Airtel had the highest network coverage among eight important train routes in country, travel app RailYatri’s study suggests. The company recently launched a feature that allows users to map out mobile network coverage along a route that a train travels on. The app performs this by capturing network coverage details from individual service provider between any two given stations.

According to RaiYatri’s study, Airtel’s network was strongest between the Delhi-Kolkata route with 71% network coverage, while it lacked coverage between Mumbai to Kolkata, Chennai, and Bangalore routes (37%). Vodafone was placed second overall, and its strongest network coverage was between the Delhi-Kolkata route (58%). Reliance fared poorly when compared to other operators; its highest network coverage rate was just 23% between the Delhi-Kolkata route. Both BSNL and Idea had average network coverage rates among the 8 important routes studied by RailYatri.

A user can check network coverage rates by opening the timetable of any train on the RailYatri app. An external link on the bottom of the screen will re-direct users to a map with route details along with the coverage details.

Network coverage by routes

Among the eight major routes between metros, the Delhi-Howrah (Kolkata) route had the highest average coverage of 88%. While the Mumbai-Bangalore route had an average network coverage of 58%, which is the lowest coverage. The company said that although, several stations have their own high-speed WiFi connections, “The RailYatri data showed fluctuating mobile connectivity on long train routes. While on some routes the network connectivity ranges as high as 70%-88%, at other places they could go as low as 20%, depending on the network providers available on that route.”

Telcos are fighting over who’s the fastest

RailYatri’s findings come at a time when telecom operators have been sparring with each other over network speeds. Recently, Airtel put out a press statement claiming that speed test provider Ookla has rated itself as “India’s fastest” mobile network. However, Reliance Jio opposed these claims and wrote a letter to ASCI, India’s advertising standards watchdog, stating that the Airtel-Ookla campaign is misleading and flawed and that this was accepted by Ookla when Jio inquired about it.

Ookla, however, maintained its stance that Airtel was, in fact, the fastest network, as per it speed test results. The issue came to an end after ASCI ruled in favour of Jio, ordering Airtel to pull down the ad, according to this PhoneRadar report.