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 (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.
Note: This article was last updated on 29th August 2022 at 5:30PM IST to include the latest details for Jio’s 5G rollout plan, supported cities, AirFiber details, and much more.
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 in India: SA or NSA?
At the recently-concluded Reliance AGM 2022, the company’s chairman Mukesh Ambani announced that Jio will deliver “true 5G” in India on an end-to-end 5G network. As we explained in our in-depth 5G SA vs NSA article, this form of network is called Standalone 5G (SA 5G), and it seems like Jio is going to bring SA 5G to both cities and rural areas by December 2023. He further explained that 5G on Jio’s network will be over 5G infrastructure, and there will be no dependency on existing 4G equipment whatsoever. And that’s a big deal as Airtel 5G and Vodafone Idea (Vi) 5G are expected to rely on NSA 5G at the start.
As a result, Jio 5G would be one of the rare telecom operators around the world having features like ultra-low latency, voice over 5G NR (VoNR), network slicing, massive communication between machines, immersive experiences while gaming, video streaming, and more.
Not to mention, the acquisition of the 700MHz frequency band puts Jio in a unique position as it will be able to provide deep, indoor 5G coverage even in dense areas. Reliance has also announced that Carrier Aggregation will be supported on its 5G network, which means multiple frequency bands will be combined to create a single data pipeline that can deliver speeds up to 1Gbps.
So to sum up, with true SA 5G deployment, carrier aggregation support, and an excellent mix of low, mid, and premium 5G frequency bands, Jio is all set to revolutionize mobile connectivity in the 5G era.
Jio 5G Rollout: Launch Date
While Reliance Jio was previously rumored to celebrate ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ with a 5G rollout in India, making us all think that Jio 5G services will launch on August 15, 2022, but that did not happen. But we have an official release date, thanks to Reliance’s 45th AGM meeting.
At the Reliance AGM 2022, Mukesh Ambani finally announced the launch date of Jio’s 5G network. By Diwali of 2022, which should be around October 24, Jio 5G network services will be launched in key metro cities, which includes Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai. Following that, every remote corner of India will be covered by Jio’s 5G network by December 2023. The company aims to reach at least a 1,000 cities with its 5G SA network by the end of next year.
Mukesh Ambani claimed that it’s the fastest 5G rollout plan done by Jio, and that’s praiseworthy. Further, he also added that Jio will soon become the world’s largest and most advanced 5G network.
Jio 5G Supported Cities in India
As we noted above, Jio has bought 5G bands for all 22 circles, so yeah Jio 5G is coming to all regions across India. However, at the 45th Reliance AGM, Mukesh Ambani announced that Jio 5G will be initially launched in four metro cities — Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai — during Diwali, 2022, which falls in the last week of October.
After that, Jio 5G will be rolled out to other cities like Bengaluru, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, and Jamnagar (if we go by rumors and reports). And by December 2023, nearly 1,000 cities, towns, and villages in India will be covered by Jio’s 5G network.
We know that Jio has completed 5G coverage planning in more than 1,000 cities, so a pan-India rollout is surely 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 telemedicine, 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 upload speeds up to 412 Mbps, which is a massive upgrade over 4G speeds in India.
At the Reliance AGM 2022, the company touted that it can deliver speeds up to 1Gbps indoors using its indigenous network stack, which is impressive. An interesting bit here is that Jio 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 used globally. You can read all 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.
Jio AirFiber Explained
At the Reliance Annual General Meeting 2022, the company announced a one-of-a-kind device that lets you create a personal Wi-Fi hotspot inside your home taking advantage of Jio’s true SA 5G network and 700MHz frequency band. The best part is that it’s completely wireless, and you can place it anywhere inside your home at your convenience. It’s called Jio AirFiber, and you can read about it using the linked article.
This is an effort to bring Gigabit speeds to every household and office without using a wired fiber connection. Further, this will also boost India’s ranking to the top 10 nations in the fixed broadband category, which is one of Jio’s big ambitions. Overall, it is a seamless solution by Jio to offer wireless Gigabit speed leveraging its end-to-end SA 5G network. It will also be used to bring Jio Cloud PCs to households in rural and semi-urban areas, enabling students and workers to use a virtual desktop computer in the cloud.
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.