State-owned BSNL will start 5G services by April 2024 and has shortlisted a TCS and C-DOT-led consortium for rolling out the 4G network, which will be upgraded to 5G in about a year of placing the order under the contract.
“BSNL 5G services will be available from March or April 2024. It is progressing very fast. In 2023, we will see a rapid roll out of 4G and 5G in 2024,” Union Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said.
He was speaking on the sidelines of an event to launch the 5G services of Jio and Airtel in Odisha. Vaishnaw along with Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launched the services.
“Entire Odisha will be covered by 5G services in two years. Today, 5G services have been launched in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack,” the telecom minister said.
He had committed to launch 5G services in the state before 26 January. “It has just been three months of 5G launch and we are seeing the fastest rollout of 5G networks in India,” the minister said.
Vaishnaw said that the Modi government has allocated Rs 5,600 crore for strengthening the telecom connectivity in the state.
Rapid expansion of 5G in India
Earlier, in an interview with AIR News, Vaishnaw said that the 5G services will be rolled out by the state-owned telecom operator by next year.
The minister also expressed confidence that 80 per cent of the country would be covered by 5G services within a span of 24 to 36 months.
Meanwhile, the private telcos are progressively rolling out the 5G services. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the 5G services in India in October 2022.
Two major telecom services providers in India - Reliance Jio and Airtel - started the progressive roll out of the 5G services in the country from October last year.
Jio's 5G service is available in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Kolkata, Varanasi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Nathdwara, Kochi and all 33 district headquarters of Gujarat. The company recently launched 5G in Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Guntur.
Airtel also has started 5G roll out in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Siliguri, Nagpur, Varanasi, Panipat, Gurugram, Guwahati, Patna, Lucknow, Shimla, Imphal, Ahmedabad, Vizag and Pune.
(With inputs from PTI)
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