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NEW DELHI: Ookla, the US-based mobile and network testing firm, has found that 5G download speeds hit 500 Mbps on 5G test networks in India, with highest speeds at over 800 Mbps.

Based on data from Speedtest Intelligence that observed speeds on telecom networks that have been testing their networks before the 1 October launch, the firm found that 5G speeds on telco networks varied widely from low double-digits, 16.27 Mbps, to high triple digits - 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," the agency said.

Bharti Airtel has launched 5G services in eight cities and Reliance Jio launched in four cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Varanasi.

Ookla said it compared median 5G download speeds across the four cities. In the national capital, Airtel reached nearly 200 Mbps median download speed at 197.98 Mbps while Jio almost broke 600 Mbps (598.58 Mbps) in June.

In Kolkata, operators’ median download speeds varied the most since June where Airtel’s median download speed was 33.83 Mbps while Jio had faster median download speed at 482.02 Mbps.

In Mumbai, Airtel's speed 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.

These new 5G results show that 5G speeds are far superior than India’s existing network. According to the Speedtest Global Index, India ranked 117th in the world for mobile download speed at 13.52 Mbps in August 2022.

“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," the report said.

Ookla also found that 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, the report said.

According to latest research by Ookla 51% of survey respondents already had smartphones supporting 5G. “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," the report stated.

The survey found that top smartphone vendors in the market are Samsung (31%), followed by Xiaomi (23%), Realme and Vivo. The report said that Jio saw the largest increase in 5G-capable devices (67.4%), followed by Airtel (61.6%), and Vi India (56%).

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gulveen Aulakh

Gulveen Aulakh is Senior Assistant Editor at Mint, serving dual roles covering the disinvestment landscape out of New Delhi, and the telecom & IT sectors as part of the corporate bureau. She had been tracking several government ministries for the last ten years in her previous stint at The Economic Times. An IIM Calcutta alumnus, Gulveen is fluent in French, a keen learner of new languages and avid foodie.
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