As promised, Airtel has finally launched its 5G services in eight cities in India. Dubbed Airtel 5G Plus, the network is geared to provide 30x faster download speeds than LTE. Earlier, we had compiled all the crucial resources related to Airtel 5G and what 5G bands are supported in India. And in this guide, we bring you a comprehensive tutorial on how to use the Airtel 5G network in India. We will teach you how to activate Airtel 5G on your Android phone or iPhone, find out the cities where Airtel 5G services are available, list the compatible handsets, and much more. On that note, let’s go ahead and check out the steps to enable and use Airtel 5G in India.
How to Enable and Use Airtel 5G in India (2022)
In this tutorial, we include detailed instructions on how to use the Airtel 5G network in India on both iPhones and Android phones. Along with that, we have also explained what is Airtel 5G Plus, have mentioned cities and compatible phones that support the Airtel 5G network. That said, let’s dive in.
How to Activate Airtel 5G on Android Phones
First, let’s learn what settings you need to change on your Android phone to use Airtel 5G services with ease in India. Check out if the 5G service is available in your location and if you have a compatible handset in the sections below. That said, here’s how to go about it:
1. Open the Settings page and move to “Wi-Fi and Network“. After that, open the “SIM and Network” settings. Bear in mind that the menu might be labeled differently on other smartphones, depending on the Android skin you are using.
2. Next, you will find the “Preferred network type” option here. Open it and choose “5G/4G/3G/2G” or you can simply choose “5G”. This will set 5G as your preferred network type.
3. Now, wait for some time, and the Airtel 5G network should be activated on your Android phone, assuming you are currently in one of the serviceable areas and have a compatible 5G phone.
4. If the 5G network does not appear, you can also try restarting the device. Apart from that, you can force your phone to look for only the 5G network through this method. Open the dialer app on your Android phone and enter the below code. This will open the hidden Phone Information page of your smartphone
5. Here, open “Phone Information” and tap on the drop-down menu below “Set preferred network type”. Choose “NR only” or “NR/ LTE” (so you can use 4G in areas where 5G services are not yet available). The “NR only” is only for testing purposes and to check whether your phone is able to latch onto the Aitel 5G network. Later, change it to “NR/ LTE” to receive voice calls, as Airtel 5G is still dependent on the LTE infrastructure for voice calls.
How to Activate and Use Airtel 5G on iPhone
Currently, Airtel 5G is not available on iPhone in India, as Apple is yet to release an update that will make the iPhone compatible with Airtel’s 5G network. After the update is rolled out, you will be able to activate Airtel 5G on iPhones by following the below steps.
1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone and move to “Mobile Data“.
2. Next, navigate to “Mobile Data Options” and tap on “Voice and Data“.
3. Here, tap on “5G Auto” as this will enable 5G when the network is providing better speeds than 4G. Otherwise, it will switch to 4G to save battery life. In case you always want your phone to always use the 5G network, choose “5G On”.
4. Now, wait for some time or restart your iPhone. The Airtel 5G network should now be enabled on your iPhone.
What is Airtel 5G Plus?
With the 5G rollout, Airtel has started calling its service Airtel 5G Plus in India. It’s nothing but the Non-standalone 5G network that Airtel is using to offer 5G services. The telecom giant has said that it will move to SA 5G tech through software degradation in the coming years, but that is still far away.
As of now, Jio is the only telecom operator in India to offer SA 5G with VoNR (Voice over New Radio) support and is calling its service Jio True 5G.
List of Airtel 5G Supported Cities (October 2022)
Airtel has currently rolled out its 5G network in 8 cities, which include Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Siliguri, Nagpur, and Varanasi. Surprisingly, Kolkata is missing from the list. The company says Airtel will have its 5G network in all key metro by the end of 2022. And by March 2024, Airtel 5G will be available across the entire country.
How to Find Airtel 5G Tower Near Your Location
If you are in one of the serviceable areas, you can find the precise location of Airtel 5G towers and the area it covers. Here are the steps you need to follow to find the Airtel 5G tower near your location.
1. First, install Speedtest by Ookla (Android and iOS, Free with in-app purchases) on your smartphone. After that, open the app, grant the location permission, and move to the “Map” section.
2. Now, you can use this app to find Airtel 5G towers labeled in blue color in India. You can zoom out and move to another location and zoom in to find detailed coverage info of the tower. By the way, green indicates 4G/LTE coverage on the map. You can also swipe up and check 5G towers for other operators.
Airtel 5G: Compatible iPhones and Android Phones
As Airtel has rolled out 5G in key cities, it has compiled a list of phones that support Airtel’s 5G network. Check out below the complete list of iPhones and Android phones currently compatible with Airtel 5G. The list also includes the phones that are due to receive an update for enabling 5G.
|Handset Model||Airtel 5G Ready?|
|Realme 8s 5G||Yes|
|Realme X7 Max 5G||Yes|
|Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G||Yes|
|Realme X7 5G||Yes|
|Realme X7 Pro 5G||Yes|
|Realme 8 5G||Yes|
|Realme X50 Pro||Yes|
|Realme GT 5G||Yes|
|Realme GT ME||Yes|
|Realme GT Neo 2||Yes|
|Realme 9 5G||Yes|
|Realme 9 Pro||Yes|
|Realme 9 Pro Plus||Yes|
|Realme Narzo 30 5G||Yes|
|Realme 9 SE||Yes|
|Realme GT 2 Pro||Yes|
|Realme GT NEO3||Yes|
|Realme Narzo 50 5G||Yes|
|Realme Narzo 50 Pro||Yes|
|Xiaomi Mi 10||Yes|
|Xiaomi Mi 10i||Yes|
|Xiaomi Mi 10T||Yes|
|Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro||Yes|
|Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra(K1)||Yes|
|Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro||Yes|
|Xiaomi Mi 11X||Yes|
|Xiaomi POCO M3 Pro 5G||Yes|
|Xiaomi POCO F3 GT||Yes|
|Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite NE (K9D)||Yes|
|Xiaomi K16A Redmi Note 11T 5G||Yes|
|Xiaomi K3S Xiaomi 11T Pro||Yes|
|Xiaomi K16 Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge||Yes|
|Xiaomi Redimi Note 10T||Yes|
|Xiaomi K6S (Redimi Note 11 Pro Plus)||Yes|
|Xiaomi POCO M4 5G||Yes|
|Xiaomi POCO M4 Pro 5G||Yes|
|Xiaomi 12 Pro||Yes|
|Xiaomi Redimi 11 prime + 5G(L19)||Yes|
|Xiaomi Poco F4 5G||Yes|
|Xiaomi Poco X4 Pro||Yes|
|Xiaomi Redmi K50i||Yes|
|Oppo Reno5G Pro||Yes|
|Oppo Reno 6||Yes|
|Oppo Reno 6 Pro||Yes|
|Oppo F19 Pro+||Yes|
|Oppo A53 s||Yes|
|Oppo Reno 7 Pro 5G||Yes|
|Oppo F21 Pro 5G||Yes|
|Oppo Reno 8||Yes|
|Oppo Reno 8 Pro||Yes|
|Oppo K10 5G||Yes|
|Oppo F21s Pro 5G||Yes|
|Oppo Find X2||Oppo yet to update software|
|Vivo IQOO 3 5G||Yes|
|Vivo X50 Pro||Yes|
|Vivo V20 Pro||Yes|
|Vivo X60 Pro+||Yes|
|Vivo X60 Pro||Yes|
|Vivo IQOO7 Legend||Yes|
|Vivo V21 5G||Yes|
|Vivo IQOO Z3||Yes|
|Vivo X70 Pro||Yes|
|Vivo X70 Pro+||Yes|
|Vivo IQOO Z5 5G||Yes|
|Vivo Y72 5G||Yes|
|Vivo V23 5G||Yes|
|Vivo V23 Pro 5G||Yes|
|Vivo V23e 5G||Yes|
|Vivo T1 5G||Yes|
|Vivo Y75 5G||Yes|
|Vivo IQOO 9 Pro||Yes|
|Vivo IQOO 9||Yes|
|Vivo IQOO 9 SE||Yes|
|Vivo T1 PRO||Yes|
|Vivo IQOO Z6||Yes|
|Vivo X80 Pro||Yes|
|Vivo IQOO 9T||Yes|
|Vivo V25 Pro||Yes|
|Vivo Y55 5G||Yes|
|Vivo Y55s 5G||Yes|
|Apple iPhone 12 mini||Apple yet to update software|
|Apple iPhone 12||Apple yet to update software|
|Apple iPhone 12 Pro||Apple yet to update software|
|Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max||Apple yet to update software|
|Apple iPhone 13 mini||Apple yet to update software|
|Apple iPhone 13||Apple yet to update software|
|Apple iPhone 13 Pro||Apple yet to update software|
|Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max||Apple yet to update software|
|Apple iPhone SE 2022||Apple yet to update software|
|Apple iPhone 14||Apple yet to update software|
|Apple iPhone 14 Plus||Apple yet to update software|
|Apple iPhone 14 Pro||Apple yet to update software|
|Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max||Apple yet to update software|
|OnePlus 9 Pro||Yes|
|OnePlus Nord CE||Yes|
|OnePlus Nord CE 2||Yes|
|OnePlus 10 Pro 5G||Yes|
|OnePlus Nord CE Lite 2||Yes|
|OnePlus Nord 2T||Yes|
|OnePlus 8||OnePlus yet to update software|
|OnePlus 8T||OnePlus yet to update software|
|OnePlus 8 Pro||OnePlus yet to update software|
|OnePlus 9RT||OnePlus yet to update software|
|OnePlus Nord 2||OnePlus yet to update software|
|OnePlus 9R||OnePlus yet to update software|
|Samsung Galaxy A53 5G||Yes|
|Samsung A33 5G||Yes|
|Samsung Galaxy S21 FE||Yes|
|Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra||Yes|
|Samsung Galaxy M33||Yes|
|Samsung Galaxy S22||Yes|
|Samsung Galaxy S22+||Yes|
|Samsung Galaxy Note 20ultra||Samsung yet to update software|
|Samsung Galaxy S21||Samsung yet to update software|
|Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus||Samsung yet to update software|
|Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra||Samsung yet to update software|
|Samsung Galaxy Z fold 2||Samsung yet to update software|
|Samsung E426B (F42)||Samsung yet to update software|
|Samsung A528B (A52s)||Samsung yet to update software|
|Samsung M526B (M52)||Samsung yet to update software|
|Samsung Flip3||Samsung yet to update software|
|Samsung Fold3||Samsung yet to update software|
|Samsung A22 5G||Samsung yet to update software|
|Samsung S20FE 5G||Samsung yet to update software|
|Samsung M32 5G||Samsung yet to update software|
|Samsung F23||Samsung yet to update software|
|Samsung A73||Samsung yet to update software|
|Samsung M42||Samsung yet to update software|
|Samsung M53||Samsung yet to update software|
|Samsung M13||Samsung yet to update software|
Airtel 5G Recharge Plans and Tariffs
Currently, Airtel has not come up with a separate 5G plan just yet, and the company says that its customers can continue to use Airtel 5G services on existing 4G plans in India. So if you already have a 4G plan, you can use it to access Airtel’s 5G network.
During the launch, Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO of Bharti Airtel, said, “Airtel has been at the forefront of India’s telecom revolution for the last 27 years. Today marks one more step in our journey as we build out the finest network to deliver the best experience for our customers. For us, our customers are at the core of everything we do. Our solution will therefore work on any 5G handset and the existing SIM that customers have. Our obsession with customer experience is now embellished with a 5G solution that is kinder to the environment. Airtel 5G Plus is all set to redefine the way people communicate, live, work, connect and play for years to come.”
Airtel 5G Download/ Upload Speeds
After the official launch, there have been many user reports showcasing Airtel 5G’s download speed. At a recent Airtel 5G Plus event, the download speeds hovered around 200 to 300Mbps, while the upload speed was close to 25Mbps. Some were even able to get download speeds up to 1Gbps. As for user reports, people in Delhi have got download speeds of around 200Mbps to 600Mbps (via tweet), based on the proximity to the 5G tower.
In Gurgaon, a Twitter user reported download speeds of up to 837Mbps with 19ms of ping. In Mumbai, the speed topped around 695Mbps (via tweet). To sum up, you might get download speeds between 200Mbps to 1Gbps initially, depending on your proximity to the Airtel 5G tower. But as the Airtel 5G network expands and more users get into the fold, the traffic will surge and speeds will reduce to the lower end, somewhere between 150-300Mbps.
Do You Need a New Airtel 5G SIM Card?
As we mentioned in a previous guide, you don’t need a 5G SIM card to use Airtel 5G in India. The telecom operator clearly states that existing Airtel SIM cards are already 5G enabled, and they will work with your 5G-compatible smartphone without any issue.
Enable Airtel 5G Network on Your Smartphone Right Now
So these are the steps you need to follow to use Airtel 5G on your phone in India. As we go through the list of compatible devices, it seems like there is still some work to do before 5G becomes a common standard. Most smartphones, including iPhones, still require OTA updates to enable 5G services in India. Anyway, that is all from us. If you want to learn how to check 5G bands supported on your phone, head over to our detailed tutorial. And for a detailed explainer on mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G bands, follow our linked article. Finally, if you have any queries regarding Airtel 5G Plus, let us know in the comment section below.