One of the main benefits of 5G is faster data speeds. With 5G, users can expect to download and upload data faster than with 4G technology. As 5G roll-out picks up speed, the median download speeds across India increased by a massive 115 percent since the launch of 5G on October 1 last year, a report showed on Wednesday.
The median download speed increased from 13.87 Mbps in September to 29.85 Mbps in January 2023, according to Ookla, the global leader in network intelligence and connectivity insights.
As a result, India’s position on the Speedtest Global Index improved by 49 places from 118th in September 2022 to 69th in January.
The data shows improvement in LTE speeds for both Jio and Airtel since the launch of 5G services, as all their investments into network modernization are paying off.
“When 5G was first launched in October 2022, there was a wide disparity in the early 5G network performance users were experiencing on 5G-capable devices,” the report noted.
The median 5G download speeds then oscillated between 512.57 Mbps (Gujarat) and 19.23 Mbps (Uttar Pradesh West) as the 5G networks build out started.
In fact, in nine telecom circles: Andhra Pradesh, Kolkata, North East, Haryana, Rajasthan, Bihar, Punjab, Kerala, and Uttar Pradesh West, the median 5G download speed was below 100 Mbps because networks were very much at the testing stage.
“Four months on, in January 2023, 5G median download speeds had greatly increased across all of the telecoms circles a” exceeding 200 Mbps everywhere except Jammu and Kashmir, with Kolkata clocking speeds over 500 Mbps,” the report noted.
Moreover, 5G investments made by the operators have also propelled an increase in 4G LTE speeds thanks to the modernization of the underlying infrastructure.
For instance, the median 5G download speed is 25 times that of 4G LTE (338.12 Mbps vs. 13.30 Mbps), and the median 5G upload speed is 4.5 times 4G LTE (19.65 Mbps vs 3.55 Mbps).
“This must be caveated by the fact that these are still early days for 5G in India, and 5G performance will most likely decrease once those networks are commercially available,” said the report.