The last few years had been an excellent period for mobile operators in India. With mobile data and wireless connections numbers increased steadily thanks to the marketing of major telecom operators, India’s telecom network rose to its best state ever.
The Government’s aid in making Digital India and the campaigns dictating the importance of mobile network made this growth faster. But the whole scenario changed when Reliance entered into the fray. The onset of Jio providing unlimited virtual data and free voice calling made the number of users sky-rocketed in the country.
This attracted the London-based wireless company Opensignal to conduct a survey on these telecom operators. Opensignal revealed on its blog that this survey was not easy due to the large country India is and the presence of various operators spread non-uniformly across the country.
As a result, Opensignal conducted its survey mainly on the four leading telecom operators namely Airtel, Idea, Vodafone and the newbie Jio.
The survey was based on 1.3 billion measurements from 93,464 customers on these major wireless networks. The period this survey is done is from Dec 1st, 2016 to Feb 28th, 2017.
The results of the survey were divided into 3 categories and awards are given to these areas respectively. The three major categories are:
- Network availability
- Download speed
Network Availability – It means the coverage of the 4G users country wide and as expected Jio bagged the award in this section with 91.57% of users having a 4G signal compared with the 50-6 % range of remaining three operators.
The reason is mainly due to the unlimited virtual data and free voice calling offers given by Reliance mustering a huge chunk of mobile users.
Download Speed – Airtel aced this section in both 3G and 4G networks with a 4G download speed being 11.53 Mbps. Vodafone obtained a speed of 8.59 Mbps followed by Idea with 8.34 Mbps and Jio taking the last position with a speed of 3.92 Mbps which is very low compared to its competitors. Jio faded in this section and this factor must be sincerely considered by Reliance for the user base to stay still.
Latency – It is the delay in data transfer rate. The less the latency, the better the network. Surprisingly Vodafone shined in this category with a low latency of 54.27 milliseconds followed by Idea and Airtel with Jio faltering back with a latency of 86.61 milliseconds.
4G Is Still Slow in India?
The results revealed that even though these four operators achieved a decent download speed in various regions yet they fell short of the global average of 17.4 Mbps which is a disappointing thing for the India which aims to digitise the lifestyle of the people.
This may not be the case in the future as further technologies are being developed and with better connectivity and understanding, the global average will be achieved soon.
If you are one of the four telecom operators, you can enjoy the service in the future too. The disappointing thing about the survey is the absence of BSNL which caters the customers with data at relatively low costs suitable for the likes of rural and less-developed areas. Let us hope BSNL makes the list in the future and the global average speed is achieved too.