India is all set to start the official rollout of the 5G network this month.

Telecom tycoon Sunil Bharti Mittal's Bharti Airtel, one of India's biggest telcos, is preparing for the rollout of 5G services in India this month and aims to cover all towns and cities, including rural areas in the country by 2024.

Airtel 5G rollout plan for 5,000 towns is already in place, said the company, which is all set for full nationwide coverage by 2024.

Sunil Mittal

Managing director (MD) and Chief executive officer (CEO) Gopal Vittal of Bharti Airtel said that though pricing is not yet decided, globally 5G by itself is not giving incremental Arpu (average revenue per user) to any operator. "In India, tariffs are still low and we expect them to increase. With every tariff hike, economics will change and return on capital will get much better," he said.

Vittal highlighted that 8-9% of devices in India are currently 5G-ready and another 30-35% getting shipped are also 5G-ready.

Airtel 5G ready network

Bharti Airtel successfully bid for a range of frequencies and radio waves in the low and mid-band spectrum for a total valuation of Rs. 43,040 crore, in the recently concluded 5G auction.

The company has acquired 19,867.8MHz frequencies across the country via the purchase of 3.5GHz and 26GHz bands and other select purchases of radiowaves.