- Airtel demonstrated a live 5G service over a commercial network in Hyderabad
- It tested 5G service over the 1800MHz band
- The telco says it is ready to roll out 5G commercially in a matter of months
Bharti Airtel today announced that it has become India’s first telecom service provider to successfully “demonstrate and orchestrate” live 5G service over a commercial network. The company conducted the 5G tests in Tech City, Hyderabad. By this, Airtel has become one of the first 5G-ready telecom operators of India.
Since last year, various smartphone OEMs have been launching future-ready 5G smartphones in India. With telecom operators like Airtel actively working on commercialising 5G networks, India could be a few months from becoming a 5G-ready country.
Airtel successfully tests 5G in India
Airtel said that it tested the 5G networks over its existing liberalised spectrum in the 1800MHz band through NSA (Non-Standalone) network technology. It carried out tests using handsets like OPPO Reno5 Pro 5G and OPPO Find X2 Pro 5G with Ericsson 4G (DSS) radio infrastructure.
The second-largest telecom operator of India used dynamic spectrum sharing technology able to run 5G and 4G networks at the same time on its network. To say again, the company will use mid-band frequencies 1800 / 2100 / 2300MHz and sub-GHz frequencies such as 800 / 900MHz to deliver cellular services to 5G devices.
The company claims that its 5G network can offer 10x speeds, 10x latency, and 100x concurrency. The tests revealed that an Airtel powered 5G phone can download a full-length movie in just a few seconds. It said that over 20 smartphones with 5G support that are available in India would be able to support its 5G service. Airtel users with 5G phones will be able to take advantage of the 5G network by using their existing SIM card.
Bharti Airtel, MD, and CEO, Gopal Vittal said, “The moment we receive government approvals, and we have the right spectrum bands and in adequate quantities, we’ll be able to roll this [5G] out immediately.” Select Airtel stores in Hyderabad are conducting live demonstrations of its 5G service.
Last month, India’s leading telecom network operator Jio confirmed that it will start rolling out its 5G network in the second half of 2021 in India. The company is yet to carry out a public demonstration of its 5G service.