Bharti Airtel the largest operator by subscriber base in India has been in the news lately due to its boastful advertising of being the operator with the fastest network in India. Airtel has put up an open challenge where it offers to pay the lifetime bills of anyone who demonstrates a network faster than its own. But in the global perspective where exactly does Airtel stand with its network? and what would be the outcome if it made this claim at the international level?
An independent study of networks conducted by OpenSignal which took into consideration the data obtained by testing 183 individual LTE networks across 68 countries reveals to us the findings for the third quarter of 2015. According to the study India ranks 54th with respect to the average speed of LTE network and Airtel ranks 147th globally with respect to the average download speed which was tested to be just 10 Mbps. In comparison the average 4G speeds in New Zealand are 36 Mbps followed by Singapore at 33 Mbps.
OpenSignal employs their proprietary testing parameter which they call ‘Time coverage’ percentage which measures the percentage of time for which a subscriber is connected to the LTE network. The higher this percentage the more steady a network’s coverage in considered. India ranked 52nd with respect to the time coverage parameter and Airtel ranked 139th globally with just 50% time coverage score. In comparison South Korea ranks first with 97% time coverage followed by Japan with 90% time coverage.
You can access the full report on opensignal.com, also note the spectrum is expensive in India when compared with other countries, in west and U.S customers pay lot to access voice and data as per the current scenario in India voice and data is cheapest in the world.