India climbs 72 places in mobile download speed; outclasses UK, Japan, Brazil


India’s position on the Ookla Speedtest Global Index improved 72 places from 119 in September 2022 to 47 in August 2023, putting India ahead of not only its neighbours but also G20 countries like Mexico (90th), Turkey (68th), the UK (62nd), Japan (58th), Brazil (50th place), and South Africa (48th place).

The Seattle-headquartered Ookla in its latest report ‘India’s Remarkable 5G Advancement Elevates its Global Mobile Ranking’ says over the past year, mobile download speeds in India have seen “significant” improvement.

Thanks to 5G rollouts, India saw median download speeds increase by 259% since before 5G launched, jumping from 13.87 Mbps in September 2022 to a median download speed of 50.21 Mbps in August 2023, the report finds.

Also Read: Jio secured $2.2 bn funding from Swedish firm EKN for 5G rollout: RIL Annual Report

Improving overall user experience across all telecom circles, the 5G technology launch by operators like Jio and Airtel has led to a substantial increase in 5G subscribers, says the report. The technology has not only brought “faster speeds” but also higher customer satisfaction, as indicated by the net promoter score (NPS).

Mobile performance across India improved in all telecom circles, shows the data.

Notably, mobile users in India are among the most data-intensive consumers in the world. Though 4G networks were unable to keep up with consumer expectations, due to issues like lack of cellular infrastructure, backhaul, and spectrum constraints, the 5G technology has been able to offload 25% to 35% of traffic from 4G, the report finds out.

According to Ookla Speedtest data, India’s median download speed has improved remarkably, increasing by 3.59 times since 5G was launched in the country.

Also Read: 5G to account for 57% of Indian mobile subscriptions in 2028

In October 2022, India’s median download speed ranged from 10.37 Mbps in North East to 21.49 Mbps in Jammu and Kashmir. However, by August 2023, the range of median download speeds widened significantly, with each circle clocking a speed of more than 28 Mbps. The North East saw a median download speed of 28.02 Mbps, while Jammu and Kashmir recorded a high of 150.95 Mbps.

Stark contrary to the past, in August 2023, Jammu and Kashmir emerged as the leader in mobile median download speeds at 150.96 Mbps, surpassing Bihar (73.00 Mbps) and Kolkata (66.47 Mbps). Jammu and Kashmir was one of the last states to launch a mobile network in 2003, and due to security concerns and internet shutdowns, there were occasional disruptions in mobile network services.

Also Read: 5G to contribute $450 bn to India’s economy by 2040: Report

In terms of fast-paced 5G adoption, the report adds by August 2023, median 5G download speeds exceeded 240 Mbps across all telecom areas, with Kolkata leading the pack with a median download speed of 385.50 Mbps.

As 5G deployments continue in India, the number of subscribers keeps growing. Jio announced it has over 50 million customers, and Bharti Airtel claimed it had over 10 million 5G customers in June.

5G speeds in India are particularly impressive compared to those on 4G; in August 2023, for example, median download speeds on 5G were 2,003% faster than those on 4G, with 5G showing a median download speed of 316.24 Mbps compared to 14.97 Mbps on 4G.

Also Read: 5G user base in India to reach 300 million by fiscal 2025: Report

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