Airtel to launch 5G in a month, to cover key metros by Dec: CEO Vittal


Telecom giant plans to launch 5G services within a month, and will have coverage in key metro cities, according to a letter written by chief executive officer (CEO) Gopal Vittal to customers on Wednesday.

“We expect to launch our 5G within a month. By December, we should have coverage in the key metros. After that, we will expand across the country,” Vittal said.

had earlier indicated plans to roll out 5G services in August. Reliance Jio will launch its service in key metros including Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata by Diwali end. Jio plans to have a pan-India coverage by 2023 end.

Vittal said that Airtel’s 5G service will deliver speeds which could be between 20 and 30 times higher than the one that is available. The service will facilitate network slicing for special requirements. “If you are a gamer and want a flawless experience, we will be able to slice the network for you. Or if you are working from home and want a consistent experience, we will deliver it for you,” Mittal wrote.

Mittal’s communication to shareholders comes days after Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani’s comments that only Jio will offer true 5G service. “This non-standalone 5G approach is a hasty way to nominally claim a 5G launch but won’t deliver the breakthrough improvements …” Ambani had said in an indirect reference to Airtel and Vodafone Idea’s plans.

Vittal said Airtel has chosen a specific that has the widest ecosystem in the world. “This means that all 5G smartphones in India will work on the Airtel network without any glitch,” Vittal said in his communication.

Meanwhile. on Wednesday, the Mittal family acquired over 96 million shares from co-promoters Singtel in a bulk deal at an average price of Rs 686. The shares were acquired by group entity Bharti Telecom from two Singtel associates for Rs 6,603 crore and is a part of an earlier share purchase plan.

On August 25, Singtel had announced divestment of 3.3 per cent stake in Airtel in 90 days to raise around $ 1.6 billion (Rs 12,895 crore). With the completion of the entire transaction, Mittal family’s stake in Airtel would rise from 23.88 per cent to 25.66 per cent.


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