5G in India-Reality check

5G in India

Mobile Internet Speed of 20 GBPS. You must be thinking that I’m a crazy man? But No, I’m talking about the fifth generation of cellular network technology, 5G. In today’s blog let’s try to find out the reality of 5G in India, and when should you buy a 5G phone. But before that, let’s take cognizance of our existing 4G network. Shall we? And for testing the 4G Internet speed, I went to Connaught Place, the heart of New Delhi, and a landmark place of the Indian Capital. All the networks claim to have the best presence here, so ideally I would get the best 4G speed in the Speed-Test.

What is 5G?-5G in India

But before I tell you the speed test results, let me brief you about 5G. For taking advantage of 5G, you need a 5G phone, which will have special 5G antennas, unlike your 4G phones antennas, which won’t work for 5G, and off-course 5g Network. 5G is based on very high-frequency millimetre waves which react very differently than the 4G signals. They have a shorter range and a very weak penetration than 4G.

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Things like Walls, Trees, Rain, or a Human Being between you and a 5G Cell Tower will affect the signal strength. And in India, we may or may not find rain, snow, or trees everywhere or every time, but we do have humans, a lot of them.

4G Speed Test in Connaught Place-5G in India

In my multiple tests using the Ookla app, the maximum download speed I obtained was 9 MBPS, with an upload speed of around 7 MBPS, and ping of 16ms and a jitter of 4ms.

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If I were to test the speed at a different time of the day, or maybe midnight, at the same place, the results would have been different. 4G network depends a lot on congestion. The more the network has congestion; the lesser will be the internet speed. So keep in mind that we do not have enough 4G cell towers to beat the network congestion in the peak hours, which essentially are all day in the capital of India, and I shall talk about it in a sec.

I also spoke to a few people during my shooting and speed test, and they all were unhappy with the 4G internet speed they get on their network. I happen to speak to the subscribers of Airtel, Jio, Vodafone, and Idea. Few of them had to even wait a few minutes for their Watsapp messages to get downloaded so they can see what their contact has sent.

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4G Speed Test in Delhi University North Campus-5G in India

The discouraging results in CP didn’t stop me from going to another place for the Speed Test, and I went to Miranda House College of North Campus, Delhi University. Little to my knowledge, DU was surprisingly quiet and empty because it was the examination month, but I somehow manage to speak to a few girls (7-10) coming out after their exam about their 4G internet experience.

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They all sang the same tune. None of them was happy with the internet speed that they get on their phones. And to my surprise, a few of them, in fact, half of them told me that they don’t even get 1 MBPS speed during peak hours. 3 or 4 MBPS was the best speed, they told me. No one had anything good to say about their network company, and yes, this time to I spoke to the subscribers of all the networks. Then was the time to test the speed myself, and I was hoping for a better result than CP because of low congestion in the area as the place was near to empty. And my hopes were shattered when I got a maximum download speed of 13.5 MBPS and a terrible Upload speed of 0.27 MBPS with a ping of 21ms, and jitter of 11ms.

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All the claims the Miranda House students were making were true. If the speed is so bad when there’s no congestion, what it would be during a normal peak day?

Solution to the 5G Signal Problem-5G in India

Now when we have the Speed Test results in hand from two different locations, let’s come back to the topic and talk about the solution of the 5G signals. In an ideal situation, you want the 5G signals everywhere, all the time. Maybe the smaller versions of cell towers have to be installed on every street light of every city in our country. Because you want to have an unobstructed and uninterrupted vision to the nearest 5G cell tower to have proper benefits of the 5G network. And the biggest problem with that is the Cost. The cost of so many cell towers is going to be enormous. Remember I told you that we do not have enough 4G cell towers to get the optimum internet speed, with 5G, this simply won’t work. The installation of more cell towers is the only solution to this whole problem. And with the current financial loss that the network providers are having, I don’t think that these companies will be in a mood to invest anything, at least at present.

Reality of 5G in India-5G in India

Little to the common man’s knowledge, the Indian Government hasn’t auctioned the 5G spectrum yet, so this whole process from auction to getting a good 5G speed in your mobile phone is going to be extremely slow. My guess is a minimum of 5 years, if not more. Also, there hasn’t been any study conducted yet on the Health Hazards of 5G Millimeter Waves. We will have to wait for that too before the commercial roll-out.

When Should You Buy A 5G Phone?-5G in India

So should you buy a 5G compatible mobile phone this or next year, or next year to that? The simple answer is NO. My advice is not to fall for the advertisements and marketing gimmicks of the cell phone companies and be practical. When you get speed close to 70 MBPS on your 4G device irrespective of any congestion in the network, then you may think that it is the right time to upgrade to 5G, as most of the networks will be upgraded by then.

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