India’s 5G launch boosted mobile internet speeds by 115%: Ookla

Data from Ookla shows that India’s mobile speed has increased by 115%. This improvement is largely due to the launch of 5G services, resulting in India rising 49 places in the Speedtest Global Index from 118th in September 2022 to 69th in January 2023. Both Jio and Airtel’s investments in network modernization have definitely paid off. Ookla said.

5G boosts Digital India

Speedtest Intelligence data shows that India’s average download speed has increased by 115% since the launch of 5G, from 13.87 Mbps in September 2022 to 29.85 Mbps in January 2023. This has pushed India from 118th to 69th place in the Speedtest Global Index, leaving many G20 countries behind. countries, as well as its neighboring countries.

India is also catching up with countries like Turkey (30.98 Mbps average download speed / 65th place on Speedtest Global Index), South Africa (34.71 Mbps / 58th place), and Brazil (35.85 Mbps / 57th place).

internet access in india

India is the second largest online market worldwide with over half a billion internet users. In 2015, the Digital India initiative was launched, which made government services digitally available to citizens and aimed to transform India into a digital society and economy.

It connected nearly 270 million Indians to the Internet via mobile internet, thanks to the expansion of mobile broadband networks, especially 4G. 5G is now set to play a role in driving digital transformation across multiple sectors in India, with GSMA Intelligence predicting a contribution of $455 billion to GDP by 2040.

5G download speed increased

In October 2022, when 5G was first launched, the average 5G download speed was 25 times faster than 4G. In nine telecom circles, the average 5G download speed was less than 100 Mbps as the networks were still in the testing phase. By January 2023, average 5G download speeds had improved significantly across all circles, with speeds exceeding 200 Mbps everywhere except Jammu and Kashmir. Kolkata also saw speeds of over 500 Mbps.

5G investment and 4G LTE speed

Investments in 5G have led to an increase in 4G LTE speeds due to the modernization of the underlying infrastructure. In January 2023, Ookla reported that average 5G download speeds were 25 times faster than 4G LTE (338.12 Mbps versus 13.30 Mbps), and average 5G upload speeds were 4.5 times faster (19.65 Mbps versus 3.55 Mbps).

Ookla also notes that LTE speeds could improve in many cities as 4G traffic is offloaded to 5G networks, thereby reducing congestion on 4G networks. However, since 5G is still in its nascent stages in India, its performance may drop when it becomes commercially available.

Jio and Airtel are expanding 5G network

Jio’s $25 bn investment appears to be paying off, with ten telecom circles recording 5G download speeds of over 400 Mbps in January 2023. Jio’s 5G network is standalone (5G SA). Initial momentum varies greatly, but has stabilized over the last four months.

Airtel is deploying 5G in a non-standalone mode (5G NSA) and 25% to 35% of traffic from 4G is being offloaded to 5G, said Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO of Bharti Airtel Ltd. However, the ARPU levels remained as low as Rs 193 ($2.33) for Airtel, Rs 178.2 ($2.15) for Jio and Rs 135 ($1.63) for Vi. Airtel has removed its Rs 99 ($1.20) plan in 17 circles, and is hoping the higher priced postpaid plans will help boost ARPU.

Understanding User Experience on 5G Networks

Average 5G performance gives us an idea of ​​the average user experience on 5G networks, but it’s not the whole story. Speedtest data shows operators can reach maximum download speeds of up to 1.6 Gbps, which is very close to the speeds achieved by operators in the US using the mmWave spectrum.

Spectrum isn’t the only factor affecting 5G performance

The relationship between low- and C-band spectrum and 5G performance is similar in India. Jio’s 5G performance varies depending on the spectrum band used; The C-band (n = 78) produced 462.60 Mbps average download speed with and the lower – 700 MHz frequency band (n = 28) producing 75.70 Mbps. Airtel (also using C-band) sees an average 5G download speed of 277.30 Mbps.

Other factors that may explain differences in performance between operators include the type of backhaul network they are using. Indian operators are heavily dependent on terrestrial wireless backhaul solutions, and only a third of mobile towers are fiber-connected. E-band spectrum helps, but not enough to support 5G rollout.

Ookla claims that Airtel is using AI to understand where most of its traffic is located and plan its network rollout strategy accordingly.

5G availability in India increased by 55 times

Speedtest Intelligence data shows that 5G availability increased 55 times between September 2022, when it stood at 0.1%, and January 2023, when it reached 5.5%. Airtel users with 5G smartphones can use their existing 4G SIM cards to access Airtel 5G Plus services at no extra cost. Airtel plans to go live in around 300 cities by March 2023 and cover all urban areas by March 2024.

Jio also has ambitious targets for 5G network deployment, it recently said it is on track to complete a pan-India 5G rollout by December 2023. Jio customers can connect to 5G at no extra cost by availing the 5G Welcome Offer, which has been extended to users with 5G-enabled smartphones who subscribe to a plan of Rs 239 or above. Existing 4G SIM will also be connected to 5G network.

In October 2022, 5G device testing was seen in just over a dozen cities. By January 2023, 5G availability in 39 cities exceeded 2%, with Cuttack, Chennai and Noida having over 13% 5G availability.

5G will change the competitive landscape in India

Data from Ookla’s Speedtest users from January to December 2022 shows that Vi India’s customers were decreasing and Jio was adding new users. TRAI data shows that Vodafone Idea had a net loss of 2.5 million customers in December 2022, compared to Reliance Jio’s 1.7 million net add and Bharti Airtel’s 1.5 million net add.

It was also found that majority of Vi customers moved to Jio (1.88%) and Airtel (1.32%), Jio gained around 1.3% customers from Airtel and Vi India and Airtel lost 0.53% to Jio but to Vi Received 0.63%. in the same time period.

Ookla said they will continue to monitor 5G performance in India to see how operators scale networks, and assess real-world performance as more consumers come online with 5G devices.


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button