India ranks second in mobile internet penetration but 121 in speed
In India, more importance is given to improve online infrastructure and increase internet connectivity than improving internet speed.
India’s mobile internet speed ranks at 121 out of 138 countries in the Mobile Speedtest Global Index by Ookla.
On a monthly basis, the Speedtest Global Index compares internet speed data from around the world. Download and upload speeds are measured at times and in places that are most relevant to a user participating in the test. According to Ookla, “Each time a test is initiated, a snapshot of what the internet looks like in that place and time is recorded. When aggregated together, these individual experiences represent the typical internet performance for a given location.”
Despite an increase in download speed from 10.06 Mbps in December 2018 to 10.71 Mbps in April 2019, India’s ranking has fallen from 108 to 121. The global average of download speeds is 10.40 Mbps. Meanwhile, the upload speeds on mobile internet have seen a rise from 3.9 Mbps late last year to 4.2 Mbps in April 2019.
When it comes to Fixed Broadband speeds, the global average is 28.99 Mbps. India ranks 68 out of 179 countries with a download speed of 29.25 Mbps.
India is behind China with the world’s second highest number of internet users. As of March 2019, China and India have over 82 crore and 56 crore mobile internet users, respectively. These two countries with the highest internet penetration vary vastly when it comes to mobile internet speeds. While India ranks at 121, China has secured the 51st position with an average download speed of 30.47 Mbps.
With a push by the government towards a “digital India”, there is more focus on improved online infrastructure and increased internet connectivity. The importance of higher speeds is lesser given that mobile data rates in India are the cheapest in the world. According to a market research firm, Kantar IMRB, it is estimated that there are over 25 crore internet users in rural India, and this is expected to reach 29 crores by the end of 2019.