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India’s upcoming 5G rollout could bump up broadband speeds by 10 times: Ookla

The upcoming launch of 5G network in India has the potential to increase the median download speeds in the country by up to 10 times from the current position as compared to 4G-LTE, according to a report by network analyst firm Ookla.

As India gears up for the launch of 5G network on its 75th Independence Day, Ookla has released its insights on the impact of the recent allocation of spectrum and rollout of 5G technology on the overall network performance of the country.

The findings are based on Speedtest data from other markets in Asia that have recently launched 5G such as Thailand and the Philippines. Both these countries launched 5G in Q1 2020 and Q2 2020 respectively. The data shows that the differential between 4G-LTE and 5G speeds was on average approximately 9-10x in Q2 2021. For instance, in Philippines, 5G download speeds stood at 151.08 Mbps, a 10x increase as compared to the 15.12 Mbps download speeds for 4G.

Internet speeds in India

According to the report, as of June 2021, 64.5 per cent of 4G users in India could expect to achieve download speeds in excess of 5 Mbps, the speed required to stream HD video content, up from 52 per cent in March.

With 5G, it is currently not possible to say exactly how fast 5G will be for the average Indian user, given uncertainty over exact spectrum allocations and rollout plans, Ookla said. This includes the radio access network and improvements to backhaul and transport networks. However, it is safe to say 5G will bring a considerable bump to overall speeds in the country.

The data mapped by Ookla already shows an increase in Jio’s performance since March 2021. Jio’s median download speeds have increased from 5.96 Mbps in March 2021 to 13.08 Mbps in June. Its upload speeds and Consistency Score have also improved. Consistency score is the percentage of samples which exceed 5 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload.

Additionally, the NPS score (the relative weight of a brand’s promoters and detractors) also rose from -46.37 in March, to -25.93 in June.

According to the firm, currently, India lags behind the markets that have already begun the 5G deployments in terms of speed, such as the United Kingdom and the United States. “However in recent months, all operators have been working behind the scenes to help drive 5G commercialisation. They are conducting 5G trials and have shown impressive 5G speeds,” it said.

Delay in rollout may benefit operators
As per the firm, the delay in the 5G rollout would eventually benefit the operators as they can procure the network equipment at a lower cost. “The adoption of Open RAN system by the Indian operators will further aid in bringing down the overall cost of 5G rollout,” it said.

The prices of 5G smartphone prices have already declined and this trend will continue, spurred in India by partnerships such as Jio Platform’s with Google, as per the report. “Ookla is already witnessing a growing number of Speedtest results running on 5G capable devices in India, which indicates that there will be a pre-installed user base that operators can target from day one of launch,” it said. The Hindu BusinessLine

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