Airtel says its network is 5G ready; successfully demonstrates live 5G services in Hyderabad

Airtel today announced that it has become the country’s first telcom performance to successfully demonstrate and orchestrate live 5G service over a commercial network in Hyderabad city. Airtel said that this has been carried out over its existing liberalised spectrum in the 1800MHz band through the NSA (Non Stand Alone) network technology using Ericsson 4G (DSS) radio infrastructure on OPPO Reno5 Pro and OPPO Find X2 Pro smartphones.

Highlights of Airtel’s 5G ready network

  • Using dynamic spectrum sharing technologies, Airtel now has the capability to operate 5G over its existing technology neutral spectrum in mid-bands (1800/2100/2300 MHz) and sub-GHz bands (800/900 MHz).
  • This means, if permitted, Airtel can operate 5G and 4G dynamically within the same spectrum block and is ready to deploy 5G in a matter of months.
  • This technology capability along with future spectrum allocations in 3.5 GHz will enable Airtel to deliver a truly world-class 5G experience to customers.
  • Airtel 5G is capable of delivering 10x speeds, 10x latency and 100x concurrency when compared to existing technologies. Specifically, in the demonstration in Hyderabad, users were able to download a full length movie in a matter of seconds on a 5G phone.
  • Airtel can now switch on 5G through simple software upgrades over the existing network infrastructure. With virtually no change in radio assets & antennas and no major increase in operational costs, it will allow Airtel to roll out 5G fast and wide.
  • The same technology will also enable Airtel to deploy 5G in 3.5 GHz in future. Since mid-band spectrum has better coverage than high-band (3.5GHz), it would also be valuable for improving 5G coverage.
  • If permitted by the authorities, in a matter of months, Airtel customers can start experiencing 5G. Over 20 commercially available 5G smartphones in India will be ready for Airtel 5G.

Airtel said that this demonstration has underlined the company’s technology capabilities. The full impact of the 5G experience, however, will be available to Airtel customers, when adequate spectrum is available and government approvals received.

Airtel’s competitor Jio last year announced  its ‘Made in India’ 5G solution and the CEO Mukesh Ambani said that Jio will pioneer 5G revolution in second half of 2021.

Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO, Bharti Airtel said:

I am very proud of our engineers who have worked tirelessly to showcase this incredible capability in Tech City, Hyderabad today. Every one of our investments is future proofed as this game changing test in Hyderabad proves. With Airtel being the first operator to demonstrate this capability, we have shown again that we have always been the first in India to pioneer new technologies in our quest for empowering Indians everywhere.

We believe India has the potential to become a global hub for 5G innovation. To make that happen we need the ecosystem to come together – applications, devices and network innovation. We are more than ready to do our bit.

Author: Srivatsan Sridhar

Srivatsan Sridhar is a Mobile Technology Enthusiast who is passionate about Mobile phones and Mobile apps. He uses the phones he reviews as his main phone. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram