Smartphone customers on Reliance Jio 5G network have experienced 5G download speed of 118.4 Mbps as compared with 49.3 Mbps speed on Airtel 5G network, Opensignal’s mobile network experience report for December 01, 2022 – February 28, 2023 shows.
Upload speed experienced by Reliance Jio’s 5G customers was 8.8 Mbps. Airtel’s 5G customers have achieved upload speed of 8.4 Mbps.
Hardik Khatri, Technical Analyst, informed that Opensignal has analyzed the overall mobile network and 5G experience together for the first time and given awards for India’s 5G experience.
Airtel has invested in a non-standalone access (NSA) technology to launch its 5G Plus service. Jio has made investment in 5G standalone access (SA) to launch its True 5G service, and uses the 700 MHz band (5G low-band spectrum) that no other Indian operator currently has.
ICICI Securities has recently published a report on 5G Capex analysis for Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio.
Airtel has made an investment of Rs 1,115 billion on 4G over FY2017-2022 and Jio has invested Rs 1,668 billion (green field operation and also included cost capitalisation).
Airtel is expected to spend Rs 454 billion on 5G and allied Capex over FY2023-25 (Rs 666 billion over FY2023-27E) to reach 5G coverage of 70 percent by FY25 and 85 percent by FY27.
Jio is expected to spend Rs 655 billion on 5G and allied Capex over FY2023-2025 (Rs 940 billion over FY23-27) to reach 5G coverage of 75 percent by FY25 and 95 percent by FY27.
As of March 2023, Reliance Jio says it has rolled out 5G in 406 cities. Airtel says its 5G footprint reached 500 cities. India’s third largest operator Vi has not announced its 5G launch date. State-owned BSNL is strengthening its 4G network and aiming to launch 5G by 2024.
Opensignal on network quality
Jio is the outright winner of both the Download Speed Experience and 5G Download Speed awards, with scores of 22.5Mbps and 315.3Mbps, respectively. In both categories, Jio wins by large margins. The download speeds of Jio users are 4.5Mbps (24.7 percent) faster than those seen by Airtel users and while Jio’s 5G Download Speed score is 54.1Mbps (20.7 percent) higher than second-placed Airtel.
Jio wins all four coverage awards outright. Jio takes home the Availability and the 5G Availability awards as users on Jio spend the greatest proportion of time connected to mobile broadband services. Jio also wins 4G Coverage Experience and 5G Reach, as Jio has the highest scores of 9.5 points and 4.2 points, respectively (on a scale of 0-10).
Jio wins the Excellent Consistent Quality award, with a score of 63 percent. The operator also wins the Core Consistent Quality award with a score of 84.3 percent. Jio’s lead over second-placed Airtel has slightly dipped across both categories. Jio’s winning margin over Airtel has declined from 8.4 to 5.5 percentage points in Excellent Consistent Quality and from 8.8 to 6.8 percentage points in Core Consistent Quality.
Airtel users observe the best quality of experience while streaming videos, playing multiplayer mobile games and using over-the-top (OTT) voice services on mobile voice apps with 5G in India. Airtel is also the outright winner of the Video and Voice App Experience awards and jointly wins the Games Experience award alongside Vi. Airtel’s 5G Video Experience score rates as Very Good (68-78), higher than the Good (58-68) rating it gets for overall Video Experience.
Airtel experience the fastest 5G upload speeds in the country, 23.9Mbps. As a result, Airtel takes home the 5G Upload Speed award with a 5.9Mbps lead over Jio. In overall upload speeds, Vi wins the Upload Speed Experience award with 5Mbps — just 0.3Mbps ahead of second-placed Airtel.