Global telecom industry body GSMA reported that the 4G penetration in India is just at 21% and the telecom network’s performance is worse than any other developing nations in the region.
“India’s 4G market penetration was 21% in Q1, 2018, while Asia had 44% during the same period,” GSMA Intelligence said to ET.
However, the technology-driven data networks in India showed progress with the competition from Reliance Jio in September 2016. Reliance Jio further aims to achieve 99% of population coverage in 2018-19 fiscal. Other networks like Vodafone, Airtel and Idea are following the footsteps to expand their 4g networks.
Still, according to Ookla and OpenSignal, the 4G data speed remain low on these metrics compared to the countries worldwide. Experts believe that country’s large population and massive smartphone penetration is the reason behind slower data speeds.
India’s older telcos have blamed irrational spectrum pricing as the reason for less investments in networks over the years. Manoj Singh, telecom minister however, has said that that government would take inspiration from global best practices on spectrum pricing in future. He also mentioned 2016 airwaves auction was a success in terms of the money raised- Rs 66,000 crore.
GSMA though has countered this by saying that only 41% of spectrum was sold and the high amount was due to the large amount of spectrum on offer.