During the recently completed 5G spectrum auctions, Reliance Jio was the only Indian telecom provider to bid on the 700 MHz spectrum. All of the telcos placed bids during the auctions for mmWave (millimetre wavelength) frequencies and mid-band frequencies. For tactical reasons, Airtel and Vodafone Idea (Vi) decided against bidding for the 700 MHz frequencies.
As of right now, Jio will be the only telco in the nation to roll out 5G using the sub-GHz frequency. Ookla, a world authority on network information and insights, claims that Jio has an advantage over other telecom providers due to its acquisition of 700 MHz airwaves for 5G.
According to Ookla, low-band spectrum enables both greater coverage and indoor signal penetration in urban and rural regions. Ookla published the various download speeds obtained on Jio’s 5G networks when various spectrum bands were activated.
The results on the C-band (n78) ranged from 606.53 Mbps to 875.26 Mbps in terms of median download speed. The median download speed on the lower band (n28) was less than 100 Mbps. Nobody should be surprised by this since the n28 band is designed to provide better coverage rather than extremely fast speeds. The C-band is used for speed.
Airtel, on the other hand, deployed 5G using solely its C-band spectrum holding and achieved speeds ranging from 365.48 Mbps to 716.85 Mbps, according to Ookla.