Indian telcos deploy 33,000 5G base stations as of end-2022

Indian operators Reliance Jio Infocomm and Bharti Airtel have deployed nearly 33,000 base stations for 5G services as of the end of the year, local press reported.

In December alone, the two carriers deployed around 10,000 5G base stations nationwide, according to sources in the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

The Ministry of Communications previously reported that these two operators had deployed 21,000 base stations for 5G services as of November 26.

According to the report, Reliance Jio Infocomm is deploying 5G base stations at a faster pace compared to Airtel. This is because Reliance has to set up a Standalone 5G network, which requires a larger number of 5G radios in comparison to Bharti Airtel’s NonStandalone (NSA) network.

The report also stated that capital Delhi concentrates nearly one third of all 5G base stations in the country.

Currently, Reliance Jio is rolling out 5G on 700 MHz and 3.3 GHz bands while Bharti Airtel is deploying 5G technology via the 3.3 GHz spectrum band.

While Reliance Jio has announced plans to reach nationwide coverage with 5G by December 2023, Bharti Airtel aims to offer full 5G coverage across India by March 2024.

Reliance Jio Infocomm already launched the beta trial of its 5G services in parts of Delhi, Varanasi, Mumbai, Nathdwara, Hyderabad, Pune, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Chennai and Gujarat. On December 28, the telco launched 5G services in Lucknow, Trivandrum, Mysuru, Nashik, Aurangabad, Chandigarh, Mohali, Panchkula, Zirakpur, Kharar and Derabassi.

Meanwhile, Indian telco Bharti Airtel is already providing 5G services in 17 cities across the country.

In October, Bharti Airtel launched 5G services in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Siliguri, Nagpur and Varanasi.

The offering is also currently available in parts of Panipat, Gurugram, Guwahati, Patna, Lucknow, Shimla, Imphal, Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar

Additionally, the carrier aims to launch 5G in the city of Kolkata in the near future, according to local press reports.

Meanwhile, Vodafone Idea is in talks with several venders for the supply of 5G gear. The telco is also seeking to obtain financial resources for the launch of its 5G network.

Indian state-owned telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) could launch 5G services by August of next year, according to recent press reports.