Ookla used Speedtest data to compare median 5G download speeds across four cities both Jio and Airtel built their networks.
In the national capital, Airtel reached nearly 200 Mbps median download speed at 197.98 Mbps while Jio almost broke 600 Mbps (598.58 Mbps) since June 2022.
In Kolkata, the operators’ median download speeds varied the most since June 2022: Airtel’s median download speed was 33.83 Mbps while Jio had a much faster median download speed at 482.02 Mbps.
In Mumbai, one of the most densely populated cities in India, Airtel fell behind Jio once again, reaching 271.07 Mbps median download speed compared to Jio’s 515.38 Mbps median download since June 2022.
In Varanasi, Jio and Airtel achieved closer parity, with Airtel achieving a 5G median download speed at 516.57 Mbps to Jio’s 485.22 Mbps median download speed since June 2022.
“When we cross reference operators’ 5G speeds versus the frequency band they are using, we see a cautionary tale,” Ookla said.
During the recent spectrum auction, Jio acquired the most spectrum, especially in the highly sought-after Cband spectrum, and Jio was the only operator that acquired the 700 MHz band. This gives Reliance Jio an advantage compared to providers who have acquired only C-band, especially since the low-band spectrum allows for better indoor signal penetration in urban areas and also better coverage in rural areas.
Using Speedtest Intelligence data, it showed that Jio’s 5G performance differs depending on the spectrum band it uses, said Ookla.
Jio’s 5G network using the C-band results in performance ranging between 606.53 Mbps and 875.26 Mbps median download speed.
While 5G networks using the lower 700 MHz frequency band (n=28) so-called coverage band, gives speeds lower than 100 Mbps median download speed, ranging between 78.69 Mbps and 95.13 Mbps.
Airtel, on the other hand, achieved speeds from 365.48 Mbps to 716.85 Mbps deploying 5G utilizing only its C-band spectrum holding.
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