During September and October, the deployment of 5G Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) by operators in India has witnessed significant growth, exceeding 47,000. TelecomTalk previously reported a surge of 60,000 5G BTS from July 2nd to August 28th. In the last two months alone, a total of 47,316 BTS have been deployed across all states and Union Territories, as reported by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
5G in Lakshadweep
To highlight a specific achievement, users can now experience 5G in Lakshadweep, as the DoT reported the deployment of 2 5G BTS in October. Lakshadweep, a group of islands in the Arabian Sea off the southwestern coast of India, is renowned for its pristine white-sand beaches, coral reefs, and vibrant marine life.
Connectivity in Lakshadweep
In September, Bharti Airtel announced that Airtel 5G services are available across all districts in the country, except for the islands of Lakshadweep, which are connected through a Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT). VSAT is a satellite communication system that employs small satellite dishes or antennas to facilitate two-way data communication.
In 2019, Bharti Airtel became the first mobile operator to launch 4G services on the tropical archipelago. During the launch, Airtel 4G went live in Kavaratti, Bangaram, and Agatti islands, enabling this popular tourist destination with high-speed mobile connectivity.
5G BTS Progress from September to October
Uttar Pradesh witnessed the highest number of 5G BTS additions with 6,772, followed by Maharashtra with 5,915 BTS, Bihar with 4,903 BTS, Rajasthan with 4,112 BTS, West Bengal with 3,474 BTS, and Gujarat with 3,287 5G BTS additions during the mentioned duration. In contrast, Manipur witnessed zero 5G BTS additions. Notably, Andaman and Nicobar saw the addition of 8 5G BTS, and Lakshadweep witnessed its first 5G BTS during the period.
|Sl. No||State/UT||BTS as on|
|28 Aug 2023||31 Oct 2023||BTS Additions betwen the dates|
|15||Jammu & Kashmir (UT)||4996||5851||855|
|29||UT of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu||305||344||39|
|33||Andaman & Nicobar||90||98||8|
5G in India
As per the most recent update by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), India has a 4G network coverage reaching 99 percent of the country, and 5G is experiencing one of the fastest rollouts globally.
Currently, India has four wireless operators: Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea (Vi), Reliance Jio, being the private operations, and BSNL/MTNL, being the state-owned operators.
In India, only Airtel and Jio are currently live with 5G and are actively deploying 5G networks at a record pace to complete the 5G rollouts as per their scheduled timelines, respectively.
Vodafone Idea has not yet officially announced its 5G plans. However, as reported by TelecomTalk, Vi’s website has a footer update that 5G is live in select places.
Coming to BSNL, according to earlier reports, BSNL is supposed to commence large-scale 4G deployments post Diwali. Therefore, BSNL is currently in the process of deploying a 4G network that can be upgraded to 5G later.
Regarding pricing, both Airtel and Jio currently offer ‘Unlimited 5G,’ and there is zero monetization on 5G networks thus far. However, Airtel is the only operator that has announced that all 4G data packs work on 5G network when user is not on any Unlimited 5G data eligible plans. This means 5G is offered at 4G pricing or with 4G Data packs. There is no announcement of 5G pricing from Jio. As there is no 5G offering from Vi, there is no question about its 5G tariff or offering.