Reliance Jio 4G Mobile Data Speed Test [Hands-on Review]
Recently, Reliance Jio expanded its invite based beta launch to general public through their website jio.com . However, it is mandatory to buy a LYF 4G smartphone in order to get a Jio Sim. Also, the Sim only works on that particular phone as it is locked with IMEI number of SIM 1 for a period of 90 days.
Even so, it is not a bad deal as Jio is offering humongous mobile data for free, along with voice and SMS under its Jio preview offer for 3 months.
Also, if you do some simple math’s, spending around Rs 5000 (basic LYF phone cost) for 90 days of unlimited data and HD voice at good speed might not be all that bad a deal. In order to get Jio Sim you have to register on their website and request an invite. Jio team will then send an invite with referral code if your location falls under their strong network coverage.
So, once we got our Jio Sim in hand, we decided to so a thorough review to see if all the brouhaha about Jio Services lives upto the expectation.
Jio has a Pan-India license for offering 4G services and uses 2300 MHz spectrum in bands 40, 5. They are also the only Telecom provider in India to offer true 4G services as its network also supports VoLTE . All other players offering 4g in India use LTE for data and 2G/3G for Voice. Hence, you can hear crystal clear voice on Jio’s network provided you have 4g VoLTE enabled smartphone.
Currently, Jio claims that it has covered nearly 80% area of India’s population which uses mobile services under its network, However, what we found in reality was that their network remains mostly unavailable in smaller towns and cities of Maharashtra. This is due to inefficiency of 2300MHz band that Jio uses to offer its 4G services for network coverage.
In order to overcome these drawbacks for 2300MHz, Jio is currently integrating its infrastructure with RCom to use its much efficient 1800MHz and 800MHz spectrum band. These integrations and optimizations of networks are much critical and time consuming.
Jio wants to ensure that their network is fully capable of delivering high speed data, VoLTE and above all a true 4G experience to its customers in India. Hence, we presume that it will launch its services commercially only after integrating and testing all of its optimized networks to deliver what it promised to.
We tested Jio’s 4g services in some areas of Pune and Mumbai along with Vodafone and Airtel. We found that Jio’s data speed and Voice quality is pretty good in Mumbai whereas Vodafone’s 4G data speed is the worst in that circle. In fact Vodafone 3G network provides same speed or even better than its 4G. Airtel too offers good 4G data speed but it lacks in Voice quality as it traditional network for Voice services.
Reliance Jio Test (Vile Parle, Mumbai)
Reliance Jio Test (Kothrud, Pune)
All these tests were performed using LYF Flame 6 smartphone and we found that Jio’s LTE data download speed was consistently in between 10-18 Mbps. Its peak was 63 Mbps in areas of Central Mumbai.
However, in Pune and its sub-urban, Jio disappointed us as it hardly touched 3 Mbps speeds, that too only sometimes even when very few subscribers were on their network.
Reliance Jio Test on Desktop via Hotspot (Nigdi, Pune)
Although, Jio doesn’t provide Sims in Pune as yet, due to unavailability of good strong network here, we find similar speed in their network in Kolhapur and Nashik where it has provided and activated new connections.
We found that Jio’s speed at daytime goes upto 2 Mbps and upto 3 Mbps at night after 11 Pm.
Airtel, though using 800MHz band, is capable of providing 6 to 10 Mbps on an average even though Airtel has already launched 4G services commercially for public and their network is busy in handling its subscribers during congestion or peak hours. Vodafone has not rolled out its 4G services in Maharashtra & Goa circle hence we could test their 4G services.
Indoor signals of Jio are too weak in Pune as compared to Airtel and Vodafone as Jio can only use its 4g network currently, unlike Airtel who can fall back on their 2G/3G network in absence of 4G. RJio will only be able to offer good network after its network is fully integrated and optimised with RCom’s network.
In terms of voice services, Jio supports VoLte and we could hear crystal clear voice from the other side.
With Jio, Call gets connected as soon as you press dial button and you can hear ring within few milliseconds unlike 2G/3G voice call dialing functionality where it takes few seconds before it gets connected to the called subscriber.
Here are few basic things you should know about True 4G services and its standards in order to help you understand which Telecom service provider really offers 4G in India.
- 4G and LTE are one and the same.
- There is no much difference between TD-LTE and FD-LTE. FD-LTE is Popular though
- 4G speed should be of minimum 10 Mbps in the network.
- It should support VoLTE
- Unlike 2G/3G sim cards, 4G does not have the concept of HLR as it uses HSS database
- LTE technology is not frequency specific. i.e Any band can be used to offer LTE services e.g 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 1900MHz, 2300Mhz etc
- Higher the frequency greater is the speed but inefficient coverage as high frequencies cannot travel large distances and requires many repeaters. Hence 1800/1900MHz bands are preferred worldwide.
- Data gets consumed much faster and earlier than 3G. So 4G is costly than 3G in real terms even if service providers offer 4G data at 3G rates in India.
- Most of the Indian telecom providers currently only provide 4G data and not True 4G as it should support all the components of LTE technology including VoLTE.
- In any band which is used to offer LTE, it should have minimum 5MHz kept separate for LTE services.
Note: If Jio gets launched commercially, It would be the only Indian telecom company to offer true 4G services. Also , even if Airtel 4G SIMs do not have HLRs i.e HLR 1, 2,3. 9 etc it too only offers 4g data services and not all components of true 4G network.
Finally, one can only fully comment on Jio’s network and its services after their commercial launch but we believe there is lot of scope for improvement and Jio needs to do its home work well before launching it commercially.
[ This hands-on review has been submitted by our regular reader Vineet Suratran]