Bharti Airtel founder and chairman Sunil Mittal vowed to roll out 5G coverage across India by March 2024, after launching in eight major cities, The Economic Times reported.

Airtel aims to expand coverage to most parts of the eight cities including Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore by March 2023.

The operator acquired 19800MHz of spectrum in the 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 3300MHz and 26GHz bands for $5.4 billion. It lined up Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung as its 5G equipment suppliers.

In a statement, Airtel claimed to be the first in India to introduce an immersive VR advertisement platform offering brands a direct connection to consumers in a mobile-first environment.

Airtel Digital CEO Adarsh Nair stated the biggest benefit of 5G is it allows it to do more with low-latency.

Rival Reliance Jio plans to deploy a nationwide standalone 5G network by December 2023. It invested $11 billion on spectrum in the 900MHz, 2500MHz and 26GHz bands.

The operator earmarked INR2 trillion ($24.5 billion) for its 5G rollout, which analysts say includes spectrum costs.