The fact that Reliance Jio has shaken up the telecom sector after its aggressive entry back in 2016 is not news. Jio has the highest 4G penetration in the country and some of the cheapest mobile data plans and that has forced many of its competitors to up the ante in terms of 4G connectivity and pricing.
As per an analytical report by Opensignal conducted between 1 December 2018 to 28 February 2019, the Vodafone-Idea merger is going to make for the biggest telecom operator in the country with over 387 million subscribers. However, Jio has an astounding 4G reach with Opensignal awarding it a 97.5 score in terms of availability, which is up from last year’s 96.7. Vodafone and Idea (treated as separate mobile operators as per the report) have a score of 76.3 and 77 respectively. Airtel has made the biggest gain since last year by gaining 10 percent and now has a score of 85.6. All scores are out of 100.
In terms of video experience, which checks for video buffering while streaming, the top three telecom providers had near about similar scores. The rating given to them by Opensignal is fair, which means that although the video experience has improved over the last 6 months, it is still struggling with buffering and high-res videos. Airtel has the highest score of 44.4.
Aptly put by Opensignal “If Jio is India’s king of availability, then Airtel is the country’s Maharaja of download speed.” Airtel has been dominating the download speed charts since quite some time now and this year has been no different. Airtel has a download speed of 8.7 Mbps, while its closest second is Jio with 6.3 Mbps of download speeds. The report claims that all telecom operators are suffering the brunt of congestion in urban areas with download speeds dropping to nearly 2.8 Mbps during the busiest times.
Upload speeds see a different winner in the form of Idea which had speeds of 3.0 Mbps with Vodafone coming a close second at 2.6 Mbps. The report says that “upload is becoming increasingly important as consumer mobile habits shift away from downloading and consuming to uploading and creating content”.
Opensignal also highlights the latency measurements for the telecom giants with Jio again leading the charge having the lowest latency amongst all at 62.5 ms. Just to be clear, the lower the latency the better the internet experience gets. Airtel improved its scores by 23 percent since last year to come second with 70.5 ms of latency.