The 5G spectrum auctions in India concluded a couple of days back and operators are now working in full swing to launch 5G in the country. Now, Airtel has announced that it has signed 5G network agreements with Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung to commence 5G launch in August 2022.
Airtel has already had a relationship for connectivity and Pan-India managed services with Ericsson and Nokia while the partnership with Samsung will begin this year onwards. The 5G partnerships comes shortly after the spectrum auctions conducted by the Department of Telecom in India, where Airtel bid for and acquired 19867.8 MHZ spectrum in 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 3300 MHz, and 26 GHz frequency.
“We are delighted to announce that Airtel will commence roll out of 5G services in August. Our network agreements are finalized and Airtel will work with the best technology partners from across the world to deliver the full benefits of 5G connectivity to our consumers”, said Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, Airtel.
“Choice of multiple partners will enable Airtel to roll out 5G services spanning ultra-high-speeds, low latency and large data handling capabilities, which will enable a superior user experience and allow the pursuit of new, innovative use cases with enterprise and industry customers”, the press release added.
During the auction, Airtel confirmed that it had secured 5G spectrum for a span of 20 years. In addition, this spectrum acquisition will enable Airtel to drastically reduce the payout towards spectrum usage charge (SUC) and eliminate the adverse SUC arbitrage compared to new entrants. Airtel claims that this is a well thought out strategy which will allow the operator to avoid the need for adding an expensive sub GHz band. Airtel plans to launch 5G services in every part of the country starting with key cities.