Airtel Retains Top Position in Average Download Speed Pan-India: OpenSignal

OpenSignal has released its network and speed report for the April 2019 month and Airtel is leading the pack

Highlights
  • Reliance Jio remains the leader in LTE availability like last year
  • Bharti Airtel is still topping the charts for highest download speeds

OpenSignal has released its report for the April 2019 month summarising the results for speed tests and other network related data for the Indian telecom operators. It is worth noting that OpenSignal releases two such reports every year, once in April and other in October and this is the first time that the crowd-sourced network KPI tracking platform has covered network quality parameters (LTE availability, average download/upload speeds, and latency) across all the 22 telecom circles in India. Research firm, Kotak institutional equities has made the report live along with the highlights and noted on the results of the new OpenSignal report.

Bharti Airtel Persists on the Top Spot with Highest Download Speeds

Starting with the highlights of the report, the first thing to note is Bharti Airtel’s retention of the top spot for download speeds with the average speed being 10.1 Mbps. The list follows with other operators including Vodafone at 7.1 Mbps, Idea at 6.6 Mbps and R-Jio at 6.3 Mbps. Although Reliance Jio ranked last in this test, it showed the maximum improvement as compared to the last report. The report also noted improvements for the average download speeds, which were 10.1 Mbps from 9.96 for Bharti Airtel, to 7.1 Mbps from 6.59 for Vodafone, to 6.6 Mbps from 6.29 for Idea and to 6.3 Mbps from 5.47 for R-Jio. Also, when 3G speeds were measured they were significantly lower in the 2.3-2.5 Mbps range instead of the previous 3.4-4.8 Mbps range and this has majorly been attributed to spectrum refarming for LTE network.

Reliance Jio Remains on Top Spot for LTE Availability

In the LTE availability rankings, Reliance Jio stayed on top with a 97.5% score. As for the other telecom operators, Bharti Airtel seemed to have bridged the gap by a significant margin in the past one year with the current score being 85.6%, denoting a jump from the previous rating of 66.8%. Vodafone and Idea have also seen their LTE availability score move up to 76-77% from 68-69% levels.

Kotak, in its note, highlighted the OpenSignal results for circle-wise tests as well. These results calculate the LTE and 3G speeds together, thus averaging them and denoting a more authentic customer experience, unlike the pan-India picture. Even in the circle wise results, Bharti Airtel emerged as the average download speed leader in 19 out of 22 circles. The telco was placed second in two circles and third in only one circle. Airtel’s speeds have largely improved except in two circles of Madhya Pradesh and Punjab where it has deteriorated a bit. Airtel also became the only telecom operator to record average download speeds of more than 10 Mbps in three circles of AP, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.

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