As telcos begin to roll out 5G services with select users in metro cities, common users on the street are flooded with queries whether their smartphones will be able to run 5G data packs or not in the near future.
According to industry experts, one thing is certain: You need a 5G-enabled handset in your pocket to enjoy high-speed internet to stream movies or play games.
"At the SIM level, there may not be a need to change as of now as telecom service providers will upgrade the SIM from the back-end to enable it for 5G services. A 4G SIM can surely work in 5G-powered phones," Counterpoint Research Director Tarun Pathak told IANS.
However, a 5G-enabled smartphone is a must to avail high-speed internet and other services.
Reliance Jio said on Tuesday that invited 'Jio Welcome Offer' users in four cities -- Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Varanasi -- will be automatically upgraded to the Jio True 5G service "without needing to change their existing Jio SIM or 5G handset".
Jio said it is also working with all handset brands to enable their 5G handsets to work seamlessly with Jio True 5G services so that customers have the most comprehensive range of 5G devices to choose from.
It also means that more than 500 million smartphone users in India will have to purchase 5G-ready handsets going forward.
India will soon have close to 100 million 5G-enabled smartphone users.
In any case, millions of these users will have to wait till late 2023 or early 2024 to enjoy 5G on their devices but they do need 5G-capable devices.
According to Airtel, a 4G SIM can work in 5G-powered phones. However, you also need to keep in mind that you wouldn't be able to leverage the 5G capabilities to the fullest.
"To enjoy the 5G network to its maximum potential, you would be required to have a 5G SIM with a 5G phone. Despite all that, your 4G SIM will surely provide you with better connectivity and transmission when used with 5G phones," according to the company.
You must have a device that is compatible with 5G networks. Today, when 5G services are about to be implemented, most phone companies have already launched 5G-enabled smartphones in the market with modems and built-in hardware to support 5G technology.
Will a 5G SIM work on a 4G-enabled smartphone?
The answer is yes. However, there is a catch to it.
"While a 5G SIM card can be used in 4G mobile, it would still be providing you with 4G networks as one of the major requirements to use the 5G technology is having a 5G-powered device," according to the Airtel FAQ.
If your phone is not 5G-enabled, it will not be able to access 5G networks and hence, you wouldn't be able to enjoy the blazing fast speed and connectivity of the 5G network.