In a post from Thursday, OpenSignal - which provides insight into the coverage and performance of mobile operators worldwide - announced its first State of Mobile Networks India report, which as the company noted, comes at an opportune time, as the launch of Reliance Jio has brought large scale disruption to the market.
Drawing on 1.3 billion measurements collected from December 2016 to February 2017, OpenSignal compared the 3G and 4G experience of 93,464 smartphone users.
One of the findings that OpenSignal announced is that Airtel tops all of OpenSignal's speed rankings - both for 4G speeds and 3G speeds. Airtel's average LTE download speed was measured by OpenSignal at 11.5Mbps, 3Mbps faster than Vodafone and Idea, in second and third place at 8.59Mbps and 8.34Mbps. Jio comes in dead last at just 3.92Mbps according to OpenSignal. It's not clear if this finding was skewed by Jio's 1GB per day FUP.
This contradicts TRAI's result from earlier this month, according to which Reliance Jio was fastest. OpenSignal's findings are bound to reignite the rivalry between Airtel and Jio, as the former ran an advertisement claiming to be the fastest network in India citing Ookla. Reliance Jio had filed a complaint against this, and the Advertising Standards Council of India had found Airtel's claims misleading.
With these fresh findings, we might in due for round two of the ads.
The good news for Jio here is that OpenSignal also stated that it has the best LTE availability in India. Describing it as "astonishingly pervasive", OpenSignal noted that testers were able to find a 4G signal with Jio 91.6 percent of the time. No other operator scored higher than 60 percent, OpenSignal noted. Idea comes in ahead of Vodafone, at 59.45 percent and 59.05 percent, while Airtel comes in at 54.72 percent.
That said, OpenSignal also pointed out that 4G speeds in India remain poor in general. The global average is 17.4Mbps, significantly higher than any of the operators in India. Further, OpenSignal added that across different metrics in the various regions in India, the four operators are in a tight race in many ways.
In terms of latency on both 4G and 3G, Vodafone comes out as the winner, though that's not as important, unless you're looking at applications where a few milliseconds of delay can make a difference - such as gaming, or live video chat. Jio does worst here, with an 86.61ms latency, compared to Vodafone's 54.27ms.
The results vary a little when broken down on the regional level. While speed rankings remained mostly the same, Idea was sharing the top spot with Airtel in Tamil Nadu. Jio's 4G coverage is the most extensive in all the four regions OpenSignal broke the results down into.