After years of waiting and waiting, Airtel 5G services are now available in India. 5G was launched at this time Indian Mobile Congress (IMC) 2022 on October 1 Prime Minister Narendra Modi and All major telecoms including Airtel, Jio and Vi have laid out their rollout plans for 5G services in India. While Jio and Vi will start the rollout at a later date, Airtel has already greenlit 5G services in some cities in India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, Bengaluru, Gurugram, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai. Furthermore, Airtel also claims that its existing 4G SIMs will be compatible with the 5G network. In this guide, we will provide you with all the information you need to activate Airtel 5G on your smartphone.
What is 5G?
Simply put, 5G is the next revolution in the cellular network space. As the successor to 4G, the fifth generation technology offers many improvements and capabilities such as significantly faster download & upload speeds, simultaneous 4K streaming and enabling cloud gaming with low latency. When it comes to enterprise, 5G will help businesses by enabling faster data transfer speeds within the enterprise and can also be leveraged for specific use cases such as cloud computing and location tracking.
How to activate 5G network on your smartphone
Once 5G is available in your location, here’s how to activate it on your smartphone if you have an ongoing active recharge plan.
- Open the ‘Settings’ app on your smartphone
- Next, select ‘Mobile Network’ or a similar setting
- Select the SIM you want to enable 5G
- From here, select the ‘Preferred Network Type’ option
- Now just tap and select 5G network type
- If 5G is indeed available in your area, you should get the 5G icon in the status bar within the next couple of minutes.
Airtel 5G bands are supported
During the 5G spectrum auction held in August 2022, Airtel acquired the following 5G bands for use in its infrastructure.
- n8: 900 MHz
- n3: 1800MHz
- n1: 2100 Mhz
- n78: 3300 MHz
- n258: 26GHz
The telecom giant has mainly acquired sub-GHz and high-speed frequency bands, which will provide high internet speed in all the existing operating cities. In addition to that, Airtel has also partnered with the likes of Nokia, Samsung and Ericsson to build and deploy state-of-the-art 5G infrastructure in the country.
Who can use Airtel 5G?
For individual users, to use 5G you first need to make sure your current smartphone supports 5G.
- To do that, you can always point to the phone box and check for any ‘5G’ text. If there is no such text, look at the labels on the back of the box and look for 5G bands. If you still can’t find any signs of 5G, it’s more likely that your phone doesn’t support 5G functionality.
- If your handset is 5G enabled, make sure it supports Airtel 5G bands. Information can be found on the retail box or on the manufacturer’s website
- Additionally, even if you own a 5G-compatible smartphone and live in a 5G-enabled location, you still need an active 5G recharge plan, which telcos have yet to announce.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which cities have Airtel 5G services?
Currently, Airtel has launched its 5G network in some cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, Bengaluru, Gurugram, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai. Expect 5G service to roll out in more areas over the next few weeks.
How to check if your location supports Airtel 5G?
Airtel SIM subscribers can download and use Airtel Thanks app from Play Store and App Store to check 5G availability in their location. Apart from that, the app also checks the 5G compatibility of the user’s smartphone.
Do you need a new SIM to use Airtel 5G services?
No, you don’t need a new SIM to use a 5G SIM. Your existing Airtel 4G SIM is forward-compatible to 5G and will work seamlessly on your 5G smartphone.
When will Airtel 5G be available for everyone?
Apart from the 8 cities in the initial 5G rollout plan, the telecom giant said it will cover all major cities and urban areas in India by the end of December 2023 with a pan-India rollout by March 2024.