The Airtel 5G demo is going live in Hyderabad before the commercial rollout
Airtel revealed on Thursday that it had been the first telco to successfully showcase 5G live coverage over a commercial network in Hyderabad. Taking into account Reliance Jio, the New Delhi-based telco announced that it served 5G and 4G simultaneously in the current liberalized spectrum in the 1800MHz band through the Non-Standalone (NSA) network technology. Airtel 5G is supposed to offer 10 times the speed of current network technologies—allowing consumers to stream a full-length movie in a matter of seconds on a 5G mobile.
Airtel has partnered with its equipment supplier Ericsson to provide new experience. The operator reported that it had the capability to run its 5G network over current technology-neutral mid-band spectrum with a frequency of 1800MHz, 2100MHz and 2300MHz alongside sub-GHz bands available at 800MHz and 900MHz. The transition to 5G is made available through software upgrades over the existing network infrastructure, the operator said.
If approved by the Department of Telecom (DoT), Airtel claimed that it will dynamically run its 5G and 4G networks within the same spectrum block and that it will be able to launch 5G within a matter of months. However, the operator did not include any clear timeframe for the commercial roll-out of its 5G network in the country.
“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,” said Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, Bharti Airtel, during a virtual media briefing.