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4G vs Broadband - Can 4G replace Broadband in India?

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With the introduction of Jio mobile network, Reliance brought the speed and power of 4G to the masses.
It allowed people with even lower income levels to experience blazing fast internet, wherever they are.
It made even the broadband market competitive. With Reliance now announcing Jio Gigafiber and entering the broadband market, the broadband market is sure to get even more competitive.

4g vs broadband, can 4g replace broadband

Data has become very cheap nowadays and with amazingly cheap plans, users have a lot more option. With such amazing speeds, portability and ease of use with 4G, I sometimes find myself asking…

Do we still need Wired Broadband connections?
Can a wireless router with a 4G replace broadband?

In this post, I hope to possibly find an answer.

4G vs Broadband – Plans

Lets first take a look at what are the plans that are being offered in both categories.

Since I personally use Jio 4G and Airtel vFiber broadband, I will be making a comparison between these two.
The cheapest airtel broadband plan in Delhi comes at 799 Rs. So let’s compare it with a Jio prepaid plan of 799.

jio vs airtel

Quite clearly, comparing the cheapest Airtel broadband plan in Delhi to a similarly priced Jio Plan reveals obvious benefits of Jio 4G.

Add to the fact that Jio users also get free access to Jio TV, Jio Music, Jio Cinema and so on.
Jio also offers cheaper plans than 799/-, with enough daily 4G data to users. They are much more value for money than a regular broadband.

The only downside looks to be the speed.

4G vs Broadband – Speed

I have a Jio 4g hotspot with a Jio 4g sim. I also have airtel vFiber connection with 40 Mbps speed.

So using the OOKLA app, I tested the speeds of both the networks using the same test center. The device was also the same – iPhone SE.

Below are the results I got.

jio vs airtel speed
 jio vs airtel speed

As can be clearly seen, the speed of the broadband blew away Jio 4G in terms of both download and upload speeds. The broadband speeds are 10 times greater than Jio 4G. And this is when I currently have a 40 Mbps connection. Airtel supports 100 Mbps in many locations and Jio Gigafiber is going to launch with 1 Gbps speeds.

It clearly shows the strength of the wired broadband network.
If you have a huge file to download or upload, a wired broadband connection would definitely be more preferable. Even for streaming Videos/movies in High Definition or 4K, a wired broadband would give better results.

The 4G speeds are not slow but they are nothing in comparison to wired broadband.

Final Thoughts

As can be clearly seen a wired broadband connection, though expensive, definitely has a huge edge over 4G in terms of speed.

Those living in the urban areas and currently using broadband would find it difficult to switch to a 4G as their main internet connection at home.
However, for people living in lower-tier cities, towns and rural areas, who have never had the opportunity to use high-speed broadband, 4G seems to be perfect for them.

It’s cheaper and offers pretty fast speeds for internet usage as well as video streaming in good quality.
For current high-speed broadband users, 4G fails to impress. Maybe 5G will be able to post some competition.

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I am an ardent Techie and a Free Thinker. I love to explore new topics and technologies, and share my knowledge and views with the world.
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