The Indian 4G revolution is gaining momentum like never before. The unprecedented adoption of LTE devices at a cheaper price has led 4G to reach a large proportion of Indian population. Surprisingly, small cities are apparently more influenced by the 4G revolutions than metros. Among 20 India’s largest cities, Patna came out to be top-ranked in 4G availability jumping ahead of the major metro cities, according to a recent report by Open Signal. Patna has topped the chart of 4G availability with 92.6% while metro cities like Bangalore stands at 10th position with 88.3% 4G availability and Hyderabad stands at 14th with 87% 4G availability.
The three cities that have topped the chart of 4G availability are relatively less known for businesses or technology adoption, and also not classifies as metro cities. In fact, 7 out of top 10 cities with best 4G availability are classified either as Tier 1 or Tier 2 cities of India.
Open Signal’s 4G availability metric determines where a user is more likely to get access to an LTE connection. Cities from India’s central and eastern regions dominated by 4G availability metrics and were seen in top 10.
The disparity among cities in terms of 4G availability is also getting slimmer. Though Bangalore is ranked 10th in the list, the difference in 4G availability metric from top-placed Patna is just 4.3%.
Average 4G Speed: Top Cities in India
On the contrary, Open Signal reports, in a different post, that the tech hubs in the southern and western part of India continue to lead in 4G speed metrics. Navi Mumbai has secured the top spot with an average 4G speed of 8.72 Mbps. Patna, which tops in 4G availability metric, is third last among 20 cities with an average 4G speed of 4.62 Mbps.
India’s 4G market is maturing rapidly. LTE availability in the country has witnessed significant growth. Users were able to connect to an LTE signal more frequently to 86.2% of the time, a rise of about 10% point from the year.
On the flip side, despite all the development, India lags behind various countries in 4G speed. Average 4G speed in India is recorded 6.07 Mbps; even countries like Pakistan and Bahrain have 4G speeds above 13 Mbps. This leads us to a think whether they have better internet infrastructure or India’s population somewhere accounts for the problem?
The measurements in the OpenSignal report show that the gap in 4G availability between Indian cities is shrinking. Many cities in India are catching up fast with the more developed tech hubs and metro cities. The diminishing disparity between the tech hubs and other cities of the country reflects the enormous growth of 4G in India. Open Signal expects that other cities will also, eventually, close the gap in terms of 4G speed in some time as operator network accelerates.
Reliance Jio: The Poster Boy of 4G Revolution in India
With the advent of Reliance Jio, competition in the 4G market has gotten fierce. Jio’s 4G speed has increased remarkably over time, but Airtel tops the 4G download speed charts with an average 4G download speed of 9.2 Mbps. Jio’s average 4G speed was recorded at 5.8Mbps (up from 3.9 Mbps) but it steals the show because of its enormous presence throughout India. With the subscriber base of 175 million by the end March 2018, Jio stands undisputed. Reliance Jio has made data access easy and affordable and spread the LTE network in the country like a wildfire. In July 2017, Sunil Dutt, Jio President of Devices, claimed that 85% of total mobile data consumption in India rode over Jio’s 4G network. Other players like Idea and Vodafone are also busy working to keep pace.
India, the largest consumer of mobile data in the world, is experiencing unabated demand of mobile data and the burden of that demand was previously on a single provider but now it has been spread to different network operators. Evenly distributed traffic has resulted in a better yield. As of December 2017, India has 238 million 4G subscribers, which are expected to reach 432 million by 2020.