OpenSignal, a technology company that tracks and annalyses how telecom networks in different countries work and behave, came out with a very interesting report about Indian 4G network and current dynamics of the country’s telecom industry.
The report prepared by OpenSignal primarily tracked the 4G landscape and made a comparison between two of India’s leading 4G operators – Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel.
The technology firm did an analysis of average peak speed and average download speed of these two operators. The survey period was between December 2016 to February 2017.
Basis the findings OpenSignal said Bharti Airtel has the fastest 4G speed during the recorded period whereas Jio has much better network capable of offering incredibly fast LTE services.
It said Airtel’s average peak speed test was 56.6 Mbps, which is 5 times faster than its average 4G download test of 11.5 Mbps. In contrast Jio’s average peak speed was 50 mbps which is 13 times faster than its average download speed of 3.9 mbps. Meanwhile, both Vodafone and Idea peak speed measurements are about 4 times faster than their 4G measurements.
“Even though Jio had the slowest average 4G speeds in our India report, in our peak speed comparison Jio’s average connection was second only to Airtel,” the report said.
So why are Jio’s peaks so much higher than its average?
The report tries to find the answer. “Clearly Jio’s networks are capable of supporting some incredibly fast LTE connections when conditions are ideal,” it said.
“The reason why is congestion,” justified Kevin Fitchard who wrote the findings of OpenSignals’ report in a blog.
He said Jio has experienced phenomenal growth since launching its all-4G service last autumn, signing up more than 100 million subscribers in the space of few months, and for much of that period Jio has been offering those customers nearly unlimited access to mobile data.
“That kind of heavy usage is bound to tax any network, forcing users to vie against one another for bandwidth,” he writes. “Our data shows that Jio’s slow average 4G speeds aren’t a technical limitation, but rather a capacity bottleneck. As Jio adds more capacity — either through new spectrum or building more cell sites — or as Jio’s mobile data consumption levels drop, then its typical download speeds should increase.”
OpenSignal who works like Ookla also raises questions on Indian regulator TRAI’s method of determining 4G speeds.
The report writes that Indian regulator TRAI has measured the fastest 4G speeds on Jio’s networks for the past six months through its MySpeed app. Meanwhile our testing along with measurements conducted by other independent testing groups like Ookla have found Jio’s average LTE speeds to be much slower.
“The discrepancy comes from TRAI’s methodology,” says Fitchard. “TRAI is measuring operator performance under ideal conditions, while OpenSignal’s methodology tests the typical everyday experience of consumers.”