The success of Reliance Jio has not only brought about a paradigm shift in the Indian telecom sector but also helped the country grab the 15th spot in terms of 4G availability globally. This ranking comes from a survey by OpenSignal, a London-based wireless coverage mapping company that collected from consumer smartphones across 75 countries under normal usage conditions. Reliance Jio has a 4G VoLTE-only network, meaning its 108.9 million users only get 4G Internet speeds; incumbents such as Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea Cellular offer a mix of 2G, 3G, and 4G speeds.
According to OpenSignal’s “State of LTE” report, India had 71.6 percent 4G availability in the third quarter of 2016, which jumped to 81.6 percent in the first quarter of 2017.
“India is one of the most dynamic and fast-changing mobile markets. The government and other stakeholders must continue to seize the immense opportunity and climb the global rankings across all parameters, to ensure high quality and consistent mobile experience for its 1 billion-plus mobile users,” said Brendan Gill, co-founder and CEO, OpenSignal, in a statement.
India’s 4G download speeds drops
However, when it comes to 4G download speed, India lagged. The 4G download speeds averaged 5.1Mbps in the country, dropping more than 1Mbps in just six months. “These 4G download speeds are only marginally faster than the average global 3G download speed which is at 4.4Mbps,” the findings showed.
Availability levels of other operators than Jio in the Indian market still hovered around 60 percent. South Korea scored highest in 4G availability and second highest in 4G download speed in tests.
“Meanwhile, countries with new LTE networks may have limited 4G availability but, due to their light loads, can support considerably fast speeds,” the report stated.