Airtel consistently offers the best mobile experience to its subscribers, and is the fastest network in India, according to Tutela’s 2020 State of Mobile Networks report for India. The network outperforms Jio, Vodafone Idea, and BSNL Mobile in four of the five key metrics tested.
However, in one metric, Airtel did not come out on top. Vodafone Idea recorded the highest upload speed in common coverage areas with a median upload speed of 3.7 Mbps, marginally outperforming Airtel by 0.2 Mbps.
Tutela’s State of Mobile Networks report used over 573 billion measurements, including over 65 million speed tests and 900 million latency tests, collected between August 1st, 2019 and January 31st, 2020.
Key findings from the report include:
Airtel was impressive all-round in Tutela’s analysis – taking the top spot across four categories including Excellent Consistent Quality (59.2%), median download throughput (7.4 Mbps) and latency (26.2 ms).
Vodafone Idea and Jio vied for second place across many metrics, coming joint second for Excellent Consistent Quality. However, Vodafone Idea placed top for median upload speed overall at 3.7 Mbps, while Jio was a clear second for Core Consistent Quality at 86.7%.
Unusually, higher rates of 4G penetration do not necessarily lead to better performance. Jio’s all-4G network is outperformed by Airtel, where users still spend about 10% of time on 3G, and competes most closely with Vodafone Idea where users are on 3G as much as 27% of the time.
Tom Luke, VP at Tutela, said: “Airtel’s results are undeniably impressive, but there is clearly still work to do during this tumultuous time for India’s telecoms industry. In order for India’s networks to compete at a global level, operators should look for ways to solve the unique challenges of managing congestion and ensuring reliable services in dense urban areas, while also providing mobile services across a large geographical area. It will be interesting to see how the merger of BSNL and MNTL, and the disruption of 5G network deployment on the horizon affect the overall industry — specifically, which operators will make the most of this opportunistic market to deliver a better all-round mobile experience to their customers.”