How many of you remember OpenSignal’s report released a few months ago, which rated Bharti Airtel as India’s fastest network? Well, OpenSignal is back with yet another report named as ‘Average Peak Speeds Report,’ on India’s top four telecom operators- Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone India, and Idea Cellular.
That being said, this new report is different from the average 4G download speed report released by OpenSignal a few months ago. Here’s how OpenSignal calculates the Average Peak Speed: In order to calculate the metric, OpenSignal looks at the fastest of the speed tests. Specifically, they only examine data from devices that have conducted multiple automated speed tests in a three-month period between December 2016 to February 2017.
So, OpenSignal extracts the fastest speed test from those devices and then toss out the bottom 95 percent of the results, which in turn leaves them with the top 5 percent of the fastest speeds they’ve collected from the crowdsourced community. The average of that top 5 percent is the average peak speed metric.
OpenSignal says “we’re not claiming this measurement is the topmost speed a device would ever experience on a particular operator’s network — operators could produce faster speeds in the laboratory conditions or, in rarer cases, in the field. But we feel average peak speed is an accurate measure of a 4G connection under the most optimised conditions, and it gives an indication of what consumers might really experience when unfettered by congestion or technical limitations.”
Diving into the data released by OpenSignal under the new Average Peak Speed metric, Bharti Airtel tops the chart, yet again, same as the OpenSignal’s fastest 4G speed award report released a few months ago. Airtel’s average peak speed test was 56.6 Mbps, which is five times faster than its average 4G download test of 11.5 Mbps.
When we look at Reliance Jio’s peak speed numbers, things get interesting. Even though Jio had the slowest average 4G speeds in the download speed report, the average peak speed of Jio is only second to Airtel. OpenSignal says Jio’s average peak speed is measured as 50 Mbps, which is nearly 13 times faster than its everyday 4G speed download speed of 3.9 Mbps. Meanwhile, both Vodafone and Idea peak speed measurements are about 4 times faster than their 4G measurements of 36.5 Mbps and 29.8 Mbps.
OpenSignal extracted the average peak speeds from 93,464 devices, same as India’s Download speed report. OpenSignal used the same data, instead they isolated the top 5 percent of tests from users that had multiple speed tests in the three month period.
Furthermore, OpenSignal also gave an explanation of why Jio’s peak speeds are much higher than the average. Opensignal says that Jio’s phenomenal growth over the last few months is incredible, which in turn added congestion on the network. So, that incredible growth is bound to tax any network, forcing users to vie against one another for bandwidth. However, it concluded that Jio’s network is capable of achieving some insane speeds.
“Our data show that Jio’s slow average 4G speeds aren’t a technical limitation, but rather a capacity bottleneck. As Jio adds more capacity — either through new spectrum or building more cell sites — or as Jio’s mobile data consumption levels drop, then its typical download speeds should increase,” claimed OpenSingal.
Secondly, OpenSignal also answered why TRAI’ speed test results showed Reliance Jio as the fastest operator in India. For six consecutive months, TRAI has measured the fastest 4G speeds on Jio’s networks through its MySpeed app. OpenSignal urges that “The discrepancy comes from TRAI’s methodology. TRAI is measuring operator performance under ideal conditions, while OpenSignal’s methodology tests the typical everyday experience of consumers. As our average peak speed metric shows, there’s a huge difference between Jio’s everyday speeds and its optimal speeds.”
Not only OpenSignal; Ookla’s report also revealed Jio’s average LTE speeds to be much slower than other operators in the country. Once Jio’s extraordinary data usage returns to more manageable levels, the big gap between its peak and average speeds should close says OpenSignal.
Lastly, OpenSignal concluded that the average peak speed metric is still in the experimental stage, so they haven’t included it yet in the full public report. They will be releasing the full public report in coming days.