Languishing. And la…g…g…i…n…g. The sorry state of the desi internet in India.
In a rather sad turn of events, India has been ranked a dismal 131 on Ookla’s Speedtest Global Index for mobile Internet speeds for September 2020. The grim continuation has seen India slip two spots as compared to the previous month’s standings in the mobile internet speed department.
What is more desolating is the fact that the subcontinent neighbours Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Pakistan all rank higher than India in mobile speeds.
As per the Ookla September speed test index, the average mobile Internet speed in India is just 12.07 Mbps recorded in the month of September 2020. South Korea topped the charts, boasting the best mobile internet speed of 121 Mbps. Contrastingly, the neighbours fared better, with Pakistan placed 116th having an average speed of 17.13 Mbps, Nepal coming in a place lower at 117th place with 17.12 Mbps speed, and Sri Lanka going further at 19.95 Mbps mobile internet speed. Even the war-torn Iraq, with a 12.24 Mbps speed, managed to eke out a place ahead of India on the list. Go figure.
The scenario is only scantily better in the fixed broadband speed segment. Even though India managed to gain two spots here, it still moulders at 70th out of 175 nations for the month of September. Things look a bit upbeat here as it stands above Sri Lanka, which is ranked 94th with 31.42Mbps, Bangladesh at 98th position with 29.85Mbps, Nepal ranking 113th with 22.36Mbps, and finally Pakistan far behind in the 159th position with 10.10Mbps.
China proved to be an exception, gathering an impressive 2nd spot in the mobile Internet speed category and secured 20th rank in the fixed broadband category. Singapore reigned numero uno in the broadband rankings, with an average speed of 226 Mbps.
Another notable stat here is India’s average mobile upload speed, which stood at 4.31Mbps, with latency being 52ms. At the same time, the global average of mobile upload speed is 11.22Mbps and the average latency is 42ms. India still lags behind the global average in mobile upload speeds by more than a twofold margin. In the fixed broadband section, the global average speed came out at 85.73Mbps, while India’s came out at 46.47Mbps. The numbers abundantly tell the story.
As per Ookla, even though India saw an improvement in both mobile internet (+3%) and broadband speeds (+5%) since March this year, the rankings do not seem satisfactory in the least bit. Granted, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone to stay indoors and pushed up data consumption dramatically. But in a country which is a cradle to telecom behemoths like Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and others, the stats are somewhat of a blot, especially when the blow horn of progress and digital connectivity is blared at every opportunity.
For a country on the cusp of 5G, the news is highly disappointing, if not altogether surprising.
These stats should serve as a wake-up call to all parties, be it the telecom players or the Telecom Department of India. The downward spiral needs to be checked and the customers given their due, in unison.
Till then, stay tuned for more updates. If your internet speeds allow you to, that is.