4G offers greater speed but in India, it might not be true to its extent. 4G offers greater bandwidth at lower latency with download speed up to 45Mbps. However, receiving this speed is based on network connectivity which was also a major issue during the rollout of 3G network in India. Carriers such as Jio, Airtel are trying to invest heavily in this to improve the speed we receive but we still rank at the lowest among 77 countries which have 4G network said by OpenSignal.
India reportedly has 84.03% availability of 4G network which is the highest among all the 77 countries but in terms of speed, India lies at the bottom of the chart with 6.13Mbps being the download speed.
The chart shows the 4G speed difference between the 77 countries which has the 4G network currently. Although some carriers have broken the speed limit and extended it to 70Mbps but overall on average, no country has been able to break the 50Mbps speed barrier yet with 4G network. Singapore and South Korea rank the closest in this with 46.6Mbps and 45.9Mbps respectively.
The global average speed of the 4G network is around 16.6Mbps which have improved from the previous year owing to increased users in developing countries particularly from India due to the debut of JIO. The average speed of 3G stood at 4.4Mbps and 2G network is nearly negligible at 0.1Mbps in the world.
Indian carriers are trying to increase LTE standards to offer better 4G network in the country. The government auctions spectrum to the carriers for a duration of twenty years, with the recent auction netting over $16 billion in revenue. The government also offered huge chunks of 700MHz frequency in an auction last year, but there were no takers. Low-frequency bands offer a wider range and are also unaffected by buildings, whereas higher frequency bands such as 2300MHz can transfer more bandwidth over a smaller area.
1800 MHz Band 3 is primarily used in India as it was previously used for 2G network by the carriers including Airtel, Aircel, Idea, Jio, Reliance, Telenor, Videocon and Vodafone. 2300 MHz Band 40 is second frequency band used to offer 4G connectivity in India by these carriers. Reliance Jio has switched to Band 5 – 850Mhz in ten circles to offer better 4G connectivity in India.
The overall picture of 4G in India is still bad with the speed being very low. Airtel users were able to find LTE signal only 57.2% of the time while Jio was far ahead with 95.6% availability. All the operators are trying to improve the 4G connectivity by investing heavily and hopefully we might see a rise in the speed this year.