Customers of Indian newcomer Reliance Jio are experiencing slower connections due to the 4G operator’s network being “overloaded”, according to wireless mapping firm OpenSignal.
The operator’s network has attracted over 100M subscribers in a few months – largely via free data offers and the swift adoption has led to bottlenecks. OpenSignal conducted a survey of average peak speeds in India, with this metric measuring the peak speeds that subscribers would have access to with the network running at full capacity, optimised for 4G, “as opposed to the typical everyday experience which is often limited by network congestion and other technical factors”.
Following the survey, OpenSignal determined that Jio’s average for the metric peaked at 50Mb/s – thirteen times faster than its typical speeds of 3.9Mb/s. OpenSignal noted that this was especially noteworthy as it demonstrated that Jio’s network “is technically capable of delivering far faster speeds than Jio’s customers actually receive”.
Meanwhile, market leader Bharti Airtel was able to offer an average peak speed of 56.6Mb/s, five times faster than its typical 4G download test speed of 11.5Mb/s. Number two and three players Vodafone and Idea offered peak speeds four times faster than their usual 4G measurements of roughly 8Mb/s.
Of these four operators, while Jio’s average 4G speed was the lowest by a notable margin, its peak speed was second only to Airtel. OpenSignal notes that Jio’s peak speeds are significantly above average because of the “phenomenal growth” that it has undergone since its launch last September, which is causing bottlenecks on its network.
OpenSignal’s report observed “That kind of heavy usage is bound to tax any network, forcing users to vie against one another for bandwidth. Our data shows that Jio’s slow average 4G speeds aren’t a technical limitation, but rather a capacity bottleneck.” The firm noted that Jio’s “typical download speeds should increase” as it boosts its capacity, whether via spectrum acquisition, deploying more cell sites, or decreased data usage.