As telecom companies push to introduce 5G networks in the country for commercial usage by 2022, recent data from Ookla notes that 4G will remain dominant in India despite the 5G launch.
According to data by Ookla, 4G availability has grown in India as the 4G service metric recorded an increase from 93.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2020 to 96 per cent in the second quarter of 2021.
The median download speed increased from 10.64 Mbps in the first quarter of 2020, to 15.67 Mbps in the second quarter of 2021. Overall, the median download speeds Suttles said highlight that India ranks 122nd globally in terms of mobile network speeds (as of July 2021).
Ookla CEO and Cofounder, Doug Suttles noted that the data indicates that the market is in a very strong position to drive the uptake of 5G services when they are launched in India.
“4G is already the dominant network technology in India and will continue to play a significant role in the market for some years, even after the launch of 5G. We have also observed some recent performance improvements in terms of 4G speeds as operators have deployed more spectrum resources following spectrum auctions held in March this year,” Suttes said. He also highlighted the viability of 5G in the future through adoption.
Furthermore, the rapid adoption of 5G services in the market is likely to be driven by Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN), Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS), and affordable 5G handsets, he said. Meanwhile, 5G trials have started in the country.
Airtel on Thursday said that it has successfully conducted India’s first cloud-gaming session in a 5G environment. Earlier this year in January, Airtel successfully demonstrated 5G services over a live 4G network in Hyderabad, marking an industry first. Jio also started its 5G trials in Mumbai using its indigenously developed equipment.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is yet to hold auctions for the 5G spectrum in India. Earlier this year, the Standing Committee on Information Technology was informed that 5G will roll out in India to some extent for specific uses by 2022 as 4G is expected to continue in India for at least another 5-6 years.
5G technology is expected to deliver improved user experience in terms of data download rates (expected to be 10 times that of 4G), up to three times greater spectrum efficiency, and ultra-low latency. India Today