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Airtel Will Ditch 3G & Focus On 4G, 2G; India Has Worst 4G Speed!

3G is losing significance as faster 4G speed is available to users are some of the cheapest rates in the world.

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Airtel Faster 4G Speed

It seems that the entire telecom industry of India will soon be divided into two categories: 2G or 4G. There won’t be any middle ground anymore.

Airtel, India’s largest telecom operator, has declared that they will no longer support 3G network in the country. Their focus will be either 2G or 4G.

This is indeed a big news for the telecom users, because on one hand it promises faster speed, on the other hand, it also signifies a paradigm shift in the mobile Internet space.

In a related news, OpenSignal has said that India has the worst 4G speed, in the world.

Airtel: 3G No More, Only 4G or 2G

While sharing and discussing their stock position and earnings, Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, India and South Asia, Bharti Airtel made it clear that 3G is being turned off in the next 3-4 years.

As per Vittal, 50% of all phones which are shipped in India are feature phones, and this means that the market for 2G is yet to saturate. Whereas usage of 3G is coming down gradually, as more and more users are now opting for faster 4G.

He said,

“There is almost no spend that we are doing on 3G. Our view is in next 3-4 years we are likely to see 3G network actually shut down faster than 2G network because there are still 50 per cent of phone being shipped out in India that are feature phones.”

In fact, Airtel has already started using their 2100 megahertz band, meant for 3G services, for 4G services. Cutting-edge technology is being currently used by Airtel, which allows them to upgrade existing 3G infrastructure into 4G.

He said, “Some of the older radios are pure 3G which we need to replace. It will take its time..”

As per Airtel, the pace at which voice moves into the VoLTE protocol holds the key to 4G transformation. And Airtel has already started rolling out VoLTE across India.

OpenSignal: India Has Slowest 4G Speed In The World

OpenSignal has come out with their ranking for 4G Internet speed and availability, by surveying 77 countries.

With 84.03% 4G availability, India is ranked amongst the top countries in terms of 4G coverage, but with 6.13 Mbps average 4G speed, India ranked at the bottom of the ranking in terms of speed.

South Korea, Japan and Norway are the top 3 countries in terms of 4G availability, across the world, with India ranked #10.

But in the ranking of speed, which is topped by Singapore, South Korea and Norway, India is ranked at the bottom, which is quite shocking. Even Pakistan has better speed than India, as per OpenSignal.

Globally, the average 4G speed is 16.6 Mbps, which has increased from 16.2 Mbps last year.

For 2G speed, average download speed has turned out to be 0.01 Mbps, and for 3G, the average download speed is 4.4 Mbps; whereas for WiFi networks, the average speed is 9.9 Mbps.

You can find the complete report here.

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