5G in India: Should now ditch 4G SIM card and 4G smartphones?

    5G comes to India with faster data speeds but should you discard your 4G SIM and 4G phone yet?
    | Updated on: Oct 01 2022, 13:46 IST
    Redmi Note 11 Pro 4G vs Motorola Moto G71 5G
    5G in India: What should you with your 4G SIM card and 4G smartphones? (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
    Redmi Note 11 Pro 4G vs Motorola Moto G71 5G
    5G in India: What should you with your 4G SIM card and 4G smartphones? (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

    5G in India is now official, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcing its rollout from today onwards. Over the next few years, India will get to see the benefits of 5G services across the length and breadth of the country, and Airtel as well as Reliance Jio will be at the forefront delivering the services to the masses. 5G in India will allow for greater benefits such as faster internet speeds, lower latency, as well as reliable connectivity all around.

    With that said, many of you may be wondering – what to do with your 4G SIM cards? Is it time to throw them away and embrace 5G entirely? And what about those old 4G smartphones? Is it time to discard them and move to 5G connectivity? If you are confused by all these queries, here is all you need to know.

    5G in India: Is it time to throw 4G SIM cards away?

    - Not yet, and not for a few years! Despite the arrival of 5G on the scene, it is 4G LTE that will continue to be the backbone of India's telecommunications infrastructure. Over the next two years, telecom operators such as Airtel and Jio will spread their 5G networks as much as possible. Until then, it is your 4G SIM card that will continue to function as it does today.

    - 5G in its initial stages won't be as reliable and easily available as the 4G today is. 5G will be available only in a few pockets, that too in only a few cities. Hence, you will only get 5G speeds in select areas and 4G is what the industry will rely on for the rest of the areas.

    - Airtel says that its customers using its 4G SIM cards will be able to access 5G services when it is enabled for your area. Hence, you should not throw away your 4G SIM card at all. Jio is yet to issue a clarification on this.

    - We don't know how much 5G services will cost in India. Operators have hinted at 5G being slightly more expensive than 4G services in India and hence, 4G could continue to be the more affordable choice for most people. For most users, 4G LTE will continue to offer ample data speeds at affordable prices, while 5G could cater to Pro users requiring the higher speeds.

    4G smartphones: Should you throw them?

    - No, not at all. If you are using a 4G smartphone, there's no need to discard it for the sake of getting 5G. At least for the next two years, 4G LTE could remain the mainstream way to connect. Hence, your 4G smartphone will continue to work as nicely as it does today.

    - Even when 5G comes into play, your 4G phone and its 4G SIM will continue to work well. There's always some or other kind of use you can extract for your old phone – maybe a GPS navigation unit for your car, or a first smartphone for your kid.


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    First Published Date: 01 Oct, 13:45 IST
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