The 2022 5G auctions are over, telecom companies have been allocated the spectrum, and now we await the rollout of 5G network services in India. Among all the telcos, Reliance Jio has been making quite the buzz for a pan-India 5G rollout in 2022. Jio is uniquely positioned in the market because it has bought the highest 5G spectrum, has built its own 5G network stack, and may also bring support for India’s 5Gi standard. So if you are wondering about Jio’s 5G rollout plans, you have come to the right place. In this article, we have covered the Jio 5G India launch date, its 5G band support, the list of cities where Jio 5G will launch, etc. On that note, let’s dive right in.
Jio 5G Launch in India: All You Need to Know (August 2022)
In this article, we have summarized everything we know about Reliance Jio’s 5G network services in India. From Jio 5G launch date to 5G bands support, we have not left out any detail in this article. So expand the table below and let’s start with the 5G spectrum that the Indian telco has bought.
Jio 5G Spectrum: 5G Bands in India
In the 5G auctions conducted by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in India, Jio acquired 24.7GHz of spectrum for Rs 88,078 crores. It makes Jio the highest bidder, having the largest spectrum pan-India (26.77 GHz).
Reliance Jio has bought 5G bands in all popular frequency bands: 700MHz (n28), 800MHz (n5), 1800MHz (n3), 3300MHz (n78), and the premium mmWave 26GHz (n258) bands. Here, the 700MHz band is the most sought-after band, as it will allow Jio to penetrate rural areas in India and offer low-cost 5G services to the masses. Though this lower band might not provide the highest speeds, it can cover long distances and provides download speeds faster than 4G/LTE to everyone in India. You can learn about all the 5G bands supported in India via our linked article.
In the low-band 5G spectrum (also called sub-GHz ), Jio has made its position clear that it will provide 5G services all over India, touching every last corner of the country. It bought the 700MHz band across all the 22 circles in India and some 800MHz sub-GHz bands in 4 circles.
Note: For those unfamiliar with telecom circles, the DoT has divided India into 22 circles or geographical areas to make it easy to assign spectrum and allow communication. Within each specific telecom circle, the calls are treated as local calls, and those outside the zone are long-distance calls. If a telecom company wishes to operate in a specific circle, they need to buy a license/ spectrum for that circle via an auction process, which is exactly what happened in the 5G auction in India.
In the mid-band sub-6GHz frequency band, Jio bought at least 2 x 10MHz in the 1800MHz band in six crucial circles. Apart from that, the company went for 100MHz in the 3300MHz band for all 22 circles, making Jio potentially the largest 5G telecom operator in India. By the way, Jio already has the 2300MHz band in all the prominent circles.
Coming to the mmWave 5G Bands, Jio acquired 1000MHz in the 26GHz frequency band, again in each of the 22 circles, which is simply impressive. You can find the complete list of Jio’s 5G band allocation in the table below.
Jio 5G Rollout: Launch Date
Jio has not formally announced the launch date of its 5G service yet, but recently Akash Ambani, the chairman of Reliance Jio, said that the company will celebrate “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” with a 5G rollout across India. If we go by the buzz in town, it’s likely that Reliance Jio will launch its 5G services on August 15, 2022, on India’s 76th Independence Day.
Having said that, this announcement could be for a pilot test in select metro cities or locations across India. It will take a month or two for Jio to fully roll out its 5G services in prominent cities in India. And a phased rollout in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities could then follow early next year.
Jio 5G Supported Cities in India
As we noted above, Jio has bought 5G bands for all the 22 circles, so yeah Jio 5G is coming to all regions in India. However, as per a report, the company’s 5G services will initially roll out in 9 cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, and Jamnagar.
Note that it’s not an exhaustive list and may include other cities like Pune, Chandigarh, Gurugram, and Gandhinagar. Apart from that, Jio has completed 5G coverage planning in more than 1000 cities, so a pan-India rollout is imminent. The coverage planning has been based on targeted customer consumption and revenue potential, and Jio has used heat maps, 3D maps and ray tracing technology. Moreover, it has conducted trials for various 5G use-cases like virtual and augmented reality, low-latency cloud gaming, online live TV streaming, and tele-medicine, among others.
Do You Need a New Jio 5G SIM?
Recently, we wrote a detailed article clarifying whether you need a 5G SIM for using 5G services. Here, we noted that none of the Indian telecom operators have announced that a new 5G SIM is required to access the 5G network. So if you have a Jio 4G SIM, you will likely be able to use Jio’s 5G service without any problem or SIM upgrade. That said, we are watching this space closely, and if Jio announces a new 5G SIM card policy, we will update the article accordingly.
Jio 5G Upload/ Download Speeds
So far, Jio has conducted 5G trials in 8 cities and has clocked 5G speeds in varying degrees. A recent 91Mobiles report shows that Jio’s 5G trial in Mumbai offered up to 8x faster download speeds than 4G’s bandwidth. It appears that Jio 5G can bring download speeds up to 420Mbps and 412 Mbps in upload speeds, which is a massive upgrade over 4G speeds in India.
We don’t know if the test was done on mmWave or sub-6GHz band, but surely Jio’s 5G speeds are promising. We await more test results to see how Jio’s 5G network fares in real-world usage.
An interesting bit here is that Jio has built its own 5G network stack using Open-RAN tech with Radisys by using equipment from different vendors. It will be a win for Jio if the network infrastructure performs on par with other fully-stacked 5G architecture. You can read about Jio’s indigenous 5G solution in our 5G’s development in India article.
Jio 5G Plans and Price in India
It’s too early to say what will be Jio’s 5G plans and pricing in India. However, we are well aware of Reliance Jio’s competitive practices, so we expect Jio’s 5G plan will be somewhere between Rs 400 to Rs 500 per month. Currently, Jio’s ARPU (average revenue per user) is around Rs 175.
5G services will allow Jio to increase its ARPU massively in the coming years. Though, keep in mind that Jio might introduce a two-tier 5G plan for sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G services. We hope the mid-band 5G services will be reasonable in pricing. We will keep updating this article once we have more information. So if you wish to learn all the latest info about Jio 5G data plans, we suggest you bookmark our in-depth guide and circle back in a few days.
Everything You Should Know About Jio 5G’s Rollout in India
So that was everything we know about Reliance Jio’s 5G rollout in India at the moment. We have covered all about Jio’s 5G service launch date, band support, speed, pricing, etc. We are inching closer to the launch of 5G services in India, and if there is any takeaway from all the developments, it’s that Jio will be a crucial player in making 5G a mainstream network in India. Anyway, that is all from us. If you want to learn how to check 5G bands supported on your phone, head over to our linked article. And if you have any questions related to India’s 5G rollout or Jio 5G, comment down below and let us know.