NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel today announced that it is set to lead India’s 5G revolution. The telecom company said that it has acquired 19,800 MHz spectrum by securing a pan India footprint of 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz bands. In addition, the company was able to selectively bolster mid-band spectrum. This massive spectrum bank was secured for a total consideration of Rs 43,084 cr in the latest spectrum auction conducted by the Department of Telecom, Government of India.
Airtel has secured 5G spectrum for 20 years in this auction. The acquisition of this vast amount of spectrum strapped on to an already industry best existing pool of spectrum will mean that the company does not need to spend any material sum on spectrum for many years to come. In addition, this spectrum acquisition has enabled Airtel to drastically reduce the payout towards spectrum usage charge (SUC) and eliminate the adverse SUC arbitrage compared to new entrants.
Airtel now has the widest mobile broadband footprint across the country making it well-positioned to usher in the 5G revolution in India. In the past year, Airtel has led the industry and spearheaded 5G technology in India testing several use cases with multiple partners at many locations. From demonstrating India’s first 5G experience over a live 4G network in Hyderabad to India’s first rural 5G trial to the first cloud gaming experience on 5G to the successful deployment of India’s first captive private network on the trial spectrum, Airtel has created and nurtured a vibrant ecosystem of partners and start-ups to support faster adoption of next-generation technologies.
Over the years, Airtel has been very astute in its competitive spectrum acquisition approach. It has assiduously accumulated the largest pool of low and mid band spectrum (Sub ghz/1800/2100/2300 bands) which can be used to provide the best 5G coverage while massive capacities in the 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz bands will allow Airtel to create 100X capacities at the least cost. This well thought out strategy for spectrum acquisition through auctions, M&A and trading has allowed Airtel to avoid the need for adding an expensive sub GHz band. This enables Airtel to meet all its objectives – the best 5G experience, 100x capacity enhancement and the most power-efficient solutions that will go towards meeting the ambitious ESG goals of the company. Even more importantly, this will provide Airtel an enduring competitive advantage for years to come in delivering the lowest total cost of ownership.
Airtel now plans to launch 5G services in every part of the country starting with key cities. The company is convinced that its higher-quality customer base will adopt 5G devices at a rapid pace in the country. In addition, Airtel’s strong presence in the Enterprise segment will allow for a slew of industrial use cases further strengthening Airtel’s leadership in the B2B market.
Gopal Vittal, M.D & CEO, Bharti Airtel said, “Airtel is delighted with the results of the 5G auction. This spectrum acquisition at the latest auction has been a part of a deliberate strategy to buy the best spectrum assets at a substantially lower relative cost compared to our competition. This will allow us to raise the bar on innovation and address the emerging needs of every discerning customer who demands the best experience in India. We are confident that we will be able to deliver the best 5G experience in India in terms of coverage, speeds and latency. This will allow us to change a lot of established paradigms for both our B2C and B2B customers. 5G technology is the revolution that can alter India’s manufacturing, services and several other sectors. We remain fully committed to the Government’s Digital India vision and will continue to do what is needed to ensure that India becomes a beacon for the world in terms of technology.”
Apple rolls out beta programme for iPhones to enable 5G services
NEW DELHI: Apple Inc has rolled out a beta programme to enable 5G on Apple devices as the upgrade lets users try out pre-release software.
This software upgrade enables 5G access on Apple devices, as and when service providers Jio, Airtel and Vodafone enable 5G network access, sources said.
Apple Users have to enrol for the Beta Programme on the website, install a profile and download the software.
Jio users using iPhone 12 and above, in cities where JioTrue5G has been rolled out, will be invited to the Jio Welcome Offer. Jio Welcome Offer provides unlimited 5G data at up to 1 Gbps speed to users at no additional cost. However, there is a condition that prepaid users must be on active Rs 239 and above plan. All Postpaid users are eligible for this trial.
Airtel is not providing any special 5G offer like Jio to their users. In the cities/areas in which the Airtel 5G network has been launched, users can trial 5G services as a part of their existing plan, once they have updated the latest Apple Beta software.
While an email sent to Apple did not solicit an immediate response, the firm had last month stated: “We are working with our carrier partners in India to bring the best 5G experience to iPhone users as soon as network validation and testing for quality and performance is completed. 5G will be enabled via a software update and will start rolling out to iPhone users in December”.
Airtel and Jio customers on iPhone 14, iPhone 13, iPhone 12 and iPhone SE (3rd generation) models can experience 5G as part of Apple’s iOS 16 Beta Software Program. The Apple Beta Software Program is open to anyone with a valid Apple ID who accepts the Apple Beta Software Program Agreement during the sign-up process.
If a user has an iCloud account, that is an Apple ID, it is recommended they use that. If they do not have an iCloud account or any other Apple ID, they can create one.
Customers who want to try the beta software should back up their iPhones before installing the beta software. It is recommended to install the beta software only on non-production devices that are not business-critical. Users can also provide feedback to Apple on quality and usability, which helps Apple identify issues, fix them, and make Apple software even better.
The iOS beta comes with the built-in Feedback Assistant app, which can be opened from the Home screen on the iPhone or iPad or from the Dock on the Mac.
Source: Press Trust of India
5G service revenue to reach $315 billion globally in 2023
NEW DELHI: A new study from Juniper Research has found that operator‑billed 5G service revenue will reach $315 billion in 2023; rising from $195 billion in 2022. This represents growth of over 60% in a single year.
The research predicts this increase in revenue will be driven by the accelerating migration of cellular subscriptions to 5G networks; owing to operator strategies that minimise or remove any premium over existing 4G subscription offerings. It forecasts that over 600 million new 5G subscriptions will be created next year, despite the anticipated economic downturn in 2023.
– To find out more, see the new report: 5G Monetisation: Business Models, Strategic Recommendations & Market Forecasts 2022-2027
– Download the free whitepaper: 5G: Where is the Money?
5G Service Revenue to Represent 80% of Global Operator Revenue by 2027
The report predicts that the growth of 5G networks will continue, and over 80% of global operator‑billed revenue will be attributable to 5G connections by 2027. The telecommunications industry demonstrated its robustness against the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the report projects that the growth of 5G will also be resilient against this economic downturn; owing to the vital importance of mobile Internet connectivity today.
Research co-author Olivia Williams noted: “Despite the growth of the Internet of Things, revenue from consumer connections will continue to be the cornerstone of 5G operator revenue increase. Over 95% of global 5G connections in 2027 will be connected personal devices such as smartphones, tablets and mobile broadband routers.”
Private Networks Represent a Key Opportunity for Operators
In addition, the report predicts that the ability of standalone 5G networks to offer ‘network slicing’ will act as the ideal platform for the growth of 5G private network revenue. Standalone 5G uses next‑generation core networks supporting network slicing technology, which can be used to take a ‘slice’ of public 5G infrastructure and provide it to private network users. In turn, this helps mitigate the cost of private 5G network hardware and increase its overall value proposition, all against a background of deteriorating macro-economic conditions.
Nokia wins multi-year deal with Reliance Jio India to build one of the largest 5G networks in the world
NEW DELHI: Nokia has announced that it has been selected as a major supplier by Reliance Jio to supply 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) equipment from its comprehensive AirScale portfolio countrywide in a multi-year deal. Reliance Jio is India’s number one mobile operator and has one of the largest RAN footprints in the world.
Under the contract, Nokia will supply equipment from its AirScale portfolio, including base stations, high-capacity 5G Massive MIMO antennas, and Remote Radio Heads (RRH) to support different spectrum bands, and self-organizing network software. Reliance Jio plans to deploy a 5G standalone network which will interwork with its 4G network. The network will enable Reliance Jio to deliver advanced 5G services such as massive machine-to-machine communications, network slicing, and ultra-low-latency.
Akash Ambani, Chairman Reliance Jio, commented: “We are pleased to be working with Nokia for our 5G SA deployment in India. Jio is committed to continuously investing in the latest network technologies to enhance the experience of all of its customers. We are confident that our partnership with Nokia will deliver one of the most advanced 5G networks globally.”
Pekka Lundmark, President and CEO at Nokia stated: “This is a significant win for Nokia in an important market and a new customer with one of the largest RAN footprints in the world. This ambitious project will introduce millions of people across India to premium 5G services, enabled by our industry-leading AirScale portfolio. We are proud that Reliance Jio has placed its trust in our technology and we look forward to a long and productive partnership with them.”
Nokia has a long-standing presence in India. This new deal will mean that Nokia is now supplying India’s three largest mobile operators.
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