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4G signal availability has jumped for major networks in a year: report

In its third annual State of Mobile Networks report for India, mobile analytics company OpenSignal has found Airtel to have the highest 4G speed in India, across three speed categories. Jio remained the closest contender in overall speed due to its high level of 4G access, the report said. Airtel’s overall average download of 6 Mbps beat out Jio’s average of 5.1 Mbps.

The report analysed 4G services of India’s four major 4G operators Airtel, Idea, Jio and Vodafone as well as the 3G services of BSNL Mobile. These results were derived using 8,412,910,035 datapoints were collected from 736,571 users during the period of Dec 1, 2017 – Feb 28, 2018

Good speed is great, but it is of little use without signal. In terms of LTE availability, Jio has topped the list, and has ranked highest in availability in each of the 18 circles studied, separately. Overall, Jio signal could be accessed 96.4% of the time as against 95.6% last year. Other major operators Airtel, Idea and Vodafone all saw big increases 4G availability metric over the past two quarters, but still have a long way before the catch up to Jio. As of now, all major telecom service providers (TSPs) have crossed the 65% LTE availability threshold.

In its recent State of LTE report, published in February, India moved into the 85th percentile in LTE availability where it joined high-performing 4G countries like Sweden, Taiwan and Australia.

In terms of 3G, of the four national operators that have 3G, BSNL was the only one to produce any gains. “As operators offer cheaper and more expansive data plans to their customers, their 3G — as well as 4G — networks face additional capacity constraints, causing average HPSA speeds to fall,” the report said.

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Another OpenSignal report that studied availability of 4G in India, saw Patna perform best in access to and availability of 4G connection in India. The eastern city beat tech hubs and metro cities like Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Delhi. However, in terms of download speed in 4G connections, Navi Mumbai was at the top with 8.72 mbps. Patna was third from the bottom in the top twenty cities.

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