NEW DELHI: India's mobile data speed increased by 115 per cent fanned by 5G roll outs, and the country's ranking rose 49 places on the Speedtest Global Index in a short span to 69th position in January 2023, ahead of some G20 nations such as Russia and Argentina, according to Ookla.
Comparing the performance of Jio and Airtel, Ookla insight report shows that in January 2023, the early adopters of Jio's 5G experienced data speed ranging from 246.49 Mbps median download speed in Himachal Pradesh to 506.25 Mbps in Kolkata, while Airtel's 5G early adopters experienced speed ranging from a 78.13 Mbps median download speed in Kolkata to 268.89 Mbps in Delhi.
The report also studied churn pattern of Speedtest users from January to December 2022, and revealed that Vodafone Idea has been losing users throughout 2022 and post 5G launch, the ''disconnections increased significantly''.
Overall the ''big leap'' in India's mobile speed performance, aided by 5G, has put the nation ahead of some of the G20 countries such as Mexico, Russia, and Argentina, and its neighbors (Indonesia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan).
India is also catching up with the likes of Turkey (a 30.98 Mbps median download speed and ranked 65 on the Speedtest Global Index), South Africa (34.71 Mbps and 58th place), and Brazil (35.85 Mbps and 57th place).
Ookla, the global leader in network intelligence and connectivity insights on Wednesday released its report on India's performance post launch of 5G services.
According to it, the median download speed across India increased by 115 per cent, from a 13.87 Mbps median download speed in September 2022 to 29.85 Mbps in January 2023. As a result, India's position on the Speedtest Global Index improved by 49 places from 118 in September 2022 to 69 in January 2023.
Analysing the churn pattern of Speedtest users from January to December 2022, the report showed that VIL (Vi) has been losing subscribers during 2022 and disconnections increased notably following the 5G launch.
5G is further impacting the competitive landscape, it inferred. Speedtest users migrated away from VIL, which has been further stimulated by the operator's inability to launch 5G.
''Most of Vi's customers have moved away to Jio (1.88 per cent) and Airtel (1.32 per cent). Jio gained around 1.3 per cent of customers from Airtel and Vi India. In comparison, Airtel has lost 0.53 per cent to Jio but gained 0.63 per cent from Vi over the same period,'' it said.
When 5G was first launched in October 2022, there was a wide disparity in the early network performance users were experiencing on 5G-capable devices.
The median 5G download speeds oscillated between 512.57 Mbps (Gujarat) and 19.23 Mbps (Uttar Pradesh West) as the 5G networks build out started. In fact, in nine telecom circles: Andhra Pradesh, Kolkata, North East, Haryana, Rajasthan, Bihar, Punjab, Kerala, and Uttar Pradesh West, the median 5G download speed was below 100 Mbps because networks were very much at the testing stage.
''Four months on, in January 2023, 5G median download speed had greatly increased across all of the telecom circles — exceeding 200 Mbps everywhere except Jammu and Kashmir, with Kolkata clocking speed over 500 Mbps,'' the report said.
Moreover, 5G investments made by the operators has also propelled an increase in 4G LTE speed thanks to the modernisation of the underlying infrastructure.
''Ookla's insight report also witnesses the improvements in LTE speed (both for Airtel and Jio) in multiple cities as they are offloading 4G traffic onto their 5G network, therefore reducing 4G network congestion,'' it said.
This must be caveated by the fact that these are still early days for 5G in India, and 5G performance will most likely decrease once those networks are commercially available, it added.
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