Just imagine the amenities the small phone in your pocket brings to you every day. Apart from making voice calls and exchanging messages, you can do video chats, conferences, be in touch on social media, monitor the mass media, play games, watch films and TV shows, documentaries… the list goes on. It helps you keep up with friends and family members. Think about all the possibilities literally on your fingertips with that smartphone using the current 3G or 4G services. Now imagine a faster version with new technological capabilities and hassle-free connectivity.
In July, India kicked off its 5G auction where bidders, including three of the country’s three major mobile operators – Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, and Vodafone Idea – and others participated. On October 1, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched 5G services at the 6th Edition of India Mobile Congress 2022 held in New Delhi.
The 5G or 5th generation mobile network service is a new global wireless standard that connects everyone and everything faster and smoother than services like 2G, 3G, etc. It will now provide much reliable connectivity with higher data speeds – delivering very high volumes of data packets with negligible delay and offering uniform user experience.
Thus, you can witness quicker downloads making a huge impact on your internet experience. It can increase accessibility manifolds through connected appliances, autonomous vehicles, and other remote objects and applications. Such objects are likely to seamlessly communicate with each other, read live maps, traffic data with 5G; experts can access and execute surgeries, operate machinery, robots, etc., remotely – sitting thousands of kilometres away.
How to activate the 5G network on your smartphone?
You may switch over to 5G from your current service to enjoy seamless connectivity. The activation process is simple, with a few steps – as mentioned below – in your phone’s “settings” or “system”. Before that, you have to make sure that your phone supports 5G settings and that you are on a network that offers 5G services. You may need to update the software in your handset to do the same. The process for iOS and Android devices would differ a bit.
How to activate the 5G network on Android?
You can easily check whether you can use 5G services on your phone. If you are located in any of the cities where such services are available, if your service provider offers 5G network, and have a phone that is 5G enabled
- Open the “Settings” application
- Tap on “Network and Internet”
- Now click on “Mobile Network”
- Check available network technologies under the “Preferred Network Type” option
- Select the 5G network mode
You are now good to go with 5G, it should work on your phone once you are in the vicinity of a 5G-ready tower.
How to activate 5G network on iPhone?
iPhone 12 and the later models should work with 5G mobile services. Usually, iPhone default settings for 5G are optimised for battery life and data usage based on your data plan. In case you want to customise these options for 5G and the amount of data to use in some apps you may follow these steps
- Go to “Settings”
- Click on “Mobile Data”
- Now you can select “Mobile Data Options”
Remember, when your iPhone uses 5G network, its battery life may be affected. So, notice the options:
- 5G Auto: This will enable Smart Data mode where in times when 5G speed does not provide a comparatively better experience, your iPhone will switch to LTE automatically, saving battery life. Long-Term Evolution (LTE) is a wireless broadband communication for mobile devices which may be considered halfway between 3G and 4G.
- 5G On: always uses 5G network when it’s available. This may reduce battery life.
Supported Airtel 5G bands
Bharti Airtel has focussed on capturing sub-GHz and high-speed frequency bands in the recently held telecom auction. It stayed away from the lower 700 MHz bands. Following are the bands supported by Airtel 5G:
- n8: 900MHz
- n3: 1800MHz
- n1: 2100MHz
- n78: 3300MHz
- n258: 26GHz
Supported Jio 5G bands
Reliance Jio, which announced the official launch of 5G network Dussehra (October 5, 2022), will be available on
- n28: 700MHz
- n78: 3500 MHz
- n258: 26GHz
5G network speeds test: Airtel Vs Jio
|Delhi||598.58 Mbps||197.98 Mbps|
|Mumbai||515.38 Mbps||271.07 Mbps|
|Kolkata||482.02 Mbps||33.83 Mbps|
|Varansi||485.22 Mbps||516.57 Mbps|
Ookla, a mobile and network testing organization based in the United States, discovered that 5G download speeds in India reached 500 Mbps, peak rates exceeding 800 Mbps.
“This data suggests that operators are still recalibrating their networks. As these networks enter the commercial stage, the speeds are projected to become more steady,” the agency stated.
Which smartphones support 5G
Here is a list of few popular phone models that likely supports 5G services. However, we strongly urge you to get in touch with the service provider for more details:
iPhone 12 series and later models like all iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 series, as well as iPhone SE 2022 will support Airtel 5G.
Galaxy A53 5G, Galaxy A33 5G, Galaxy Fold 4, Galaxy Flip 4, Galaxy S22 series – like the S22, S22 Plus, S22 Ultra models – and Galaxy S21 will support Airtel 5G network. You may need an update for Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, S21 Plus, S21 Ultra, S21, Galaxy Z Fold 2, Galaxy Z Fold 3, Galaxy Flip 3 and some M-series and A-series phones like the A52s, M52, A22, M32, A73, A73, M42, M53, M13, Galaxy F23 to support Airtel 5G.
Realme X7 5G, Realme X7 Max 5G, Realme X7 Pro 5G, Realme X50 Pro, Realme 9, Realme 9 Pro, Realme 9 Pro Plus, and Realme 9 SE will support the network. Also, Realme GT Neo 2, Realme GT 2, Realme GT 2 Pro, Realme GT Neo 3, Realme 8 5G, Realme 8s 5G, Realme GT 5G, Realme GT ME, Narzo 50 5G, Narzo 50 Pro, Narzo 30 5G, Narzo 30 Pro 5G are all expected to support Airtel 5G.
Redmi Note 11T 5G, Redmi Note 10T, Redmi Note 11 Pro Plus, Redmi 11 Prime, and Redmi K50i will support the network.
The Poco M3 Pro 5G, Poco F3 GT, Poco M4 5G, Poco M4 Pro 5G, Poco F4 5G and Poco X4 Pro will support Airtel 5G.
The F19 Pro Plus, A53s, A74, F21 Pro, K10 5G, F21s Pro 5G, Reno 5G Pro, Reno 6, Reno 6 Pro, Reno 7, Reno 7 Pro, Reno 8, Reno 8 Pro and Find X2 will support 5G. However, if you own the earlier version of Find X2, you may need a software update.
Its X50 Pro, V20 Pro, X60 Pro+, X60, X60 Pro+, X70 Pro, X70 Pro+, X80 and X80 Pro models, V20 Pro, V21 5G, V21e, Y72 5G, V23 5G, V23 Pro 5G, V23e 5G, T1 5G, T1 Pro 5G, Y75 5G, V25, V25 Pro, Y55, and Y55s will all support Airtel 5G.
The iQOO 9T, iQOO Z6, iQOO 9 SE, iQOO 9 Pro, iQOO 9, iQOO Z5 5G and iQOO Z3, along with the iQOO 7 and iQOO 7 Legend will also support Airtel 5G.
OnePlus 9, OnePlus 9 Pro, OnePlus 10 Pro 5G, OnePlus 10R, OnePlus 10T, OnePlus Nord, Nord CE, Nord CE 2, Nord CE 2 Lite, Nord 2T 5G will all directly support Airtel 5G. Other models like the OnePlus 8, OnePlus 8 Pro, OnePlus 8T, OnePlus 9R, OnePlus 9RT and OnePlus Nord 2 5G will require a software update.
1. Do we need to change SIM for 5G?
Right now, as the 5G connectivity is being rolled out, you may not need to immediately change the SIM card. If your smartphone supports 5G then you will be upgraded to the 5G plan.
2. What is a 5G SIM?
You know that your mobile phone uses a SIM (or Subscriber Identity Module) card. It is a “smart card” that stores identity and authenticates a subscriber on mobile telephony devices. It also directs a smartphone to a specific mobile network.
A 5G SIM card is a secure element access that aims at directly addressing the key attributes mentioned earlier, like increased mobile broadband, superior communication facilities, secure and uniform connectivity to devices, etc. It has been specified by the 5G standardisation body
As specified by the standardisation body, in mobile telecommunications systems, the User Equipment consists of a Mobile Equipment (ME) and a Universal Integrated Circuit Card (UICC), where the UICC (or your SIM) is a tamper-resistant entity, with several applications.
The standardisation body is a partnership project bringing together national Standards Development Organisations (SDOs) from around the globe initially to develop technical specifications for cellular telecommunications.
According to mobile service providers Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio, you can enjoy 5G services on existing data plans until roll-out is complete and you need not change the existing SIM. Customers in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Siliguri, Nagpur and Varanasi will start enjoying 5G services on Airtel in a phased manner. Jio has launched its services in four cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Varanasi.
3. What are the benefits of 5G?
Customers with 5G smartphones will enjoy high-speed connectivity and downloads. Also, its use for transport systems can evaluate traffic flow and density. In public gatherings, the service can also determine the number of safety and security personnel needed and at which locations. As cities upgrade and expand, there is a need to monitor and evaluate the change in layouts. It will provide immense help in creating and running smart cities. The 5G service will be of benefit in analysing inputs quickly and effectively. Thus, 5G services will provide effective and efficient inputs to individuals, machines, applications, etc. It will facilitate remote access to experts and operators. This will result in a huge jump from the services as provided by current 4G networks.
|Possible Download Speed||1 GBPS||20 GBPS|
|Latency (delay in data transfer; lower latency means positive user experience)||60-98 milliseconds (ms)||Less than 5 ms|
|Base Stations||Cell Towers||Small Cells|
|Cell Density Target||200-400 users/cell||~20,000-40,000/cell|
4. Can I convert my 4G phone to 5G?
Some mobile phone models already support 5G or do so with certain updates. You can check the list above or get in touch with your service provider. You can also check 5G compatibility of your smartphone with Airtel’s Thanks app. You may need to update the app. Open the app and look for “World’s most popular 5G technology now live in India” banner. Now tap on “Check if your phone is 5G enabled” and you will know if your phone supports 5G. However, if you have a 4G smartphone, then you will need to upgrade your phone, there is no way to convert it to a 5G capable phone.
5. How to upgrade Smart 4G to 5G?
Go to Settings and check for the network services available in Network Type or Mobile Data options. If your handset supports and your operator provides 5G services, you may select the 5G network mode.
6. How do I know if my SIM is 5G?
In your handset, simply check for the technologies and supports available under the Network or Data options in Settings. If under Preferred Networks, there is an option between 3G, LTE, 4G, and 5G, you may opt for the last.
7. Do 5G phones need a 5G SIM card?
Currently, if you have an eSIM, or a 4G-enabled SIM card and your device is compatible with 5G networks, you may not change it.
8. Which cities have 5G services?
Airtel 5G services have rolled out in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Siliguri, Nagpur and Varanasi. Reliance Jio has announced the official launch of 5G network in New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Varanasi.
9. How to check if your location supports Airtel 5G?
- You can check whether 5G network is available in your location easily with Airtel’s Thanks app. You may need to update the app.
- Open the app and scroll down for the banner “World’s most popular 5G technology now live in India”.
- Now click “Check if your phone is 5G enabled”.
- The app will tell you whether your location has 5G services or not.
10. Why isn’t 5G network working on my phone?
If you have not switched to a 5G connection, go to “Settings” and opt for 5G services. If you have a compatible phone and SIM, and you service provider is extending 5G connectivity, such issues should not normally arise. Some possible reasons for the problem despite opting for 5G connectivity may be due to
- Some temporary malfunction
- Your phone may be out of range
- You are in location where there is no 5G connectivity
- Some problem with the closest 5G tower
11. Will a 5G SIM work on a 4G-enabled smartphone?
Your device needs to be 5G compatible or support such services with an update. Most popular handsets are already 5G-enabled, while some older ones may need a software to update.