Since then Official launch 5G India At IMC 2022, India’s major telcos, Airtel and Jio, have started rolling out their services in the country. Airtel has so far introduced 5G services called Airtel 5G Plus in eight Indian cities, while Jio is currently offering its Jio True 5G services through its invite-only service. Welcome offer Program in only four cities Including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Varanasi. Both telcos have made huge claims about the benefits of 5G and how much better it is than 4G. In this article, we pit Airtel 5G and Jio 5G services against each other to see their speed, availability, eligibility, tariffs and more:
Airtel 5G vs Jio 5G speed
Jio and Airtel have had their fair share of real-world speed tests since the initial 5G launch. According to an Ookla report, Jio 5G was able to touch download speeds of 600Mbps in a test conducted in Delhi. On the other hand, Airtel 5G offers a maximum speed of 516Mbps in Varanasi.
Note that download and upload speeds may vary. For example, the test done 91 mobiles Airtel 5G only showed a download speed of 94Mbps, which is significantly lower. However, it should be noted that the 5G rollout in India is in its early stages and you may notice a slowdown in speeds. Airtel promises that its 5G speeds will be 20 to 30 times faster than 4G, while Jio 5G claims to offer speeds of up to 1Gbps.
Airtel 5G vs Jio 5G Availability
Both Airtel and Jio have rolled out 5G services in select cities as part of their initial rollout plans. Airtel 5G services are currently available in eight Indian cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Siliguri, Nagpur and Varanasi.
Jio 5G services, meanwhile, are available only in four cities — Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Varanasi. As for other areas, Jio may have an edge over Airtel as it claims to cover the entire country with 5G by the end of December 2023. Airtel 5G rollout is unlikely to be completed in all regions till 2024. Only time will tell if the telcos keep their word.
Airtel 5G vs Jio 5G Plans
Neither Airtel nor Jio offers exclusive 5G plans for users. Currently, telcos are offering free unlimited high-speed data with their existing 4G recharge plans. Under the telco’s ‘Welcome Offer’ programme, Jio users can get Rs. 239 and above plan, but there is no such requirement for Airtel users who prefer to use 5G. Users can avail 5G services only within their data balance. After that, the speed drops to 60kbps.
Airtel 5G NSA vs Jio 5G SA
Both Airtel and Jio use different network infrastructure. Jio has built its 5G services on a standalone (SA) network, while Airtel uses a 5G non-standalone (NSA) network. The latter builds on existing 4G infrastructure, making it easier for network service providers to upgrade to 5G. However, a standalone 5G network is built from scratch. It is an independent network and does not rely on existing infrastructure. While SA 5G is an expensive approach, it is faster, more reliable and much more capable than the NSA network.
That means Jio 5G service will be better than Airtel. However, Airtel claims that its network is equally good and effective.
Airtel 5G vs Jio 5G Eligibility
- The basic qualification to use Airtel and Jio 5G services is to have a compatible smartphone. Released by Airtel Equipment list Compatible with its 5G network. Jio has yet to release such a list, but every 5G phone launched in 2022 should be compatible with the telco’s 5G network.
- To proceed, you must be in an area where 5G services are available. This can be checked through speedtest through Ookla app. The app has a map section which tells you the exact location of 5G services.
- If you are an Airtel user and have those bases covered, you can start using 5G services. Jio users, meanwhile, must first enroll themselves in the Jio Welcome Offer. The latter is an invitation-based program that offers the 5G experience to select users. If you are eligible, you will see Jio Welcome Offer banner on MyJio app or website. To register yourself, click on that banner. After that, the telco will analyze the availability of 5G in your area and the compatibility of the handset with the Jio True 5G network. If things go well, you will be able to browse using Jio 5G services
- Another thing to note is that your existing Airtel and Jio SIMs are forward-compatible and work with 5G. Users need to enable the 5G option in the settings for the network to kick in on their mobile phones.
Airtel 5G vs Jio 5G: Which has the edge?
On paper, Jio 5G has an edge over Airtel 5G thanks to its infrastructure. Jio’s standalone 5G network is believed to be better in terms of latency, bandwidth and network compared to non-standalone 5G networks like Airtel. Apart from this, Jio has also topped the 5G speed list with download speed of 600Mbps in initial test reports.
Airtel’s 5G network is not far behind. The telco’s download speed reached 516Mbps in a test conducted in Varanasi, marginally lower than Jio’s 5G speed. What’s more, Airtel currently has wider 5G availability than Jio in India. Also, unlike Jio, Airtel users do not need to enroll in any program to use 5G services.