When will 5G be available in India?

India’s government has just auctioned off new radio spectrum, and the country’s mobile networks are racing to be the first to roll out 5G services with support from partners around the world. Computerworld India looks at the progress the operators are making.

5G in India

5G phones are already available in India but building the 5G networks they will work with is going to take time: The network operators must test the technology, acquire the necessary radio spectrum from India’s government in an auction, then invest in and build out the network infrastructure before they’re ready to offer service.

Three network operators too a step closer to that goal in March 2021, when the Indian government auctioned off new radio spectrum allocations to Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea.

Here’s everything you need to know about 5G in India: what it is, how Indian network operators are preparing for 5G, when the government held its spectrum auction, and finally when 5G services will effectively roll out in India.

What are 5G networks?

When 5G mobile networks come to India, they will use a new radio technology and a different network architecture to deliver higher bandwidth and lower latency than 4G (LTE) and 3G networks we have today. 5G promises peak data speeds of up to 10 Gbps — up to 100 times faster than the 100 Mbps of 4G. Latency, a measure of the time it takes data to travel from the phone to the distant server, could be less than a millisecond in 5G networks, or 60-120 times better than 4G. (Real-world performance is likely to be substantially lower, however.)

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