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Bharti Airtel will offer 5G in "Bigger cities" before going National

Bharti Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal recently said the company will look to offer 5G in "bigger cities" before taking the domestic route.

Bharti Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal recently said the company will offer 5G in "bigger cities" before taking the domestic route. He further stated that Airtel's mobile broadband infrastructure is "future-proof" and can be leveraged to deliver fast 5G services. 

Bharti Airtel will offer 5G in "Bigger cities"

Vittal confirmed that Airtel will look for the sub-GHz spectrum in upcoming spectrum auctions which will allow it to roll out 5G and also renew the 1800 MHz spectrum along with adding more spectrum in the 2300 MHz band; more details on the story to come.

Red Bharti Airtel "ready for the future"

According to a report by ET Telecom, Vittal confirmed that the existing central and radio equipment of the mobile broadband network will not need to be replaced to provide 5G. This would help telecom to save a large amount of capital expenditure for 5G implementation.

In the short term, he said Airtel will look to roll out 5G to the subway or major cities across the country. This is because the price of 5G devices is very high at the moment and a large population of the country still uses 4G devices.

This is where analysts believe Reliance Jio can take advantage of Airtel in introducing 5G by introducing its low-cost 5G smartphone in partnership with Google. Vittal said Airtel is not trying to get into the device subsidy game, as telecoms believe it is a value-destroying strategy.

It is worth noting that Airtel has already proven Vittal's claims for 5G. The telecommunications company tested its 5G network live in Hyderabad using the 1800 MHz spectrum. Airtel found that the network offered 10x faster speeds and latency than 4G. During testing, a 1GB movie file can be downloaded in seconds, while it typically takes minutes to download over a 4G network.

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