Bharti Airtel is much ahead of Reliance Jio in offering a better 5G experience to its customers. Note that there is a difference in coverage and experience. 5G experience here would include things such as video experience on 5G networks, games experience, voice app experience, download speed experience, and upload speed experience. Opensignal, a network intelligence firm, has published its latest report for the Indian market, for which the data was collected between Dec 1, 2022, and Feb 28, 2023. During this time, the telcos were aggressively rolling out 5G in several key markets of the country, and as you read this, they are still in the process of doing the same. That is why the data for the report that comes after six months could be completely different because of the expanded reach of 5G in the market. Let's take a look at what Opensignal data says for the Indian market.
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Jio Users See the Best 5G Download Speeds, But Airtel Ahead in Other Areas
Just focusing on the 5G experience, out of the five categories mentioned above (in bold), Airtel was the winner in four, and Jio was the winner in one. Jio delivered the best 5G download speeds, but when it came to video, games, upload and voice experience, Airtel was ahead. Since Vodafone Idea has not yet rolled out 5G for India, the telco is not included in the 5G experience category.
Overall, which also includes 4G, Reliance Jio was again at the lead in the download speed experience, and Airtel was again leading in the video and voice experience. Airtel and Vodafone Idea were the joint winners in the games experience (overall). Vi was the winner for delivering the best upload speed experience overall.
Note that overall includes both the 5G and 4G network experience of the users, and the above-mentioned 5G experience only includes the 5G experience of the user. When it came to the coverage and consistency departments, Jio stole the show. In each and every category under the coverage and consistency department, Jio was the winner. Whether it was overall availability, 5G availability, 5G reach, 4G coverage experience, core consistent quality, or excellent, consistent quality. Take a look at the image below.
BSNL, unfortunately, didn't win under any category, which is what was expected anyhow. The state-run telco is still under the process to rollout 4G in the country.