India has one of the highest availability of 4G LTE connectivity on mobile networks, with over 81.6 per cent thanks to Reliance Jio’s launch, according to a new report by OpenSignal. OpenSignal’s report on ‘The State of LTE’ provides a look at how LTE availability and speeds have grown across the world. It throws up some interesting stats as far as India is concerned.
For starters, the report notes that in India’s case the country has just gone up in the “LTE availability rankings.” In fact, India comes in at number 15 in the list of LTE availability in the world, and OpenSignal notes, this is a “rare instance in which a single operator can have an outsized impact on a mobile market in just a short time.”
No prizes for guessing the operator here. Reliance Jio’s public trial started in September last year, and months of free service has worked in the company’s favour, and it now has over 100 million subscribers in India. Jio is also the reason that customers in India are enjoying a data party of sorts with other rival telecos slashing prices of data per GB in the country. Reliance Jio is offering its Prime customers 1GB data per day with Rs 309 recharge, and this has resulted in other operators also launching packs with 1GB data per day for customers.
According to OpenSignal, Jio’s entry resulted 4G being made “far more accessible” in the country. However, the report also notes this come at the cost of “lower average speeds,” for LTE, which are nearly at par with 3G speeds in the rest of the world. In India, the average 4G LTE speed is 5.14 Mbps, which shows the country still has a long way to go before, the 4G speed improves.
OpenSignal’s report says 4G speeds in a country depend on a lot of factors including spectrum assigned for 4G LTE, adoption of new technologies like LTE Advanced, congestion on networks. The report says countries with fastest LTE speeds are those that have “built LTE-Advanced networks and have a large proportion of LTE-Advanced capable devices.”
In the list South Korea tops the charts when it comes to LTE availability and has the second highest 4G speeds in the world. Other notable performers in the list are Netherlands, Norway, Singapore and Hungary. For India, OpenSignal says this is a unique case where availability has jumped up, but speed is still an issue.
India is right at the bottom when it comes LTE speed, just above Costa Rica, which has the lowest speeds. OpenSignal also says they saw a drop in global LTE speed average, and points out that as more users come on board in developing countries, the average speed will drop.
On Costa Rica and India, OpenSignal notes, “as these countries ramp up their 4G services they’re bringing hundreds of millions of new LTE subscriptions online. That’s one of the reasons we saw a drop off in average global LTE speed.” According to OpenSignal, India still doesn’t have the capacity when it comes to speeds on LTE, and these are some of the slowest in the world. However, it notes that countries like US, Hong Kong also have speeds which are slower than the global average.