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India 4G penetration accounts half of Asia, network speed on worse side: GSMA


India 4G market penetration is less than half of Asia. The network also performs worse on average than developing countries in the region overall, with slower upload and download speeds and higher latency, according to the global telecom industry body GSMA Intelligence report.

In the first quarter of 2018, the 4G penetration merely reached 21 per cent, which is way lower than Asia 44 per cent during the same period, said the report available with Entrackr.

GSMA 4G market penetration

Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) levels is also 35 per cent lower than developing countries in the period of 2010-2017. This suggests policy making by the government and regulator has played a role in the high spectrum prices, added the report.

Talking about the mobile spectrum, it said that six auction which took place between the period of 2010-2016 only managed to sell on about 41 per cent of the spectrum due to its high pricing in comparison to other developing countries.

This is not the first report where India has been shown being on the lower side of 4G data-led growth. In February, State of LTE report released by UK-based OpenSignal said that India recorded the slowest 4G LTE speed in the world at an average speed of 6.13 Mbps.

India’s 4G download speeds are even slower than that of neighboring countries such as Sri Lanka (13.95 Mbps), Pakistan (13.56 Mbps) and Myanmar (15.56 Mbps), according to UK speed tester OpenSignal.

US-based Ookla also ranked, at 109th out of 124 countries, India on low metrics.

The report has come a day after TRAI report that declared Mukesh Ambani’s led Jio as fastest 4G telecom operators with an average peak download speed of 22.3 mbps on its network.

Ambani had earlier claimed to make India leader in 4G network by 2019. Around 3 to 5 lakh people are migrating to 4G network Jio phone daily, he said.

Meanwhile, the report also suggested that optimal pricing of spectrum could help India create seamless digital communication. The government also needs to frame policy to allow network players operate with ease, it added.

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