Reliance Jio had the fastest average download speeds in March according to Trai

New telecom operator Reliance Jio’s average download speed at 16.48 mbps was almost double of its rivals Idea Cellular and Bharti Airtel’s in March, a report by telecom regulator Trai has showed. Average download speed on Reliance Jio network was 16.48 megabit per second (mbps) in March against 8.33 mbps on Idea Cellular’s and 7.66 mbps on Bharti Airtel’s network, the monthly report by Trai showed.

The latest aggregated speedtests from Trai's MySpeed portal as of 4 May.

The latest aggregated speedtests from Trai's MySpeed portal as of 4 May.

Theoretically, a user can download one Bollywood movie in about 5 minutes at 16 mbps speed. Vodafone registered average download speed of 5.66 mbps, Reliance Communications 2.64 mbps, Tata Docomo 2.52 mbps, state run BSNL 2.26 mbps and Aircel 2.01 mbps. Trai collects and computes data download speed with the help of its MySpeed application on real-time basis.

Jio and Airtel have been at loggerheads over claim of being the fastest network in the country.

A survey on mobile network speed covering two metros of Delhi and Mumbai, and two states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu by a private firm Open Signal has claimed that Bharti Airtel had the fastest network with average 4G download speed of 11.5 mbps while Reliance Jio was fourth with 3.92 mbps. The survey claimed to have collected information from 1.3 billion datapoints covering 93,464 users during the period between December 2016 and February 2017.

The Open Signal report said that Vodafone was at the second spot with average 4G download speed of 8.59 mbps followed by Idea Cellular with 8.34 mbps and Jio on 4th spot with 3.92 mbps speed. The report ranks Jio on top for widest availability of 4G network. “OpenSignal’s testers on Jio’s network were able to find a 4G signal 91.6 per cent of the time, an exceptional availability measurement by any global standard. In comparison, no other Indian operator scored higher than 60 per cent in its 4G availability tests,” the statement said.

“The findings reveal that Airtel didn’t just win OpenSignal’s 4G speed award, it wound up on top of 3G and overall rankings as well. OpenSignal measured Airtel’s average LTE download speed at 11.5 mbps, which was 3 mbps faster than the results measured on its nearest rivals Vodafone and Idea,” OpenSignal said in a statement. The new survey has come amid ongoing tussle between Airtel and Reliance Jio over claims of India’s fastest mobile network.

Reliance Jio has challenged Airtel’s advertisement campaign in which the telecom major claimed to be “officially” fastest network in the country. "The claim of Airtel that it is India’s fastest network is false, misleading and incorrect. The claim is being made by Airtel acting in a mala fide manner in collusion with Ookla LLC, who profess to be experts in the domain space of testing mobile internet speed," stated the letter sent by Reliance Jio to ASCI.

Jio told ASCI that Airtel cannot be allowed to call itself "Officially The Fastest Network", as Ookla's Speedtest did not have any official accreditation in India.  Jio had served a separate legal notice to Ookla over what Jio believes to be flawed test methodologies. Jio also stated that Ookla is not a “not-for-profit” organisation. “It charges money for its services used by telecom companies for their internal consumption, and charges additional consideration” for awarding certificates “that may be used by such companies for external consumption, marketing and publicity”. “Even in the past, Airtel has been guilty of making attempts to use such titles and proclamations,” the letter states.

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) found the ad claiming Airtel to be “officially” fastest network as misleading and asked the company to modify or withdraw the commercial by April 11 to which the company complied. Airtel has filed appeal before ASCI for review of the decision.

Ookla too has responded to ASCI decision saying that it fully stands behind the accuracy and reliability of the methodology used to designate Airtel as ‘India’s Fastest Mobile Network’ and said that the telecom major is still the fastest one.

According to a report by Techpp, Ookla’s Android app had a flaw where the app displayed incorrect speed test results on smartphones with dual-Sim slots. The flaw in the SpeedTest app by Ookla is that the application assigns the speeds to the sim designated as the primary sim for making calls, even if the settings on the phone require another Sim to be used for mobile data. This means that if an Airtel Sim is being used for making calls, and a Jio Sim is being used for the data connection, the application will attribute the results of the speedtests to the Airtel Sim. Tech2 confirmed the bug after using Ookla's speedtest application in a number of scenarios.

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Airtel reached out to us with the following statement: "Airtel has been rated as India’s fastest mobile network by Ookla – the global leader in broadband testing and web-based network diagnostic applications. This is clearly mentioned in the ad.  Ookla’s findings are based on analysis of millions of internet speed tests logged on ‘modern devices’ by mobile customers across India using its popular Speedtest app. The results include all mobile tests, regardless of connection technology."

Jamie Steven, COO, Speedtest by Ookla, said, "Ookla named Airtel as the 'Fastest Mobile Network' in India based on data from Q3 and Q4 of 2016. When analyzing markets, like India, we take many factors into consideration, including dual SIM devices, network technology, device types, and more. In addition to what the user sees on their mobile application as they take a test in real-time, we apply a rigorous methodology when aggregating the data which uses a variety of internal data sources that control for potential variability in the market." he explained, trying to clear the air around the reports which hinted at the flaw when using a dual SIM device.

Disclaimer: Reliance Jio is owned by Reliance Industries, who also own Network18, the publisher of Firstpost and tech2.

With inputs from PTI and IANS


Published Date: May 04, 2017 09:55 am | Updated Date: May 04, 2017 09:55 am