Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio surpassed other telecom operators to become the fastest 4G network in India (in terms of download speeds) in the month of December, as per Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (TRAI) MySpeed application. Reliance Jio recorded a download speed of 18.7 megabit per second during the period which is nearly double to that of its closest rival Airtel.
Jio was followed by Airtel which recorded an average download speed of 9.8 Mbps. Airtel was followed by Vodafone (6.3 Mbps), while Idea Cellular clocked a disappointing data speed of 6 Mbps.
Jio, however, failed to make a mark when it came to average upload speed during the same period. Here, Idea led the race with an average 4G upload speed of 5.3 Mbps followed by Vodafone at 5.1 Mbps. Reliance Jio stood third with an average upload speed of 4.3 Mbps while Airtel trailed behind with 3.9Mbps.
It must be clearly understood that the TRAI data has nothing to do with on-ground user experience though because it considers an average and not actual user-case scenarios and experiences. The average 4G download or upload speed also does not represent the reliability and stability of a network.
Numbers may seem to be in favour of Jio (with regards to download speed) here but they’re nowhere close to how things were in 2017. The telco reached its peak download speed of 25.6 Mbps in November 2017, according to TRAI data, which is based on “average of the data speed samples collected from various consumers of the TSPs on a crowd sourcing basis during speed test initiated by them over the last 3 months and the monthly trends are updated on the 1st of every month.”
It has been all downhill since then as per TRAI data, even though the company may go to great lengths to say that it is the fastest-growing telecom operators in the country. Regardless, it continues to offer the fastest download speeds of any operator in the country, which is also a stark reminder of the harsh reality of the state of affair here with respect to 4G speeds. At a time when the world is talking about 5G and how the next big thing in mobile tech is expected to go mainstream starting as early as this year.