It’s been almost 6 months and the data war in India doesn’t seem to be dying out with new developments emerging almost every month. Even the Mahabharata war didn’t last this long!
Latest data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) shows that Jio beats the pants off its competitors as far as download speeds are concerned for the month of March.
The verdict by TRAI puts Reliance Jio at the top with average 4G download speeds clocking near 16.487 Mbps followed by Idea Cellular at 12.092 Mbps. Surprisingly, Airtel who still claim to be the fastest in India sits third with an average download speed of 10.439 Mbps.
February wasn’t that different with Reliance Jio topping the list with 16.4 Mbps speed followed by Idea at 8.3 Mbps, Airtel at 7.6 Mbps and Vodafone at 5.6 Mbps.
This is how TRAI claims its data is obtained.
The results represent the average of the data speed samples collected from various consumers of the TSPs on a crowd-sourcing basis during speed tests initiated by them over the last 3 months and the monthly trends are updated on the 1st of every month.
While Jio might be the fastest network while downloading, the tables seem to have turned in the upload speed department. Idea leads this race with 6.5 Mbps average upload speed, followed by Vodafone at 5.4 Mbps and Airtel 4.4 Mbps. Reliance Jio stands fourth at 3.5 Mbps.
Although Jio now can do some chest-thumping in the market based on these numbers, how credible are TRAI’s results? Especially when most users complain of a drop in speeds provided by Jio 4G.
Jio tops Trai’s 4G download speed test results, Airtel third fastest network in February.— Fukkard (@Fukkard) April 4, 2017
Jio Fans - Airtel : pic.twitter.com/rwjlK0NDdw
There is still no clarity on the methods used by TRAI to come up with the data. There remains a lot of ambiguity on the credibility of the application used to track download speeds.
The only thing which lends it credibility is its affiliation with TRAI, which is the regulator of telecommunication in India.
On the other hand, in a statement issued by US-based broadband testing company Ookla, they stand firm with the reliability and accuracy of their test results crowning Airtel as the king of the hill. Although, Jio had its own say in this matter.
The feud is not restricted to telecom giants. Users across India have had different experiences to share during the past few weeks, whenever they tested speeds using MySpeed app.
@JioCare jio team , TRAI proved that highest downloading speed of jio is 15mbps ,but in my area it is less than 140kbps always— Neeraj (@Neeraj52546640) April 4, 2017
Even as Airtel continues to advertise itself as the fastest network in the country, this revelation by TRAI comes as a big blow for them. Reliance Jio has already filed a complaint against Airtel to modify or withdraw the TV commercials and website ads by 11 April.
Competition amongst telecom giants is always good for the consumer. This ensures that companies like Jio, Airtel and others strive hard enough to provide excellent data speeds, but one also needs to understand that speed shouldn’t be a priority.
The focus must shift towards providing good download speeds at a consistent basis.
What remains to be seen is how lucrative this verdict by TRAI will be for Reliance Jio and how other telecoms will emerge to counter this claim.