Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel, two of the top telecom operators in India, are gaining subscribers of Vodafone Idea (Vi) because of 5G. To be more precise, Vi has not yet rolled out 5G, while Airtel and Jio have reached more than 100 cities, each with their 5G networks. In a fresh report, Ookla said that the churn pattern of Speedtest users from January to December 2022 shows that Vi India has been losing customers throughout 2022, and after the launch of 5G, the disconnections increased significantly.
Reliance Jio and Airtel got 1.88% and 1.32% of Vi's customers. Ookla said, "Jio gained around 1.3% of customers from Airtel & Vi India. In comparison, Airtel has lost 0.53% to Jio but gained 0.63% from Vi over the same period."
This is something that is bound to happen. The more delays that Vi does in launching 5G, the more it would become hard for it to keep hold of high-paying customers who want to experience 5G. Since Jio and Airtel are not charging anything extra for 5G right now, Vi customers would definitely be tempted to try out the 5G services.
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The quarterly churn rate of Vi was still more than 4% at the end of Q3 FY23. The telco can't launch 5G until its funding is ensured. Vi has been trying to raise capital for years now but has been unsuccessful in doing so. Ookla, in its latest insights report for the Indian market, also said that India climbed 49 places on the Speedtest Global Index since the launch of 5G.
In India, the median 5G download speeds are 25 times faster than 4G. This proves the claim of Airtel that says its 5G networks are 20x to 30x faster than 4G in general.
Ookla also said, "Airtel and Jio have ambitious targets in terms of 5G network rollout. From 5G networks’ inception, 5G Availability across 5G-capable devices has steadily increased, reaching 8.0% for Airtel and 5.1% for Jio."