New Delhi, October 1
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched the 5G telephony services that promise to provide ultra-high-speed internet on mobile phones, saying it marks the beginning of a new era.
In the first phase, 13 cities will get 5G services. These are Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Gandhinagar, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Jamnagar, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai and Pune.
What it means for subscribers
- Mobile carriers will have to shut down their 3G networks, which rely on older technology
- Older cellphones won’t be able to make or receive calls and texts or use data services
- Will affect 3G phones and certain older 4G phones that don’t support Voice over LTE
- For users of 2G, which is offered only by BSNL, a new phone will have to be purchased
India’s No. 2 operator Bharti Airtel rolled out services in eight cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi and Bengaluru. Reliance Jio, the country’s top operator with most subscribers, will launch 5G services in four metros later this month, while Vodafone Idea, the third operator, has so far not indicated any timeline for the rollout. Launching the services, PM Modi said, “Today is a special day for the world’s fifth largest economy. Over 130 crore Indians are getting a wonderful gift in the form of 5G. It is the dawn of a new era… the beginning of an infinite sky of opportunities.”
5G can power India’s emergence as the world’s intelligence capital. Jio will launch services by 2023. —Mukesh Ambani, Reliance JIO
It is the beginning of a new era… It will open up a sea of opportunities for people, mainly in rural areas. —Sunil Bharti Mittal, Bharti Airtel
Bedrock of growth
A transformational event that proves India’s prowess on the global stage… Telecom is bedrock of India’s growth. —Kumar Mangalam Birla, Vodafone Idea
He said the new India would not remain a mere consumer of technology, but play an active role in its development and implementation.”
He pointed out how India was dependent on other countries for 2G, 3G and 4G technologies. “But with 5G, India has made history. India is setting a global standard in telecom technology for the first time,” PM Modi remarked. Focusing on Digital India, the PM said the initiative was founded on four pillars — the cost of devices, digital connectivity, data cost and the digital-first approach. “This approach has led to mobile manufacturing units in India increased from just two in 2014 to over 200 now. India has the world’s lowest data charges and internet users have grown to 80 crore from just 6 crore in 2014. Also, digital payments have increased,” he pointed out.
Taking a dig at the previous UPA government, he said technology had truly become democratised, which was possible because of the right intentions of his government. “This is the difference between the intentions during the 2G era and 5G era,” he said in reference to the alleged 2G spectrum allocation scam.
The PM said it was the government that went ahead and made the way for digital payments easier. He said the use of 5G technology would not be limited to speedy internet access, but it had the capability to change lives.
ABOUT 5G technology
Fifth-generation wireless or 5G is the latest iteration of cellular technology, engineered to increase the speed of wireless networks manifold. With 5G, data can travel at multigigabit speed, with potential peak as high as 10 Gbps
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