Ookla, the global leader in network intelligence and connectivity insights, today released a report based on the data from Speedtest Intelligence to show early 5G performance across select cities as well as an indication of the growth of the number of 5G-capable devices.
On October 1, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched 5G services in select Indian cities during India Mobile Congress 2022 in New Delhi. Operators took the opportunity to discuss their 5G plans at the event with Bharti Airtel launching their 5G services in eight cities and Jio’s 5G beta trial “Jio True 5G for All” launching it on October 5 in four Indian cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Varanasi.
5G download speeds reach 500 Mbps on 5G test networks- According to the Speedtest Intelligence report, telecom operators have been testing their networks before the October 1 launch which saw a wide range of 5G download speeds: from low double-digit (16.27 Mbps) to 809.94 Mbps. This data points to the fact that the operators are still recalibrating their networks. The speeds are expected to be more stable moving forward as these networks will enter the commercial stage.
Jio’s 5G network showed almost 600 Mbps median download speed in Delhi- Ookla compared median 5G download speeds across four cities both Jio and Airtel built their networks. In Delhi, Airtel reached nearly 200 Mbps median download speed at 197.98 Mbps while Jio almost broke 600 Mbps (598.58 Mbps) in June 2022. In Kolkata, operators’ median download speeds varied the most since June 2022: Airtel’s median download speed was 33.83 Mbps while Jio had faster median download speed at 482.02 Mbps.
In Mumbai, Airtel’s has reached 271.07 Mbps median download speed compared to Jio’s 515.38 Mbps median download since June 2022. In Varanasi, Jio and Airtel achieved closer parity, with Airtel achieving a 5G median download speed at 516.57 Mbps to Jio’s 485.22 Mbps median download speed since June 2022.
Much faster mobile internet in the future than what 4G LTE is achieving- According to the Speedtest Global Index, India ranked 117th in the world for mobile download speed at 13.52 Mbps in August 2022. These new 5G results show that 5G speeds are far superior than India’s existing network. While we need to approach these early results with caution, 5G devices are already showing they can achieve much faster speeds, at least under artificial controlled testing circumstances e.g., no network congestion and ideal network coverage.
Consumers are 5G ready- As per Ookla’s recent consumer survey, 89% of Indian smartphone users are ready to upgrade to 5G. Operators have an existing addressable base of devices that they can target from the start, and over the past year the number of 5G-capable devices has been on the rise. Among Speedtest users, Jio saw the largest increase in 5G-capable devices (67.4%), followed by Airtel (61.6%), and Vi India (56%).
As per the findings of the report, Hyderabad is the one city where all operators have seen significant growth in terms of 5G-capable devices, with Jio even tripling its install base.
iPhone users have most 5G-capable phones- The report shows that 51% of survey respondents already had smartphones supporting 5G. The top smartphone vendors in the market are Samsung (31%), followed by Xiaomi (23%), Realme, and Vivo. While only one in ten survey respondents had an iPhone, Apple smartphones tend to be more 5G capable. In fact, according to Speedtest Intelligence data, the iPhone 12 5G is the most popular 5G-capable device in the Indian market.