Ookla, a leading network intelligence and insights company, has released its insights on India's mobile speeds post 5G launch in India. India joined the list of 5G Nations with Bharti Airtel's 5G announcement in October at the IMC 2022. According to the insights, the median download speeds across India increased by 115%, i.e. from 13.87 Mbps median download speed in September 2022 to 29.85 Mbps in January 2023.
Also Read: India Jumps to 69th Position With 29.85 Mbps Median Mobile Speeds: Ookla
This speed increase has improved Speedtest Global Index rankings by 49 places, from 118th in September 2022 to 69th in January 2023. With this, India is ranked ahead of several G20 nations, including Mexico, Russia, and Argentina, as well as its neighbouring countries, namely Indonesia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan.
The report from Ookla also highlights that India is catching up with countries like Turkey (a 30.98 Mbps median download speed and 65th place on the Speedtest Global Index), South Africa (34.71 Mbps and 58th place), and Brazil (35.85 Mbps and 57th place).
5G Testing Stages
Ookla said when 5G was first launched in October, there was a wide disparity in the speeds experienced by users on 5G compatible devices. For example, median download speeds fluctuated between 512.57 Mbps in Gujarat and 19.23 Mbps in Uttar Pradesh West. Nine circles, including Andhra Pradesh, Kolkata, North East, Haryana, Rajasthan, Bihar, Punjab, Kerala, and Uttar Pradesh West, experienced median 5G download speeds of 100 Mbps in the early testing stages.
But in January 2023, 5G Median download speeds increased across all telecom circles, surpassing 200 Mbps everywhere except Jammu and Kashmir, with Kolkata circle experiencing speeds over 500 Mbps
Also Read: India Records Median Mobile Speed at 18.26 Mbps in November 2022: Ookla
4G LTE Speeds and 5G Speeds
Deployment of 5G Networks has also lessened the strain on 4G LTE Networks, improving 4G Speeds.
For example, the median 5G download speed of 338.12 Mbps is 25 times faster than the median 4G LTE download speed of 13.30 Mbps.
Similarly, the median 5G upload speed of 19.65 Mbps is 4.5 times faster than the median 4G LTE upload speed of 3.55 Mbps.
According to Ookla's insight report, both Airtel and Jio have witnessed improvements in LTE speeds in various cities by offloading 4G traffic onto their 5G network, reducing congestion in their 4G networks.
Also Read: India Leaps Ahead With Median Mobile Speeds at 25.29 Mbps in Dec: Ookla
Speeds Experienced by Early 5G Adopters
In January 2023, according to the Ookla insight report, Jio and Airtel's 5G performance was compared, with Jio's early adopters experiencing download speeds ranging from a median of 246.49 Mbps in Himachal Pradesh to 506.25 Mbps in Kolkata. On the other hand, Airtel's early adopters experienced download speeds ranging from a median of 78.13 Mbps in Kolkata to 268.89 Mbps in Delhi. But there is yet to be an official 5G Launch by Airtel in Kolkata.
According to the report, the churn pattern of Speedtest users from January to December 2022 revealed that Vi India experienced a continuous loss of users, which further increased after the launch of 5G. As a result, most of Vi's customers have migrated to Jio (1.88%) and Airtel (1.32%). Jio, in turn, gained approximately 1.3% of customers from Airtel and Vi India. Meanwhile, Airtel lost 0.53% to Jio but gained 0.63% from Vi during the same period.
The availability of 5G has grown significantly, increasing 55-fold. Airtel and Jio have set ambitious targets for the rollout of their 5G networks. Since the introduction of 5G, the availability of 5G networks on 5G-capable devices has steadily risen, with Airtel now at 8.0% and Jio at 5.1%.