 8 Tier-I cities for now. Jio is also expected to roll out 5G services in limited areas around Diwali, with beta trials starting in four cities from October 5, which is today.
Both telecom operators have also made it clear that pan-India coverage will take a lot more time, and it could be over a year before you can use 5G effectively across all of India. So, unless you live in a Tier-I region, 5G networks may not be accessible to you for anywhere between a few months to a year or more.
5G network services will also not require a new SIM card for both Airtel and Jio 5G. Jio recently confirmed ahead of its beta trials that will kick off starting today that users will not need a new SIM for Jio 5G to work.
With Airtel, users using recent 4G SIM cards will also not need a new card to experience 5G in supported regions. While Vodafone Idea has still not announced its 5G networks yet, we should have more information on any new SIM requirements when the telecom player does.
Numerous reports have suggested that 5G users of both Airtel and Jio will have to be situated close to the actual cellular towers for the network to function at full capacity. The location of these towers, however, is not clearly mapped out.
If the close proximity of a tower is a necessity and you’re not near one yourself, you may face inconsistent reception or worse, no signal at all.
Irrespective of your cellular network provider, your 5G phone may need a small update to enable 5G networks on it, even though the hardware already supports it. There are 5G smartphones that support SA and NSA networks, but may require an update to remove any software-based lock on the same. If your 5G phone is one such model, the availability of 5G services may be dependent on your smartphone brand offering said update. If the update is late, you may not be able to use 5G immediately.
Data plan prices
5G plans are expected to come at their own price points, which may be implemented later if not immediately. Currently, Airtel is reportedly offering 5G data in supported regions at the same price as its 4G plans. Meanwhile, we are yet to see Jio 5G announce their plans and prices, although the ptelco has suggested that its 5G rates will be very affordable.