Reliance Jio's network may have become the largest network in terms of data carried globally but its data speeds continue to plunge and now are slower than speeds offered by top telcos- Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and RCom.
According to data published on Trai’s analytics website, 4G speed on Reliance Jio's network is offering was an average 6.2 mbps, slower than speeds offered by Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone. Bharti Airtel's 4G speeds are fastest at 11.4 megabits per second (mbps), followed by Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications’ at 7.9 mbps, Idea’s at 7.6 mbps, and Vodafone’s at 7.3 mbps. Jio.
The finding was, however, contested by the country’s newest telecom operator, which is owned by Reliance Industries Limited. In a statement, Jio said that it performed an internal analysis of the findings showed by Trai's website. "Based on this analysis, we believe that the comparison of Jio speeds with other operators has an inherent bias against Jio data usage," it said.
The telco claimed that the data speed on its network was being measured after consumers exhaust the daily fair usage policy (FUP) limit of 4GB data download per user. Speed after this limit falls to 256 kbps.
"This limit has been setup with the express intention of preventing heavy data users from degrading the experience of other users," it further explained, adding that before this FUP limit is reached, Jio customers enjoy unmatched 4G LTE speeds on the Jio network.
Jio said that it has historically observed that a disproportionate number of speed tests are performed once the FUP comes into effect.
"Such users also tend to perform multiple tests until full speeds are restored," it further said.
Given that data usage under Jio Welcome Offer is completely free, a higher proportion of Jio users run up against the FUP limit.
In comparison, Jio said that not all non-Jio users have FUP based plans, rather their usage is completely stopped, and they are entirely prevented from performing the speed test, and even those who have FUP based plans face this situation only once a month.
Further, such customers tend to recharge quickly and restore full speeds, Jio said, adding that this difference in the offer structures, and associated customer behaviors, result in a large proportion of the speed tests being conducted on Jio network when the speeds are reduced via FUP to 256kbps.
"This has the effect of dragging the average far below the speeds experienced by Jio customers who are enjoying full 4G LTE speeds," Jio further elaborated.
Jio said that it continuously measures the speeds experienced by Jio customers – adjusting for factors such as FUP, and is proactively working to improve service levels for all our customers.