MUMBAI: India has slipped four spots in 2 months on the mobile broadband speed rankings to 111 in December, and is now placed well behind countries such as Kazakhstan (64), Myanmar (84), Pakistan (88), Sri Lanka (101) and Ghana (110), as per latest statistics of Speedtest by Ookla, a US-based company.
Doug Suttles, co-founder of Ookla, told ET that Bharti Airtel remains the fastest mobile network in the country, followed by Vodafone India that has climbed to the second spot from the fourth, as per the company’s data for the October-December quarter. Speeds on RJio has also improved as customer volume has dipped in the network, thus freeing up network bandwidth, said Suttles.
Data from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), however, has consistently pegged Jio as the network with the fastest 4G speeds. Ookla’s tests have been previously based on over 25 million tests taken on 3.7 million unique devices.
Last year, Jio wasn’t too happy with Ookla ratings that had pegged Airtel as the fastest network, and had filed a case against the US data speed tester, alleging loss of reputation and money because of the ad campaign by the rival that amounted to conspiracy, defamation and breach of trust, among others. The court, however, had dismissed Jio’s plea.
Suttles though said India’s average mobile download speed of 9.14 Mbps, equivalent to downloading two average songs in a second, comes close to the highest consumption by consumers.”In my personal view, a mobile user will have a good experience doing most things on the Internet with 10 Mbps download speed,” said Suttles.
Ookla is an arm of Nasdaq-listed J2 Global’s digital media division. Customers and operators use the company’s Speedtest applications without charge, making it a popular tool for consumers as well as researchers and technicians. The company licenses its data to telecom operators, and expects to soon develop analytics to help operators identify choking points on the network based on consumer test outcomes.
Suttles said the rural mobile networks in India are almost as good as those in cities based on the tests that users have run. “In India, mobile networks deliver roughly the same speeds in urban and rural areas.” Yet, India’s average mobile download speed pales in front of the global average of 21.25 Mbps. Investments on Indian networks have lagged in the last year after unprecedented consolidation that was triggered as a result of rock bottom pricing.
On the flip side, Ookla found that wired or fixed broadband speeds in the hinterlands lagged urban speeds significantly, dragging overall ratings down.