5G Effect in India: Speeds Go Up, Rankings Improve, but Service Quality Down

While the data speeds and global rankings have improved, one key factor, the Quality of Service (QoS), has gone down for consumers. With the 5G rollout, the QoS provided by the Indian telcos has gone down. Consumers have started facing issues such as call drops and more such problems even more frequently since the time 5G started rolling out.

Highlights

  • 5G is fast becoming a common network experience for Indians.
  • Both Airtel and Jio are rolling out 5G quickly in different parts of the country.
  • The effect of 5G is going to be positive for the country and its economy in the long run.

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5G is fast becoming a common network experience for Indians. Both Airtel and Jio are rolling out 5G quickly in different parts of the country. The effect of 5G is going to be positive for the country and its economy in the long run. But in the short term, India has already benefitted from the presence of 5G. If we talk about India's ranking in the Ookla Speedtest Global Index, it saw a 10-spot jump for median mobile speeds from the 79th position to the 69th position in January 2023. The median mobile download speeds in India increased from 25.29 Mbps in Dec 2022 to 29.85 Mbps in January 2023.




To give you a little perspective, before 5G was launched in India (5G rollout started in early Oct 2022), in September 2022, India's ranking in Ookla's Speedtest Global Index for the median mobile download speeds was 118th with 13.87 Mbps. In a very short period, that speed jumped to 29.85 Mbps, thanks to the 5G rollout happening across the nation. In February 2023, India's ranking is surely going to go up even further with a jump in the median mobile download speeds as 5G is being rolled out in more cities and towns of the nation.

Read More - Jio Launches 5G in 20 More Cities, Takes Total Count of 5G Cities to 277

Better Speeds, But at What Cost

While the data speeds and global rankings have improved, one key factor, the Quality of Service (QoS), has gone down for consumers. With the 5G rollout, the QoS provided by the Indian telcos has gone down. Consumers have started facing issues such as call drops and more such problems even more frequently since the time 5G started rolling out.

The QoS issues became so grave that the government and the sector regulator had to step in. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), as well as the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), has met with the telcos and discussed the QoS. In fact, according to a few reports online, there could be dedicated QoS benchmarks for 5G in the future.

Consumers would definitely enjoy the better speeds and enhanced capacity networks that 5G promises, but the QoS needs to be focused on as well. Telcos had earlier said that the call drop issues are there, but they will be resolved once the devices are more optimised to be connected to 5G networks.

TRAI Meets with TSPs to Discuss QoS

On February 17, 2023, TRAI said that it met with the major telecom service providers (TSPs) of India to review the issues related to the quality of telecom services being faced by consumers. TRAI already has certain QoS benchmarks in place that the telcos have to meet regularly. Upon failing to deliver, the telcos can face penalties.

One thing is certain; if there's a problem, the telcos, along with the policymakers and the sector regulator, will work to fix it. 5G, as technology, has several merits and is bound to push the Indian economy forward. It is not only going to create new jobs but boost several businesses across industries to new levels by enabling use cases that weren't possible with any of the previous generation mobile networks.

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Tanay is someone with whom you can chill and talk about technology and life. A fitness enthusiast and cricketer, he loves to read and write.

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