Airtel is testing 5G SA and 5G FWA

An official from Airtel discussed two key topics surrounding 5G during the Q2 FY23 results call for the telco’s investors: 5G SA (Standalone) and 5G FWA (Fixed Wireless Access). Both are significant from a telecom operator’s business perspective. Since Bharti Airtel is introducing 5G NSA (Non-Standalone), which builds on a 4G layer, it should be noted that the company hasn’t said much about 5G SA. The mmWave (millimetre wavelength) spectrum is initially solely anticipated to be set aside for businesses. 

Airtel is now testing 5G in the SA mode, although not for consumers. Airtel will continue to deploy 5G NSA for consumer use, while 5G SA is being tested to see if it can support some enterprise use cases that 5G NSA cannot.

According to the official, the reason Airtel didn’t opt for 5G SA like Jio was that not all smartphones will be able to handle it. In the coming weeks, all Samsung 5G phones would also be completely prepared to support Airtel’s 5G, he said during the results call.

The official also said that the company is testing 5G FWA on the mmWave frequency. Consumers won’t benefit much from the mmWave band 5G anyway because it won’t be able to provide adequate coverage. However, the mmWave spectrum could significantly impact 5G FWA.