Idea and Vodafone Offers best Online Streaming Experience Compared to other Operators in our Analysis

By September 4th, 2014 AT 2:04 PM

Ever wondered if you can stream something on your EDGE connection? What’s the quality of Data performance your Network is offering on continuous basis? Are your Downlinks very spontaneous?

When ever i used to perform a speed test i used to have an inner feeling that these tests just give a max speed output attained during a data transfer and is it the same quality we are getting throughout ? Though i also accept speedtest is a measure for Qos which gives various inputs, I wanted to test something more that comes in real usage scenarios, as in our routine we will not be checking speeds on regular basis. The expectations from any mobile internet user is just to get the internet experience bit smoother and flawless as long as they are in good operating conditions. So, i have decided to test the streaming performance of Operators on EDGE.

My main intention here is to check the streaming performance and not to discuss on the technical aspects and performance factors for EDGE/Devices. 

Device Specification used for Testing: EDGE class A, multislot class 32, maximum speed up to 296/177.6 kbps (DL/UL)

Network Symbol while Testing : EDGE – Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution

Stream bitrate :  ~48k (Selected this bit rate for optimum quality)

Tested Time : ~10pm-11pm

What all Networks are Tested: Aircel, Airtel, Idea, TATA GSM, Uninor, Vodafone – AP Circle

2.75G EDGE Stream speeds

What did we do ? 

We have streamed music from a 48k bitrate online music service on every Network we are testing while connected to EDGE Network under no heavy background usage consumption scenarios (Have taken utmost care). We have conducted 3 trials of 5 min long playback each on every Network, Recorded the live audio streamed and digitized it to produce a waveform for visual appeal. A continuous waveform represents a flawless streaming performance by Network while a break(represented with B) in the waveform (buffers/buffering time) are represented with dimensioning on the waveform.

PS: BSNL /Reliance GSM – are excluded from this analysis as they have very poor coverage and fluctuating signal in the area where i performed tests. As fair play is needed i excluded them out of tests.

From the waveform digitized we can clearly see that Idea and Vodafone performed the best while giving No Buffer* music streaming experience along the 5min continuous play. 

We hope this is a very first of it’s kind Analysis in Telecom to bring the real performers out. We will make sure to come up with such analysis in every circle we visit with most feasibility.

Dear users do let us know what’s your favorite app for streaming music and Do you stream music via EDGE and how is your Network Operator performance in your Circle? Do let us know via comments. 

Note: All Testing done under normal usage scenarios and at a same location. I was as very much aware of all the Network BTS locations in the area of tests and fair policy is played for all Operators so that no good performer is portrayed as less performers. Performances may differ from circle to circle, Device used, Network Coverage and other affecting scenarios. We are sure of the performance tests* at least in my usage scenario and cases. We are not drawing conclusions of performances in other circles/areas. This analysis is just to bring awareness among users on basic streaming performances of operators on EDGE.

Passionately following the Indian #Telecom Industry for over a decade from Business, Consumer and a Technical perspective. My primary focus area is Consumer & Digital Experience.

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sachinSSRamaRKDShivam UP West. Recent comment authors
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In Bihar and jharkhand, Idea gives superb speed.Speed is around 245kbps!!!!


As always Vodafone provides the most consistent network speeds.
Have experienced the same in Delhi-NCR as well.

Even while on national roaming (while travelling in train), the switch over between BTS towers is quite seamless. The voice hardly breaks when using Vodafone.

Shivam UP West.
Shivam UP West.

I agree, as i am big fan of Airtel for last many years but i have seen their services are degrading. Call drop & slow 2G is biggest loop hole. Vodafone is becoming new Airtel.
In UP west circle- (in terms of coverage, call quality & 2G net speed).
1. Idea.
2. Voda
4. Airtel.
5. Ril.

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