India's 5G network speed ranks 10th globally
India’s 5G network speed has surpassed technological giants such as Japan and UK
In a significant feat of technological advancement, India has ascended to the 10th position in the global 5G speed rankings within a year of launching its 5G network, as reported by Ookla. With a median download speed of 312.26 Mbps, India not only eclipses established tech nations like the UK and Japan but also marks a significant progression from its previous ranking, says the Ookla report, The State of Worldwide Connectivity in 2023, released on December 19, 2023.
India's approach to enhancing its 5G network performance through strategic offloading of traffic and substantial infrastructure investment arrives with notable global implications, says Ookla's report for Q3 2023.
Ookla is one of the leading global players when it comes to mobile and broadband network intelligence and testing applications.
Strategic Traffic Offloading: A Model for Global Telecom
India's strategy of offloading 4G traffic to 5G networks addresses a universal challenge in the telecom industry: network congestion. Countries, such as Sri Lanka, grappling with high user density and limited spectrum, are beginning to adopt India's approach to improve their network efficiency and service quality.
The efficient spectrum utilization inherent in 5G technology, as leveraged by India also offers a template for global digital partners. By transitioning traffic to 5G, nations can maximize the use of their spectrum resources, serving more users with higher data speeds, which is essential in the increasingly data-driven global economy.
Digitally driven countries such as Japan are also aiming to achieve the direct benefit to end-users, experienced in India, acquired from the faster data speeds and lower latency. User experience and satisfaction stand out as two of the most crucial factors in the global telecom market
Investment in infrastructure: A blueprint for global 5G rollout
Evidently, India's investment in network infrastructure, including the deployment of new 5G base stations and upgrading of existing networks, provides a roadmap for other countries.
Many nations are also learning the emphasis on investing in fibre technology for improved backhaul capabilities from India. Effective backhaul is essential for 5G networks to deliver high-speed connectivity, an aspect which is being replicated globally to enhance overall digital performance
India's achievement was calculated by its performance relative to other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, which collectively have outshone their European counterparts in 5G speed.
The introduction of 5G has not only boosted speeds but also elevated customer satisfaction levels, as reflected in the higher Net Promoter Scores (NPS) for 5G users compared to 4G users. Furthermore, the deployment of 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) services has augmented broadband connectivity, particularly in areas where fibre deployment is impractical.
Despite these successes, challenges loom, notably in maintaining and enhancing these speeds. The eventual introduction of 5G pricing will play a significant role in shaping consumer perceptions and decisions regarding network upgrades.
India to hit worldwide subscriber milestone
Telecom giants in India, including Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio, have been instrumental in the rapid expansion of 5G networks across the country.
According to Ericsson's Mobility report, India is expected to reach 130 million 5G subscribers by the end of 2023, with projections indicating a surge to 860 million by 2029. This milestone is particularly noteworthy. This number would constitute a significant portion of India's total mobile subscriptions, which are expected to reach 1.27 billion by the same year. This anticipated growth rate is among the highest globally.
India's 5G speed of 312.26 Mbps stands out, especially when compared to global median speeds, which have seen a 20% increase in Q3 2023, reaching 203.04 Mbps. The country's progress is remarkable, positioning it ahead of neighbouring nations in South Asia and some G20 countries.
The substantial number of 5G subscribers in India opens up extensive market opportunities for international telecom equipment manufacturers, service providers, and tech innovators. This burgeoning market is poised to attract significant global investment, as companies seek to capitalize on the rapid growth of India's 5G infrastructure.
India's vast 5G user base is also setting the stage for the country to emerge as a global hub for 5G innovation. Recent reports have demonstrated the development’s catalytical advancements in 5G applications and services. The move will begin fostering research and development in critical areas like the Internet of Things (IoT), smart city technologies, and industrial automation.
Greater adoption of 5G runs beyond India’s globalised digital impact. It is expected to stimulate growth in various sectors, including e-commerce, telemedicine, and online education, positioning India on the upper end of the global industry ladder. The new achievement is also seeing a global ripple effect, where the manufacturing of core 5G equipment and the development of essential supporting technologies such as advanced antenna systems and network management tools are being currently adopted by neighbouring countries such as UAE and Nepal.
India's approach to 5G regulation and policy-making is also gaining the visibility to serve as a model for other nations, particularly those in the developing world. Key aspects of this approach, including spectrum allocation, network security, and pricing strategies, may set valuable precedents for global telecommunications policy.
The 5G era journey reflects a blend of technological prowess and strategic market operations. The nation's telecom sector, spearheaded by major operators, has not only addressed past challenges of network congestion but also set a new benchmark in customer satisfaction and network performance. As India continues to expand its 5G footprint, it remains a key player in the global telecom landscape, showcasing the potential of emerging markets in defining the future of connectivity.