India secures 14th place in global 5G rankings with a 301.86 Mbps download speed: Ookla

Ookla has shared its report on India’s 5G performance and user experience, evaluating the progress since the inception of the first 5G network in 2022.

The rapid deployment of 5G across the nation by major operators like Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel has significantly bolstered India’s standing in global 5G performance rankings.

India’s 5G Performance Highlights
  • Speed Rankings: India ranked 14th globally in 5G median download speeds, hitting 301.86 Mbps in Q4 2023, driven by Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel’s extensive deployment efforts.
  • 5G Availability: India witnessed a significant rise in 5G Availability from 28.1% in Q1 to 52.0% in Q4 2023, with Reliance Jio leading at 68.8% compared to Airtel’s 30.4%.
  • Enhanced User Experience: Video streaming and mobile gaming experiences on India’s 5G networks surpassed those of 4G LTE, with faster video start times and reduced latency, notably by Reliance Jio and Airtel.
  • Net Promoter Scores (NPS): Operators reported positive 5G NPS in Q4 2023, outscoring 4G, with Reliance Jio and Airtel exhibiting similar NPS figures.
Rapid Deployment Elevates India’s 5G Ranking

India witnessed a rapid nationwide deployment of 5G networks by major operators like Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel.

By December 2023, over 400,000 5G base stations were deployed across the country, marking a significant increase from January 2023.

This rapid deployment has propelled India into the top 15 countries globally in terms of 5G median download speeds, with a recorded speed of 301.86 Mbps in Q4 2023.

Significant Speed Differential Between 5G and 4G

5G technology in India showcased a considerable speed difference compared to 4G. In Q4 2023, the median download speed for 5G was 18 times faster than 4G, with 5G median download speed at 301.86 Mbps and 4G at 16.05 Mbps.

Additionally, lower 10% of 5G users experienced speeds more than twice as fast as the median download speed of 4G, highlighting the substantial performance enhancement of 5G over 4G.

Increasing 5G Availability Led by Reliance Jio

5G availability in India showed a significant rise throughout 2023, starting at 28.1% in Q1 and reaching 52.0% in Q4 2023.

Reliance Jio led in 5G availability with a rate of 68.8% during Q4 2023, outperforming Bharti Airtel.

The growth in 5G-capable smartphones, accounting for over 52% of shipments in 2023, played a crucial role in boosting 5G adoption.

Enhanced Video Streaming and Gaming Experience

Reliance Jio and Airtel’s 5G networks delivered improved video streaming and mobile gaming experiences compared to 4G LTE.

5G networks exhibited quicker video start times and reduced latency for mobile gamers, where Reliance Jio recorded a latency of 77ms on 5G, while Airtel reported 92ms.

On the other hand, Reliance Jio’s 5G network reported a video start time of 1.14 seconds, while Airtel’s was 1.99 seconds, significantly lower than their 4G LTE counterparts.

Positive Consumer Sentiment Toward 5G

Despite a slight decline, consumer sentiment towards 5G remained positive in India.

Net Promoter Scores (NPS) for 5G surpassed those of 4G LTE. In Q4 2023, Reliance Jio and Airtel received positive 5G NPS scores of 7.4 and 7.5, respectively.

However, the uplift in NPS from 4G to 5G has reduced over time as the initial excitement of the technology wanes.

Future Prospects and Expansion Plans

Ookla’s report indicates that with plans to launch 5G services by mid-2024, Vodafone Idea aims to further augment the 5G landscape in India, alongside Operators are diversifying offerings with services like Jio AirFiber and Xstream AirFiber.

Additionally, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) plans to auction more 5G bands in May 2024, promising further expansion and enhancement of 5G services across the country.