HOME > BUSINESS > COMMUNICATION > India’s 3G networks creak under freebie overload; 4G also slows

India’s 3G networks creak under freebie overload; 4G also slows

MySpeed, the speedtesting platform operated by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, has revealed a sharp dip in wireless data speeds across operators in March compared to the previous month.

The declines were visible in both 4G as well as 3G services, but were more pronounced in 3G networks, which typically have one-tenth the data carrying capacity of 4G networks in India.

The decline in speeds has to do with free or ‘almost free’ offers brought out by various players to spur data consumption in Jan-Mar period.

While Jio has always been free since it started trial services about nine months ago, competitors like Idea Cellular and Vodafone also announced dirt cheap plans this year to remain in competition — even though they do not have the same 4G footprint or spectrum capacity that Jio and Airtel are operating with.

AIRTEL LEADS IN 3G?

source:TRAI

Not surprisingly, these two operators — who do not have 4G services in many areas to share the increased load — saw the biggest impact on their 3G speeds in March.

The worst hit was Idea Cellular, whose average speeds fell by 26.4% in the month to 3.08 Mbps from 4.19 Mbps in February. Compared to January, Idea 3G speeds are down 33%.

Idea, like Vodafone, was offering 3G and 4G data at about Rs 25 per GB in March — down from Rs 250 per GB before Jio’s entry — under special promotions.

Vodafone too was badly hit. 3G speeds on the network fell 21% in March to 3.71 Mbps.

This allowed Airtel to emerge as the fastest 3G operator with an average of 3.72 Mbps even though it average 3G speed was down by 11.1%.

The operator was able to cushion the impact to its 3G network thanks to its pan-India 4G network, which absorbed part of the increased load.

JIO FASTEST IN 4G?

TRAI’s numbers lend some support to the claims by the newcomer in Indian telecom that it is the king of fast wireless broadband in India.

However, when it comes to these highly contested 4G numbers, it should be kept in mind that the data secured from such tests are not to be taken as the final word.

It is, for example, possible any operator to buy a rival’s connection, go to a congested or low-signal area, open the TRAI app and conduct thousands of tests from that location. This will flood the records for the rival operator with low readings and depress its average score.

Similarly, you can boost your readings by sending thousands of samples from your own network in a very low-congestion area.

This is especially a risk due to the relatively low number of samples. For example, there were only over 30,000 tests on Airtel and Idea 4G services during the month.

Jio, however, had a higher number at 5 lakh, which could also indicate how popular the new operator has become in a short while.

With that disclaimer, it is nevertheless possible to see some numbers on the average bandwidth enjoyed by 4G subscribers in India.

TRAI MySpeed results for March 2017, 4G only

The highest on average was reported by Jio subscribers, who enjoyed 16.5 Mbps of download bandwidth during March, followed closely by Idea users with 12.1 Mbps, Airtel with 10.44 and Vodafone with 7.93.

At the bottom was Anil Ambani group’s Reliance Communications with a reading of 2.95 Mbps for its 4G service. The poor speeds reported on RCom should be of concern to Jio as both RCom and RJio work on the same network.

As noted earlier, all four 4G operators saw a decline in their average speed readings in March, but these were in the single-digit percentages and nowhere as drastic as in case of 3G.

The biggest drop – 7.2% – was seen in Bharti Airtel’s speeds, followed by Reliance Jio, which saw a decline of 5.4%.

Vodafone saw a 4.8% fall, while Idea Cellular recorded the least amount of variation, with average speeds falling by just 1%.

Follow ULTRA.news
Reliance Jio tops in user satisfaction, but call drop concerns remain Percentage of customers giving 4 or 5 starsReliance Jio users are a happier lot than customers of other services, but call drops and network availability remain key concerns, according to a survey conducted by a market research firm Velocity MR.The firm conducted a study...
Vodafone India offers unlimited downloading for 5 hours at Rs 29 Taking a leaf from new entrant Reliance Jio's playbook, Vodafone India has announced a 'truly unlimited' five-hour data pack for Rs 29.The pack, called Vodafone SuperNight, will work between 1 AM and 6 AM and is open for prepaid customers only. It will work on both 3G and 4G...
RIL stock up as Reliance Jio proves doubters wrong, avoids an April dip in subscribers Shares of Reliance Industries rose 3.5% today -- an extraordinary move for such a large company -- after it emerged that not only did the company not lose subscribers when it made the transition from free to paid services in April, it actually added a few million.The result ...
India tablet sales fall 16%, but 4G picks up in Jan-Mar 2017 The tablet market in India continues to shrink as phones become larger and larger, numbers from CyberMedia Research showed, but more and more people are opting for connected tablets with 3G and 4G options built-in.The total number of tablet PCs sold in India fell 16% in the ...
Reliance Jio launches extra data offer on some LYF handsets Reliance Jio, the 4G operator is now offering 20% extra data to those who are using its services using a LYF branded handset.Jio offers 20% extra data on certain LYF modelsIn other words, if you are eligible to get 1 GB of data per day, you will get 1.2 GB per day on a L...
Grasim-Adiya Birla Nuvo merger approved, ABFSL listing soon The Aditya Birla Group said it got the approval of the Company Law Tribunal for the merger of Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd and Grasim industries Ltd and the listing of Aditya Birla Financial Services Ltd.The approval was obtained from the Ahmedabad bench."The approved Scheme ha...
Bharti Airtel gets SEBI and stock exchange nod for Telenor acquisition Bharti Airtel said it received the approval of the Securities and Exchange Board of India, BSE and National Stock Exchange of India for its proposed merger with Telenor India. Bharti Airtel further stated that Telenor India and Airtel have today filed the joint company appli...
RCom says looking to refinance various payments till September Anil Ambani Group's Reliance Communications said it was in talks with its lenders and partners to put off some of the instalment payments that the company had to pay until the completion of its merger with Sistema Shyam Teleservices and Aircel Cellular by September this year....
After Zee Entertainment, Sun TV slashes channel prices ahead of TRAI rules After Zee Entertainment, it is the turn of Sun TV to slash its channel prices with effect from Sept 1 in anticipation of the implementation of new channel pricing rules by TRAI.The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had, three months ago, announced that media companies...
Samsung Galaxy J2 beats Redmi Note 3 & 4 as most popular smartphone in India Samsung J2 is the most widely used smartphone in IndiaThe humble Samsung Galaxy J2, launched two years ago, is the most widely used smartphone in India, beating hot-selling models like Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 & 4 CyberMedia Research said.Samsung J2 is the most widely used smartp...
New technology makes telecom cheaper, but hurts tower companies A technology that has been around for almost a decade is now getting deployed on a large scale by Indian telecom operators to deploy 2G, 3G and 4G networks using the same base station.A Nokia illustration on old vs new situationThis could hit the revenue and growth prosp...
Xiaomi at No.2, overtakes Vivo, Oppo in Indian smartphone market Xiaomi has emerged as the second biggest smartphone brand in India after Samsung as its smash hit Redmi Note 4 broke sales records, according to market share numbers for the first three months of the year.The numbers also revealed that for the first time in eight years, t...
Bharti Airtel to offer cheap 4G plans for all dongle users – report With new operator Reliance Jio snapping at its heels, incumbent Bharti Airtel has decided to slash its data prices for everyone with the introduction of new 4G dongle plans, Telecom Talk blog reported quoting unnamed sources.At present, Bharti Airtel does not offer any plan t...
Bharti Airtel slashes home broadband tariff ahead of Jio Fiber launch Ahead of the launch of Jio Fiber by Reliance, Bharti Airtel slashed its home broadband prices with a new set of cheaper plans.The new plans now offer up to 100% more high speed data benefits within the same monthly rentals, the company said. Existing customers will b...
Bharti Airtel could help Reliance Jio win Rs 2,000 cr from DoT Bharti Airtel's attempts to avoid paying "voice conversion charge" on the spectrum that it is purchasing from internet service provider Tikona Digital could end up unintentionally benefiting arch rival Reliance Jio.Reliance Jio was forced to pay around Rs 1,650 cr four ye...
Airtel, Idea and Vodafone close to network sharing deal Fierce competition from new entrant Reliance Jio is pushing the incumbent telecom operators Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone India to accelerate negotiations to allow them to use each other's full networks.As of now, these operators only share 'passive' or 'dead' in...
Reliance Jio puts more 4G spectrum to use to increase speeds Reliance Jio, the 4G operator that has taken the market by storm, has deployed the extra spectrum that it bought last year, increasing the total spectrum in use in most markets by 20-25%.In most circles, Jio is operating with about 40-50 MHz of spectrum, and with the new sp...
4,196 villages lose Idea Cellular 2G signal as 876 towers taken offline Idea's tower growth, by technologyIdea Cellular, India's third largest telecom operator by revenue, reported a shrinkage in the area and population covered by its 2G network.The number of villages covered by Idea's 2G signals decreased by 4,196 to 3.89 lakh by March end ...
Bharti Airtel to start refarming 2G spectrum for 4G this year India's largest telecom services company by revenue and spectrum holding, Bharti Airtel, will start diverting its 2G spectrum to add to its 4G network in the second half of the ongoing financial year, the company's CEO said.The move will help increase 4G capacity of the o...
Idea Cellular to spend Rs 6,000 cr on VoLTE, expansion of 4G & 3G this year Idea Cellular, the telecom company controlled by the Aditya Birla group, said it will spend Rs 6,000 cr to expand its 3G and 4G services in the current financial year.Idea tower additions per yearThe planned investment of Rs 6,000 cr has been "earmarked for expanding bro...
Zee Entertainment slashes channel prices ahead of TRAI regulation Zee's new tariff card for HD channelsZee Entertainment, one of the four big broadcasting groups of India, has become the first player to bring its channel prices in line with an upcoming regulation issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.Zee's new tariff card...
Airtel Broadband to upgrade users to 40 Mbps V Fiber plans to beat Reliance Jio Locations of Airtel V Fiber servicesAirtel Broadband, India's second largest wired broadband service, will upgrade nearly all its DSL customers to its new 'V Fiber' vectorization technology that offers speeds of 40 Mbps, compared to 4-8 Mbps under the traditional ADSL 2 tech...
Bharti Airtel is successfully adopting the Reliance Jio model It is not every day that a new entrant forces the established players in the market to overhaul their business models. But Reliance Jio seems to be doing just that, and rivals like Bharti Airtel are proving to be quick, if slightly unwilling, learners.In the three months from...
Govt yet to decide on 700 MHz spectrum for BSNL Relative cell sizes | source:DoJ, US GovGovernment of India is yet to say 'no' to a request by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd for the allocation of one block of spectrum in the precious 700 MHz band to enable it to launch 4G services in rural areas.The company had sought one b...
BSNL increases 3G data allocation for most prepaid recharges BSNL's new 3G plansReacting to falling usage of data on its network, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd has increased the data available on its recharges, and introduced a daily data scheme priced at Rs 3099 for 90 days.The operator had, on Apr 1, doubled the data available on mo...