Reliance Jio users spent the least amount of time on WiFi when compared to users from other Indian operators, according to wireless research firm Open Signal . Jio users spent only 8.2% of their time online on WiFi, which is well below India’s average of 29.8%. The report said that Vodafone, BSNL and Tata DoCoMo users spent more than 30% of their time on WiFi.
The biggest driver of WiFi usage is the cost of mobile data, and since Jio users have free data usage as promotion, they are less likely to be connected via WiFi, the report said. A separate study conducted by Open Signal found that smartphone users spent more time connected to WiFi than on mobile data networks like 3G and 4G across the 46 countries it surveyed. The study claimed to have surveyed 822,556 smartphone users worldwide.
Users might switch between WiFi and mobile data as per network performance. They tend to gravitate towards the fastest connection as services like video streaming require high-bandwidth. The study found that users switch off mobile data and move to WiFi network in case the mobile network slows down. However the low WiFi usage seen in Jio users could change once the telco starts charging its subscribers, added the report.
Mobile network availability
India ranked 44th among 46 countries with a mobile network availability rate of 56%.. Guyana had the lowest network availability rate of 36%, while South Korea stood first with a network availability rate of 98%. Note that South Korea also had the highest average Internet speed globally at 26.3 mbps, while India’s average Internet speed stood at 4.1 mbps, according to research firm Akamai.
The report measures “network availability” metric by considering the proportion of time users spend on a particular network or on multiple mobile networks in some cases.
Mobile network speeds
India’s overall cellular network speed (3G/4G) was around 5.30 mbps, while the highest among 46 countries surveyed was South Korea’s 41.34 mbps overall speed. Note that overall speed index varies considerably from country to country depending on its level of 3G and 4G development. The reports said that a country with faster LTE speeds but low 4G availability might have a lower overall speed than a country with reasonable LTE speeds but a very high level of 4G availability.
Time Spent on WiFi
As mentioned above, Indian users spent 29% of their time online on WiFi, denoting that a vast majority of the users depend on mobile networks for their primary Internet connectivity. Ethiopia had the lowest WiFi dependency with users spending only 15% of their time online on WiFi. Netherlands had the highest WiFi dependency rate of 70% among 46 countries that the study surveyed.