The State Of 4G In India; Indian Telecom Still Has A Long Way To Go!

According to an OpenSignal report from February 2018, India already has the worst 4G speed in the world.


Indian Telecom Needs To Improve

The 4G race in India is unlike anywhere else in the world. Just a couple of years ago, telecom companies could charge a premium for 4G data and get away with it. But Jio came along and radically altered the telecom landscape. So much so that when the dust settled, there are now only four private players left in the arena. And Jio is not done yet.

Jio continues its predatory pricing model with its latest salvo, the Jio Double Dhamaka offer, which was launched yesterday in response to the new plans from Airtel and Vodafone. While this pricing war is not new, what’s new is that Jio’s network speeds are reducing as their subscribers are increasing. In all the cost hoopla, this crucial issue doesn’t get as much attention as it should.

According to an OpenSignal report from February 2018, India already has the worst 4G speed in the world.

So, how do the telecoms in India fare when it comes to the overall network speed?

Overall 4G Speed In India Is Still Poor

According to another OpenSignal statistic, Airtel and Jio lead the Indian telecom market with the fastest overall speeds. But the term “fastest” is relative here.

Overall Network Speed

In a test period that spanned across 10 months from May 2017 to February 2018, Open Signal tracked the overall network speeds, which include 3G and 4G, of India’s top 4 telecom service providers and they have come up with some interesting figures.

  • As of February 2018, Airtel is the fastest overall network in India with speeds around 6 Mbps.
  • The disruptor, Jio, follows the leader with speeds around 5.1 Mbps.
  • Vodafone and Idea share the third place at 4.5 Mbps.
  • All the networks, except Jio, have shown an improvement during the test period. Jio is the only one which has experienced a drop in speeds.

Is There Hope For Indian Telecom?

Languishing at the bottom of the worldwide table in regards to 4G speeds, mobile connectivity in India is still growing. When Jio launched their LTE-only network in India, it was, and still is, one of a kind anywhere. Jio is already planning for their next-generation network which will be faster and more advanced. And Jio is not alone. Airtel is also preparing to take their network into the next generation with some strategic partnerships.

But that’s somewhere in the future. Right now, the network speeds are nothing to write home about. Telcos have to improve their infrastructure if they want to compete at the global level. Despite all the advancements, call drops still remains a big issue in the Indian telecom market.

There’s ample room for improvement and the telcos know it. We hope they act on improving the quality of their services vis-a-vis robust connectivity.

Instead of racing to bring the best plans to the market, we wish telcos would race to bring the best networks for their subscribers.

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