Jio 5G vs. Airtel 5G: Launch date, highest speeds and cities for the initial rollout

When will Jio and Airtel begin rolling out 5G? What will be the 5G speeds? Which cities are going to get 5G first?


With the debut of commercial 5G wireless services, India will soon join the club of next-generation wireless technologies. With record bids, the 5G spectrum auction came to an end. The winning bidder was Reliance Jio, who was followed by Airtel and Vi. The largest allocation of 5G airwaves to the top telecom providers in India resulted in relatively good coverage and quicker speeds than 4G.

The best airwaves for coverage are those in the low-band spectrum. For instance, only Reliance Jio has purchased the 700 MHz airwaves. Due to their expensive prices, the 700MHz airwaves had never been sold before, but Jio bought them this time to get an advantage over competitors in terms of 5G coverage. However, the best speeds cannot be provided by 700MHz radio waves.

On the other hand, Airtel continued to compete in the mid-band, also known as the C-band, where sub-6GHz airwaves are available. Although they provide less coverage, these airwaves have faster speeds. Gopal Vittal, the CEO of Airtel, claimed that the business does not need to purchase as many airwaves as Jio did in order to provide the highest 5G speeds.

Consumers are mainly interested in three things: When will the rollout of 5G occur? What will be the 5G speeds? What cities will get 5G first, and where?

When will the 5G rollout happen?

There are some possible timings for the initial query, but none of them is precise. The government announced that the 5G deployment would start as soon as September after the 5G spectrum auction was a success. However, it makes sense to pay attention to what the telecoms have to say given that 5G spectrums are with commercial entities rather than those run by the government.

The first company to confirm its 5G rollout plans was Airtel. It stated that Airtel 5G services would launch in August and that the entire country of India would likely have them by 2024. Jio, on the other hand, hasn’t released any information regarding the timeline for the rollout of 5G. But Jio might reveal a date on August 15, which is India’s Independence Day. It’s also feasible that Airtel would unveil something on the same day as Jio in an effort to top it.

How high will be the 5G speeds?

Significantly faster than 4G is 5G. The fastest 5G speeds are in South Korea and the US, although there have been some concerns about 5G speeds in India. Airtel 5G demonstrated a high speed of over 1Gbps and a latency of 20ms in its showcase in March. However, a speed test result from January indicated a maximum download speed of 420Mbps and an upload speed of 412Mbps. Jio, too, demonstrated a 5G speed of over 1Gbps in its trials.

These speeds were undoubtedly attained in controlled settings with a small user base. Both Airtel 5G and Jio 5G are anticipated to have slower real-world speeds. However, neither business has issued an official statement.

What cities will get 5G first?

While Jio and Airtel have not specifically stated which towns will receive 5G services first, the Department of Telecom has previously designated 13 locations. In addition to Mumbai and Pune, they are located in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Gandhinagar, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Jamnagar, Kolkata and Lucknow.