Hindu businessline: Indian telcos deployed 33,000 5G base stations in 2022

As 2022 nears an end, India based telcos like Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel have deployed about 33,000 base stations for 5G services. Sources in India’s Department of Telecommunications told businessline that the telcos deployed around 10,000 base stations in December, taking the cumulative number of base stations deployed for 5G services to about 33,000.

[For another report on 5G base stations in India see; 20,980 base stations installed for 5G, about 2,500 being set up per week, Government tells Rajya Sabha | Headlines (devdiscourse.com)]

Telecom operators commenced deploying the 5G network after Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated 5G services on October 2. Only Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel have commenced 5G capex, as debt-laden Vodafone Idea is still trying to raise additional funds to commence capital expenditure for its 5G network.

Quoting the Ministry of Communications report to the Rajya Sabha, businessline reported last week that the telcos had deployed about 21,000 base stations for 5G services till November 26. According to senior DoT officials, the telcos have added more than 10,000 additional base stations to that number.

Since operators need to deploy 2–6 base stations per tower, the number of telecom towers for 5G has not increased substantially in the past three months. The two operators alone would have deployed 3,000 to 4,000 telecom towers for 5G services.

also reported that Reliance Jio is deploying base stations almost three times faster than Airtel. This is because Reliance has to set up a standalone 5G network, which requires a larger number of 5G radios in comparison to Airtel’s non-standalone network.

While telcos have commenced deploying 5G towers in the majority of Indian States, the national capital Delhi is experiencing the fastest deployment of 5G services. Almost a third of all the base stations deployed are located in Delhi. Therefore, users in Delhi NCR will experience the best 5G services.


Telecom operators deploy 33,000 5G base stations this year – The Hindu BusinessLine

20,980 base stations installed for 5G, about 2,500 being set up per week, Government tells Rajya Sabha | Headlines (devdiscourse.com)

3 thoughts on “Hindu businessline: Indian telcos deployed 33,000 5G base stations in 2022

  1. The 5G Standalone (SA) core network has evolved as cloud-native and can run as a scalable setup in virtualized environments. 5G Core comprises multiple functions that run as individual microservices which can scale as per needs. In India, Bharti Airtel opted for 5G Non-Standalone (NSA), while Jio has deployed 5G SA.

    The 5G Core is like the heart and brain of the 5G Networks. The 5GC acts as an enabler for next-generation networks. The Core consists of a Data layer, Control plane and User plane. The Core is a Service Based Architecture (SBA) that drives, and implements the quality of service, enforces policy, Authentication, Signalling, Analytics, Gateway functions etc., and everything related to the networks and functionalities for 5G.

    In 5G, the core network has evolved as cloud-native and can run as a scalable setup in virtualized environments. 5GCore comprises multiple functions that run as individual microservices which can scale as per needs. These functions also deliver 5G SA functionalities like Network Slicing, Ultra High Speeds, low latency, Enhanced Security, Network Exposure functions etc.

    The full 5G system includes eMBB (enhanced Mobile Broadband), mMTC (massive Machine Type Communications), URLLC (Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communications) etc.
    5G Core has advantages compared to advanced EPC for use cases that are not so widely used from a consumer perspective, such as VR, AR, IoT, Network Slicing and others. 5GC is capable of delivering high capacities due to the improved functionalities in the system. So, when a telco sees demand for a particular feature 5GC offers, it can switch to 5GC at any point in time however they want, as everything is already ready.

    The 5GCore can run in the Cloud, such as private Cloud, Google Cloud, AWS or any cloud of choice by the telco. You can read one such a story from the below link.


  2. Light Reading: 5G war heats up between Airtel and Jio in India

    The 5G war between India’s top two telcos, Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel, formally started this month, with both service providers launching their 5G plans.

    While both Jio and Airtel launched 5G services in October last year, they have been offering free services to users with 5G-enabled devices. Jio launched the first 5G recharge plan in January this year. This was available to all 4G users with a base tariff plan of 239 Indian rupees (US$2.89) or more. As per this plan, Jio subscribers would need to pay an additional INR61 ($0.7) to upgrade to the 5G upgrade tariff plan, which also includes 6GB of data.

    Jio followed this up by introducing the JioPlus postpaid plan for a family of four. It is available in two versions, one priced at INR399 ($4.82) for 75GB data and the other at INR699 ($8.45) for 100GB data. This plan may help Jio attract postpaid customers from Bharti Airtel and, especially, Vodafone Idea, which has yet to launch 5G services. Jio now offers 5G coverage in around 406 cities across the country and is aiming to cover the entire country by December 2023. Jio is the only Indian telco to have launched 5G standalone.

    Jio and Airtel seem to be fighting for postpaid users. Around 95% of Jio’s 430 million subscriber base is using its prepaid packages and the company hopes to change this with the launch of 5G services. However, this is possible only if it can attract postpaid users of other telcos or move its prepaid users to postpaid. It is tougher for Jio to attract postpaid subscribers of other telcos because they are typically not as price-sensitive as prepaid users.

    Airtel reacted to Jio’s offers by launching an unlimited 5G data plan with the aim to “inspire customers to explore the potential of the Airtel 5G Plus network.” However, Airtel’s 5G network is available in only 270 cities in India, while Jio offers 5G in 400+ cities.

    Competition will intensify

    Airtel has granted its postpaid subscribers and prepaid users who pay INR239 ($2.89) or more unlimited access to 5G data. It further lowered the entry-level tariff for postpaid family plans by launching a INR599 ($7.24) tariff and two other plans costing INR799 ($9.66) and INR998 ($12.07) as part of its all-in-one Airtel Black offering. While Jio’s family plan is cheaper than Airtel’s, it doesn’t include any OTT offering.

    Airtel’s focus on postpaid customers is clear, given it recently increased base tariffs from INR99 ($1.19) to INR155 ($1.87) for prepaid customers.

    While Airtel and Reliance Jio slug it out in the 5G market, India’s third-largest service provider, Vodafone Idea, is yet to launch 5G services in the country. The competition will possibly heat up further once Vodafone Idea joins the fray.

    The coming few months will see the competition between Jio and Airtel for greater market share intensify, especially in the more lucrative enterprise segment.


  3. India will be able to become USD 5-trillion economy by 2027, Bharti Enterprises founder and Chairman Sunil Mittal said on Saturday May 27th. Mittal said that India is the most advanced country in the world as far as telecom is concerned.

    “My generation grew up in the age of very deep and long shortages of telecom and connectivity to a point today where the deepest and remotest part of the country is using smartphones.

    “We moved very quickly from technology shifts. India now has the fastest 5G roll-out in the world. By 2024 March India will have 5G connectivity across the country,” Mittal said.

    India has set up 2 lakh base stations for 5G services within eight months of the launch of the service.

    Mittal said that even in remote areas people see mobile phone, radio connection and a DTH television connection.

    “This to my mind is the power of technology which this government has used to its utmost power to usher in reforms and benefits for the masses. I am very proud that we are part of the industry which is a great enabler for economic growth. Today telecom services give 1-1.5 per cent additional GDP growth to this country,” Mittal said.


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