Reliance Jio may launch 5G JioPhone in India after network is ready by 2021
One of the most anticipated questions that every Indian tech enthusiast have in mind right now is -- when will 5G come to India? Counterpoint, global industry analysis firm, has an answer to that question. In an interaction with the media Counterpoint analyst Neil Shah said, after conducting several analysis and researches, 5G will possibly come to India by 2021 and not any time before that. "In India, 5G will pick up after 2021 when the ecosystem is mature and 5G handset prices start to falls," he notes in an interaction with the media last week. Notably, the official timeline for the rollout of the 5G network in India is yet to be revealed.
In the interaction the research firm - counterpoint -- noted that one of the biggest telecom operators in India - Reliance Jio - has shown interest for the early rollout of 5G once the spectrum is available. While Reliance Jio has shown interest for early rollout of 5G network, telecom operators like Airtel and Vodafone are apparently still in favour of upgrading their LTE networks towards LTE A Pro. "All operators are looking for IoT services which will be an important part of their business," said counterpoint.
In the same interaction, Shah noted that Reliance Jio may also consider bringing a 5G support JioPhone in India once the network is fully functional in the country. This means that in possibly the next few years or so we will be able to experience Reliance JioPhone 5G phone. Notably, Jio hasn't revealed any official information regarding the 5G JioPhone yet. Currently, both the JioPhone and JioPhone 2 come with 4G VoLTE support. We believe that JioPhone will come with 5G support once the prices of the 5G devices go down a little, which will take years now.
According to Counterpoint research, telecom operators like Reliance Jio and Airtel will possibly run 5G trials in 2019 while the 5G spectrum auction will begin only by 2020. It is possible that after the full deployment that other telecom operators in India like Vodafone, Idea Cellular, BSNL and others may follow the same path.
India Telecom regulatory body, TRAI, is said to be pushing for early spectrum auction which is likely to happen somewhere in 2020. In the media interaction counterpoint noted that Indian telecom operators are not ready for 5G right now because of their failing revenues and also lack of killer use cases fir 5G in India market.
Several smartphone manufacturers have announced 5G enabled phone for other markets like the Mi Mix 5G. Smartphone companies like Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi, Nokia, Huawei, OnePlus and others have confirmed to bring 5G phones this year. But sadly, none of these 5G phones will head to India.
We expect to see 5G phones coming to India only by 2021 and not anytime before that. Counterpoint research notes that companies like Huawei, Xiaomi, OnePlus, Vivo and Oppo will have competitive offerings for 5G in the Indian market. Companies like Xiaomi, Jio, Honor, Vivo and Oppo will consider bringing mid-range 5G enabled devices in India when the spectrum is available in the country. The premium segment will be occupied by firms like OnePlus, Huawei, Samsung and Apple.