India soar in global mobile ranking, thanks to 5G rollouts | Asian Telecom
Photo from Ookla Insights

India soar in global mobile ranking, thanks to 5G rollouts

The country only launched 5G technology last year.

Following the introduction of the 5G network in India, mobile download speeds have seen a notable improvement over the past year, data from Ookla Insights showed.

According to the report, India jumped 72 places in Ookla’s Speedtest Global Index in just a year. Local telco firms Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel launched 5G technology in India’s major cities in October 2022 and their coverage has since expanded significantly.

India’s speed performance increased by 3.59 times since the pre-5G era, with median download speeds improving from 13.87 Mbps in September 2022 to 50.21 Mbps in August 2023. 

This improvement has not only upgraded the online experience for Indian users but also elevated the country's standing in the Speedtest Global Index as India moved up from the 119th place to the 47th position, during the same period.

With its new ranking, India has not only outpaced its neighboring countries including Indonesia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan, but also some G20 countries such as Mexico (90th), Turkey (68th), the UK (62nd), Japan (58th), Brazil (50th), and South Africa (48th).

Fast-paced 5G adoption

The rapid expansion of India’s 5G technology in India has led to a surge in the number of subscribers for major telco operators. Jio announced that it now has a customer base of over 50 million, while Airtel claimed to have over 10 million 5G customers as of June.

Based on Jio’s roadmap, it aims to deploy nearly 1 million base stations by December 2023 to address the growing data consumption on its network.

According to India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT), the country had 338,572 5G base stations (BTS) as of August 2023—a significant increase from the 53,590 reported at the beginning of the year. 

The three most populous states in India—Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Bihar—account for 25% of all wireless subscribers in the country and also hold a 25% share of 5G BTS.

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