Airtel, Jio aim 100-150mn 5G conversions by March 2024

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Airtel, Jio aim 100-150mn 5G conversions by March 2024
Airtel, Jio aim 100-150mn 5G conversions by March 2024

The initial months, up to March next year in fact, will require the telcos to reach out to the early adopters and convert them to 5G users

Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio are targeting to convert 100-150 million mobile phone users to 5G by March 2024 as the companies expand their coverage and develop more consumer use cases, with ample data allowances likely to be a key factor in driving adoption of the next gen technology.

Industry executives and analysts said, for telecom operators, the next financial year will be a phase of transition where they will focus on not only covering as much of the country as possible but also fine-tuning their network structure and encouraging consumer habit formation. “The initial months, up to March next year in fact, will require the telcos to reach out to the early adopters and convert them to 5G users,” said Pareekh Jain, chief executive, EIIRTrend, a research firm.

In October 2022, the two telcos launched their 5G service in a phased manner and have so far covered more than 50 cities. The early adopters comprise Jio and Bharti Airtel customers, and Vodafone Idea customers who are on the premium packs or plans, have a propensity to pay for an experience upgrade and already own a 5G enabled device. Vodafone Idea hasn’t yet announced 5G rollout plans. Analysts put the number of such early adopters at 100-150 million, mainly in the four major metros and six to eight other cities.

In habit formation for 5G adoption, ample data allowances will be crucial, said analysts. Busting their daily data allowances in just three to four speed tests, customers are consuming 60-70% higher data on 5G than 4G for the same usage pattern, according to an IIFL Securities report.

The higher data consumption can be explained by the fact that most apps are programmed to select higher feed density and better resolution videos and images. This propels consumers to either opt for higher data allowance packs and options or manually change data usage settings on their phones to 4G.

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