The 5G network is slowly expanding to major parts of the country, with both Airtel and Jio in top gear to finish the rollout across India by March 2024. In the current state, the 5G network is available in major metro cities, including Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, and others. The network speeds are another important aspect of the 5G network. In Delhi, Jio has fared better than Airtel with a download speed of 598.58Mbps, while Airtel has only 197.98Mbps. These speeds might drop drastically once the 5G network is widely available.
Among the cities where 5G is available currently, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Varanasi have the top network speeds, according to Ookla, which recorded the 5G download speeds from June 2022.
5G speeds in India
Airtel is far behind Jio in popular cities like Mumbai with a download speed of 271.07Mbps, while the latter was faster at 515.38Mbps. In Kolkata, the speed difference between the telecom networks is large. Airtel has a mere download speed of 33.83Mbps, while Jio had a much faster download speed of 482.02Mbps.
In Varanasi, the gap between Jio and Airtel is short. While the latter has achieved a 5G download speed of 516.57Mbps while Jio has a download speed of 485.22Mbps. The Ookla report says that Jio’s 5G performance depends on the spectrum band it uses. C-band (n=78) performance was between 606.53Mbps and 875.26Mbps download speeds. 5G networks using lower 700MHz band (n=28) resulted in download speeds below 100MBps (ranging between 78.69Mbps and 95.13Mbps).
According to Ookla, Airtel has achieved speeds of 365.48Mbps to 716.85Mbps using only the C-band spectrum it holds when deploying 5G. Ookla claims that Jio’s network has seen the largest growth in 5G-capable devices (67.4 percent) over the past year, followed by Airtel (61.6 percent) and Vodafone Idea (56 percent).