Airtel 5G: Expected Launch in India, 5G Speed Test, Trials, Spectrum, and More

Here's everything we know about the Airtel 5G networks in India!

Airtel is one of the largest telecom operators in the country. The operator is known for delivering stable 4G networks throughout the country for a while. Airtel is now all set to take the next big step by upgrading its existing networks to 5G. Although the government is yet to start with the 5G spectrum auction in India, the telecom operator is in full swing to test its network capabilities and is currently experimenting with trials across the country to make its network 5G ready. So, if you are curious about the Airtel 5G networks, then you have come to the right place. In this article, we will be talking about the Airtel 5G in detail, including its expected launch in India, 5G internet speeds, where the brand has done 5G trials, and the latest news about Airtel 5G all in one place. So, without further ado, let’s get started.

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Airtel 5G Expected Launch in India

The launch date for Airtel 5G rollout is a hot topic in the market. Although there is no confirmation on the rollout of the 5G network from the telecom operator, it is expected to be launched in India by this year. The Department of Telecommunication (DoT) has officially revealed that the 5G services will be launched in India in 13 cities in 2022. The department has officially announced that the initial 5G services will be available in Delhi, Gurugram, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Jamnagar, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Pune, and Gandhi Nagar.

Airtel has revealed that it is ready to launch its 5G services in India. The company is currently waiting for the auction of the spectrum by the government and is hopeful that in one year’s time, the 5G networks of Airtel will cover larger portions of the country. “A quarter or two quarters from that, we would start seeing 5G networks going live in India,” said Randeep Sekhon, chief technology officer of Bharti Airtel. The spectrum auction is expected to start between May-June and we might see Airtel 5G launch in India by the end of 2022 in limited cities where the company has already established test sites.

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Airtel 5G Internet Speed

Airtel 5G network speed is said to be the fastest in the country. The company last year conducted India’s first 5G trial in the 700MHz band in partnership with Nokia which fetched 1Gbps of internet speed and a low latency rate of 10 milliseconds. For comparison, the current average 4G mobile internet speed is around 20Mbps, while the upload speed is around 5.09Mbps with 477 milliseconds average latency.

Moreover, Airtel also tested the 5G internet speeds in Hyderabad that delivered a whopping 3Gbps of peak internet speed in the 3500Mhz spectrum. The internet speed is three times faster than the 5G trials conducted by Reliance Jio. Simply put, once the Airtel 5G networks are launched in India, users will be able to download a full-length 4K movie in a matter of seconds.

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Airtel 5G Trials

Airtel was the first telecom operator that successfully tested the commercial 5G demo in the country. The first trial was conducted on eh outskirts of Kolkata. The telecom operator’s 5G trial network is already live in Cyber Hub in Gurugram, Phoenix Mall, Lower Parel in Mumbai, and Hyderabad. The company also conducted its rural 5G trial in partnership with Ericsson in Bhaipur Bramanan village on the outskirts of Delhi/NCR using a 5G trial spectrum allocated to Airtel by the Department of Telecom. During the rural trial, the company demonstrated over 200Mbps of speed throughout on 3GPP-compliant 5G FWA device at a distance of over 10 Km from the site.

Moreover, the operator also conducted a 5G trial for gaming to showcase its cloud gaming capabilities. The test was done in Manesar using the 3500 MHz spectrum that has been allotted by the DoT. The operator demonstrated speeds above 1Gbps and latency in the range of 10 milliseconds.

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Airtel 5G Spectrum

The government is yet to allocate a 5G spectrum via an auction in India. However, the DoT has allotted some 5G spectrum to the telecom operators like Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and Reliance Jio to test out the 5G networks in the country. Airtel has been allotted 3,5000MHz bands to conduct 5G trials in the country. The telecom operator also conducted a 5G trial using the 1,800MHz band in Hyderabad. Moreover, it is reported that the operator equipment is compatible with 2100/2300MHz and sub-GHz bands (800/900 MHz). The company has also made it clear that it can upgrade its 4G networks to 5G to deliver the faster rollout of the network across the country, once the spectrum is allocated.

Airtel 5G Latest News

Airtel Showcased 8K Streaming, Connected Factory in 5G SA in Bengal (April 26, 2022)

Bharti Airtel has demonstrated yet another 5G trial in India. The telecom operator conducted cloud gaming and 8K video streaming on a 5G smartphone along with other things at Bengal Global Trade Expo 2022. As per a report by ET Telecom, the company claims that the demonstration was done using Standalone mode in the 3.4-3.5GHz band trial spectrum, which is allocated by the government for 5G trials. The company also showed connected factory demos with automated manufacturing and quality inspection using 5G networks.

Airtel Showcases India’s First 5G Hologram Interaction, Recreates Kapil Dev’s 175 run From 1983 World Cup (March 25, 2022)

Bharti Airtel has showcased the 5G speed and low latency capabilities for an immersive video entertainment experience. The brand recreated Kapil Dev’s famous 175 runs during the 1983 World Cup in 4K mode. The company claims that it achieved speeds of over 1Gbps and latency of under 20ms. There were more than 50 concurrent users that watched the 4K video on 5G smartphones. The match provided real-time access to multiple camera angles, 360-degree in-stadia view, shot analysis and stats.

The company also showcased India’s first 5G-powered hologram interaction with Kapil Dev. The company says that Kapil Dev’s virtual avatar appeared on the stage to interact with fans in real-time using airtel 5G networks. The company conducted the demo at its Network Experience Center in Manesar (Gurugram) using Ericsson 5G Radio in NSA and SA modes over 3500 MHz band test spectrum allotted by the Department of Telecom, Government of India.

Airtel, Jio, and Vodafone Idea warns of Shortage of 5G Smartphones in India (March 21, 2022)

Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, and Vodafone Idea have told the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) that consumers may face a sharp shortage of 5G mobiles phones if the government move to test and certify all 5G smartphones, as per a report by ET. The operators have told the DoT that the move will hit data consumption, restrict market access and will make it difficult for customers to buy new 5G smartphones.

Airtel MD Gopal Vittal Wants E-band airwaves to be Bundled (February 24, 2022)

Bharti Airtel MD Gopal Vittal has called on the government to bundle the E band airwaves with a 5G spectrum. Vittal said that if the government fails to bundle the E band airwaves with a 5G spectrum, this could jeopardise India’s 5G network, reported Economics Times. He also added that government should make the 700 MHz band for free. “One of the ideas I would like to propose is to actually take a particular spectrum band, let’s say 700 Mhz, and allocate that with very, very stringent obligations to connect the entire country, but do it free of cost,” Vittal said.

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Rohan has more 9 years of experience in journalism, of which he's sent 5 years covering technology. He holds a degree in journalism and is obsessed about smartphones. In his free time, you will find him playing games, clicking photos or trying out new street food.