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India is leading 5G rollout worldwide; 6G to be introduced by 2029


The 5G network took the world by storm becoming one of the fastest technologies being adopted by millions as you read it. The 5G network in India was launched officially on October 1st, 2022, and in just a few months, it’s rollout has spread across 397 cities potentially on its course to overtake America’s 5G network adoption rate.

According to Ashwini Vaishnaw (who heads departments of Railways, Communications, Electronics and Information Technology), they projected to serve 5G networks to over 200 cities by December 2023. It was planned during the official launch on October 1st, 2022. However, as of now, 5G services has been rolled out in 397 cities as per the report. Vaishnaw is confident that India will commence its 6G technology adoption by 2029 thereby leading the pack.

As of now, India has three major telecom carriers – Vi, Reliance Jio, and Bharti Airtel. Except for the former one – Vi – which is gearing up for its 5G services soon, both Jio and Airtel have amassed their presence adding millions of 5G users in the country as of now.

Airtel uses NSA 5G services while Jio is the only one using 700MHz SA 5G network to give users blazing-fast internet access. According to a report by rating agency CRISIL, it is estimated that one-third or 300 million wireless customers will get their hands on 5G services as of March 2025. For context, we are between 20-25 million 5G users as of March 2023.

With that being said, India already has 30 to 35% of smartphones that are 5G-ready. With the adoption of 5G taking place at a lightning-fast pace, 5G users will skyrocket as well. The initial cost of infrastructure and the limited value proposition has been an inhibitor towards 5G services.

India is leading 5G technology adoption thanks to its network infrastructure surpassing that of both the US and Europe. Minister Viashnaw added that India has plans to develop its 6G network infrastructure by 2029 although he hasn’t put any specific dates or details at the time of writing this.

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