As 2022 nears an end, telcos like Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel have deployed about 33,000 base stations for 5G services. Sources in the Department of Telecommunications told businessline that the telcos deployed around 10,000 base stations in December, taking the cumulative number of base stations deployed for 5G services to about 33,000.
Telecom operators commenced deploying the 5G network after Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated 5G services on October 2. Only Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel have commenced 5G capex, as debt-laden Vodafone Idea is still trying to raise additional funds to commence capital expenditure for its 5G network.
Quoting the Ministry of Communications report to the Rajya Sabha, businessline reported last week that the telcos had deployed about 21,000 base stations for 5G services till November 26. According to senior DoT officials, the telcos have added more than 10,000 additional base stations to that number.
Since operators need to deploy 2–6 base stations per tower, the number of telecom towers for 5G has not increased substantially in the past three months. The two operators alone would have deployed 3,000 to 4,000 telecom towers for 5G services.
businessline also reported that Reliance Jio is deploying base stations almost three times faster than Airtel. This is because Reliance has to set up a standalone 5G network, which requires a larger number of 5G radios in comparison to Airtel’s non-standalone network.
While telcos have commenced deploying 5G towers in the majority of the States, the national capital Delhi is experiencing the fastest deployment of 5G services. Almost a third of all the base stations deployed are located in Delhi. Therefore, users in Delhi NCR will experience the best 5G services.