Jio, Airtel to end unlimited 5G plans in H2 2024

Jio and Bharti Airtel are currently providing unlimited 5G data as part of their cellular plans, without imposing extra fees

Indian operators Reliance Jio Infocomm and Bharti Airtel are considering to implement new 5G plans, which would imply a 5-10% increase for end-users, according to local press reports.

These two telcos started to deploy 5G across India in October 2022 and are currently providing unlimited 5G data as part of their cellular plans, without imposing extra fees.

The reports noted that this strategy was aimed at maximizing 5G adoption among their customers in India. However, both operators are currently analyzing the implementation of separate plans for 5G connectivity, which might represent an increase of between 5-10% compared to regular 4G plans.

The reports noted that Jio and Airtel will unveil their new 5G plans in the second half of 2024. Both carriers aim to start recovering investments in 5G networks by increasing the average revenue per user (ARPU) through these new plans.

Furthermore, these new 5G plans are expected to offer customers 30% more data than regular 4G plans, which usually offer 1.5GB to 3GB of data per day.

Both carriers currently have more than 125 million 5G subscribers between them. Furthermore, the number of 5G users in India is expected to exceed 200 million by the end of 2024, according to previous reports.

Reliance Jio Infocomm has already completed the rollout of 5G technology in India. Reliance Jio Infocomm has been rapidly expanding its 5G network using Standalone (SA) architecture since October 2022.

Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel previously said it was on track to cover the entire country with 5G technology by March 2024.

India completed its first 5G spectrum auction in July 2022. Reliance Jio walked away with the most spectrum, having spent $11 billion. Airtel won spectrum worth $5.4 billion, while Vodafone received spectrum worth $2.4 billion. Finally, Adani purchased spectrum worth approximately $27 million, which it will use to offer private 5G network services.

The government of India recently confirmed that the upcoming 5G spectrum auction is slated to start on May 20

In this new auction, 5G airwaves in 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2.1 GHz, 2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz, 3.3 GHz and 26 GHz bands will be put up for sale.

Operators seeking to buy spectrum can apply until April 22. A mock spectrum auction will be carried out on May 13-14, according to the reports.

According to sources with knowledge of the matter, the auction will only draw a few bids from Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea (Vi) for renewing their frequencies.

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