Just yesterday Airtel 4G was launched in Hyderabad and Vizag for existing customers. Since then we have been testing the Airtel 4G experience mainly through speed tests. While we observed amazing speeds in Mumbai, the speeds were not so high in Hyderabad. The maximum speed we experienced was 21.04 Mbps. To give you a better perspective, we have embedded the below chart that shows Airtel 4G speeds Vs. Airtel 3G speeds (lower part of the chart).
As is evident from the charts, the speeds were higher early in the morning and showed a sharp drop later on. One can tweet using #Airtel4G or post feedback using Airtel Asks to draw Airtel's attention about the network experience. Airtel has maintained that the network is being optimized and consumers can look forward for even better experience in the coming days.
- A prime observation was w.r.t. the signal strength. It never went beyond two bars while H+ / H were consistent with four bars. The reason for good speeds despite of lower signal strength appears to be the 1800 MHz frequency of 4G which is known to provide good indoor coverage along with stable speeds
- While making / receiving calls the phone switches to 3G/2G network and then back to 4G once call is over. This switch was seamless and the call quality was good. We didn't experience call drops.
- We streamed music through Airtel's Wynk Music at the highest quality. No buffering was experienced - songs just played fine!
- Battery life was good during our testing activities despite of seemingly poor signals.
Nevertheless since Airtel 4G is still largely in experimental stage and the pricing is same as 3G we would encourage you to shift to 4G if you own a eligible handset.
The testing (both 4G and 3G) was done on Samsung Galaxy A5 unit provided by Airtel AP Circle. We thank them for this opportunity.