Indians Request More Features And Better Speed From Web Browser

Vivaldi Technologies CEO told TelecomTalk that “browser matters a lot” in countries like India where such low speeds are recorded.

By April 2nd, 2021 AT 6:09 PM

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Ookla, the company behind the Speedtest platform in mid March, 2021, released the Speedtest Global Index for February, with the data highlighting that India retained its 131st position on the mobile Index. According to the data released by Ookla, India recorded an average mobile download and upload speed of 12.40 Mbps and 4.75 Mbps respectively in February. Ookla said that the global average download speed on mobile increased to 46.94 Mbps in February while the global average upload speed on mobile continued to remain at 12.49 Mbps. The Speedtest Global Index for mobile covers 141 countries across the globe with 10 countries including Ghana, Zambia, Tanzania, Sudan, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Palestine, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan recording lower speeds on mobile than India.

Mobile is Primary Way of Accessing Internet: Vivaldi CEO

Ookla data also highlights that India gained two positions on the Speedtest Global Index for fixed broadband with the country now placed 63rd on the index. The company said that India recorded average download and upload speeds of 55.34 Mbps and 52.15 Mbps respectively on fixed broadband in February. However, it has to be noted that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) in its Telecom Subscription Data said that India has 22.67 million wired broadband subscribers as on January 31, 2021. In comparison, the Trai data highlights that over 734 million users access high speed data on mobile phones and dongles.

Similarly, the data released by Trai on its MySpeed Portal also highlight that the wireless operators in India on average recorded download speeds between 7 Mbps to 15.4 Mbps in February.

Jon von Tetzchner, CEO of Vivaldi Technologies, the company behind the Vivaldi browser, told TelecomTalk that “browser matters a lot” in countries like India where such low speeds are recorded.

“One part of that is the privacy features, which can also make the browser faster. Blocking trackers and ads can lead to faster loading of pages,” von Tetzchner said in an email interview. “In addition, better tab handling can make it easier to multitask, so you are not just working serially. That can make a massive difference in your browsing as you can read one page while loading another.”

Von Tetzchner said that the features like bookmarks can “make a huge difference as well.” The CEO of Vivaldi said that “with better bookmarking,” the users would need “less clicks to find back to important content.”

In early 2015, Vivaldi Technologies rolled out the first preview of its desktop browser with the company launching its first stable build in April 2016. The company in late 2019 rolled out its first snapshot build of its Android browser with the first stable version making its debut in April 2020. Vivaldi is said to have over 2.2 million active users with India among its top 10 countries in terms of its user base and is said to be “more skewed towards the browser on Android.”

“We understand that for many in India and across the world, the mobile is their primary way of accessing the Internet,” von Tetzchner said. “Thus we make sure the browser can work as a real tool and not just a toy.”

Mobile Accounts for 50% Web Traffic

In November 2020, Statista, a German company engaged in market and consumer data said that the mobile devices accounted for over 50% of the overall web traffic for the fifth consecutive quarter.

The CEO of Vivaldi Technologies said that the requests made by the Indian users include “more features and better speed” and that the company is working on both the requests.

“Indian users are demanding and that is what we like,” von Tetzchner said. “We focus a lot on features that make you more effective with your browser, both on your PC and on your phone. All of this is very useful on a slow network.”

While Vivaldi has been in the market for a few years now, the company is relatively new as compared to most of its rivals. Von Tetzchner said that the company has been “making good progress” and that it “takes time to build a browser market share.”

“Our feeling is that our feature set is unique in many ways,” von Tetzchner said. “We have real tabs, which makes it easier to work with a lot of tabs on a phone. Many people are not even aware of the tabs they have open, while we make them more visible.”

Meanwhile, the CEO of Vivaldi Technologies said that the iOS version of the Vivaldi mobile browser is “still some time away.”

“Not a lot of work has been done there so far,” von Tetzchner said. “It requires a lot of work to port Vivaldi to iOS. In many ways it is like writing the browser from scratch and we have a huge feature set that is growing.”

Born in India, Yogesh loves to travel and has lived in multiple countries including New Zealand and Canada. His bylines can be found on various newspapers and blogs throughout the world, including Vancouver Sun, Surrey Now-Leader, Daily Hive , Investing News Network and Rach F1.

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