Advancing its 5G launch, Reliance Jio will start a beta trial of the service in four cities on Wednesday, offering select customers unlimited data with up to 1 Gbps speed. Jio was scheduled to go live with 5G on Diwali. Rival Bharti Airtel announced its 5G launch on October 1, taking others by surprise.
The Jio trial will be held in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Varanasi for Jio users on invitation and extended to other cities progressively.
“Users will continue to avail (themselves) of this Beta trial until the network coverage of the city is substantially complete to provide best coverage and user experience to every customer,” the company said in a statement.
The select customers will be automatically upgraded to 5G service without their having to change their SIM cards or handsets.
“Jio is also working with all handset brands to enable their 5G handsets to work seamlessly with Jio True 5G service so that customers have the most comprehensive range of 5G devices to choose from,” the company said in a press statement on Tuesday.
At the company’s annual general meeting in August, Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani had said by Diwali Jio would launch 5G across multiple key cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, and Kolkata.
“Subsequently we plan to increase the Jio 5G footprint month after month. By December 2023 we will deliver Jio 5G to every town, taluka, and tehsil of our country,” Ambani had said.
Jio will invest Rs 2 trillion in its 5G network, launch an affordable smartphone in partnership with Google, and introduce solutions using wireless broadband such as cloud-based personal computers to power its digital business.
Jio, which acquired 24,470 MHz of spectrum in the recent auctions, is using standalone technology for its 5G service.
The company has said its network will be the largest and most advanced in the world and offer low latency, massive machine-to-machine communication, and other features.
Bharti Airtel, which rolled out its service in eight cities on Saturday, is using non-standalone technology for its 5G play.
The company will do a pan-Indian roll-out by March 2024.
Vodafone Idea has said it will roll out its 5G network progressively over the next few years. The cash-strapped service provider has not given a launch date and it is yet to sign contracts with vendors.