OpenSignal has released its report on general mobile data download speeds in India, from May 2017 to February 2018. The results are relatively surprising, with Jio seeing a drop in speeds from its peak in August last year before the plateau from December to February. The other three main operators in the country, Airtel, Vodafone and Idea, saw a different progression in this period, seeing an increase in mobile data speeds from September last year to February. Of course, the biggest difference between Jio and the rest is that Jio is a 4G only operator, while the rest also offers 3G and 2G networks to users.
According to Kevin Fitchard of OpenSignal, the increase in download speeds for Airtel, Idea and Vodafone was not due to an increase in actual speeds, but to an increase in 4G LTE availability in the country. “The first thing we noticed is that during the summer of 2017, the general speeds for Airtel, Idea and Vodafone were relatively constant, but in September something happened that started to send up their discharge averages.” What we are seeing is not an increase in LTE speeds or even 3G speeds, both measurements remained relatively static in the last year, while the three operators began to expand the reach of their LTE networks, and our 4G availability scores for the three operators increased significantly for the three operators in those 10 months As more customers had access to faster LTE connections more frequently, the overall speeds for Airtel, Idea and Vodafone increased accordingly, “Fitchard wrote in the report.
OpenSignal continues to point out that Airtel and Idea saw the most dramatic improvements in overall speeds, jumping almost one megapixel between May 2017 and February 2018. On the other hand, the drop in Jio speeds from August to February is attributed to subscribers that consume the “new bandwidth” that the company implemented in May and helped keep it at the top of the lists until December. The new increase in bandwidth or speed in May was made possible by network updates that increased capacity in LTE networks, speculates OpenSignal. Notably, the OpenSignal results are in line with the latest of the TRAI’s MySpeed application speed ratings, which also showed a continuous decrease in Jio’s download speeds.
“It will be fascinating to see how this race in overall speed between Jio and Airtel will be played next year.” If Jio can get another upgrade from the 4G network of his hat, he could once again increase his overall speed beyond that of Airtel. But Airtel does not sit still – as it improves the reach of its network, providing LTE connections to customers more often, its overall speed will probably continue to increase.In summary: Jio’s growth in overall speed will almost certainly come in large quantities, while Airtel’s growth is likely to be much more stable, and we do not rule out Vodafone and Idea Any improvement in 4G speed or 4G availability for any of the operators will help close the general speed gap created by the two leaders, “Fitchard added.