Should You Buy 5G phone in India ? | Is it right time to buy 5G phone over 4G?

So on one hand brands like Realme have declared that all realme smartphones launched about Rs 20,000 will be 5g smartphones, similarly Jio's CEO Mr.Mukesh Amani said that they'll start deploying 5g in the second half of 2021, but on the other hand there is a Facebook comment from Xiaomi India CEO Mr.ManuKumarJain on a Facebook post saying "5g is still two to three years away in India so why pay for it when it is not available".

So now the question is what really is the state of 5g in India and more importantly should you even consider buying a 5g phone?

Well the short answer is No. 5G is so messed up and to know about that let's quickly understand 

What really 5G is?

5G is the 5th generation of cellular networks similar to 2G, 3G, and 4G. Now, 3G, 4G, 5G works on electromagnetic waves they are invisible, you don't have a wire between your phone and the 4G antenna pool but the internet and calling still work it's because of these invisible waves.

Now, these waves have frequencies in 5G these frequencies are divided into two parts sub-6 GHz waves and millimeter wave, it's basically the frequencies 5g bands will use let's take an example to understand it better -

Imagine there are two pipes the first pipe is thin and long which can carry water for a long distance the only problem is the volume of the water is slow so it will take some time to fill the tank, and on the other side you have a thick and short pipe it cannot be carried to a huge distance but the volume of water is insane, you can just fill your tank in just 5 minutes. 

Now the thicker pipe is millimeter-wave which gives you crazy 5g speeds that you see in some internet videos, but for that, you have to stand beside a 5g pole on the other hand the thinner pipe is sub-6 GHz it won't give you crazy speeds but will work far away from the 5g antenna pole.

What are 5G bands?

Now that we have the basic understanding of 5g and the frequencies next you'll need a 5g phone to use 5g, more importantly, a 5g chip inside your phone. A 4g phone won't work with 5g.

And for the most 90 percent cases even for the next five to six years, you'll be using sub-6 GHz only, the thin pipe which gives you only slightly faster speeds than 4g. To explain that better let's talk about 

The 5g bands in India 

You might have heard about people talking that OnePlus Nord supports only one 5g band, Moto g 5g supports six 5g bands, so what's the deal with that?

So if a company has to operate in a particular frequency it has to buy them from the government, for example, if Jio wants to use 3400 megahertz frequency band it has to buy the band from the government first, these are 5g bands represented by n. So instead of calling 3400 or 3600 megahertz, you call it n78.

n78 operates in 3300 to 3800 megahertz and for this purchase of a frequency band, you have a government auction. Now the government of India has not yet sold any 5g bans they are planning to do that by the end of 2021 and there is some information about what bands the government of India will sell.

In simple words, 29 bands will be auctioned by the government of India in late 2021 or early 2022 and the majority of them are in sub-6 GHz. Only three are in millimeter-wave 5g.

Even the recent Airtel 5g test that you saw in Hyderabad was in 1800 megahertz this is again "sub-6 GHz the thin pipe"

Now, apart from Jio no other telecom operator is even promising millimeter-wave 5g they are all going to operate in the sub-6 GHz range.

To make it even better no phone in India yet supports millimeter-wave 5g here are some of the popular 5g phones in India and if you see the maximum support for 5g band is with iphone 12 and not is the lowest but none of them support millimeter-wave 5g.

So any phone that you see selling in India as of now won't give you that crazy 1000 Mbps download speed that you saw in some recent Ads. None of the phones available in India have millimeter-wave 5g enabled as of now "the thicker pipe".

Why Phones doesn't support more 5G Bands in India?

People talking about 5g bands on the phone, well these phones don't support more 5g bands because the phone company has to pay the royalties to the modern company depending on the number of band support. 

So during releases like the oneplus not they just enable one band, and there are many other phones with one or two bands as you can see in the image. 

It all depends on what gets auctioned in India and what Vodafone idea(VI), Jio, and Airtel support.

Also If You want to know more about What is 5G in India? then Make sure to check out my new post on

Is India ready for 5G in 2021? | When will 5g come to India?

Should you buy a 5g phone in India?

Well, 5g shouldn't be the main reason to buy a phone it will take 1 to 2 years to get workable 5g and even to four years to get a stable 5g connection in India, for example - 

2g was deployed globally in 1991 but was deployed in India in 1995, 3g was deployed globally in 1998 but in India, 10 years later in 2008, similarly 4g services were deployed globally in 2008 but seven years in 2015. 

5g started in early 2020 outside, and in India, it will be no sooner than 2023. According to Erickson's mobility report, India will have 350 million 5g subscriptions by 2026, accounting for 27 percent of all mobile subscriptions.

To give you a perspective out of 1.5 billion active users in 2026 only 350 million will have 5g, and as 5g improves even 4g speeds will get better, so by the time you have a good enough 5g in India which should be more than two to three years, you'll still have phones being advertised as the best 5g phone and all.

Hence if you buy a phone now you would have changed at least two phones by the time 5g comes in India, so no matter how many media companies and youtube types of 5g trust me you're going to buy a 5g phone later as well and don't stress about 5g bands while buying a phone right now.

So, what's the right time to buy a 5G phone in India?

So, according to some leaks and reports by some trusted sites - It will take 2 to 3 years for 5g to be well stable in India, and from that time you will start getting very cheap and very good phones in India. So wait for 2-3 years and get a proper 5G phone and enjoy a good speed of 5G.

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