An Opensignal report claims Airtel is the best 4G network for video consumption and gaming while Vodafone is best for content creators

By Digit NewsDesk | Published on 07 Apr 2020
An Opensignal report claims Airtel is the best 4G network for video consumption and gaming while Vodafone is best for content creators
HIGHLIGHTS

The April 2020 report from Opensignal shows the positive impact of improved telecom infrastructure.

The report reveals the best mobile network to be on right now is Airtel which offers the best download speeds, video streaming and voice calls.

OpenSignal uses proprietary calculations to quantify mobile network experiences.

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With the lockdown underway to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus epidemic, a big chunk of the population are staying home for work, play and video consumption, putting the onus on mobile network providers to ensure a smooth experience. We already saw major video streaming apps like YouTube, Netflix and Amazon Prime cutting down on video quality on smartphones to accommodate the surge in usage.

The April 2020 report from the independent mobile network analytics company OpenSignal reveals the positive impact of the ongoing consolidation among telcos. The report reveals the best mobile network to be on right now is Airtel which offers the best download speeds, video streaming and voice calls.

OpenSignal uses proprietary calculations to quantify mobile network experiences.

Airtel has been adding the most number of broadband mobile towers than any other operator in the last quarter overtaking Vodafone in the process. This was done to compete more with Reliance Jio in the rural areas, and the results are now showing in improved network experience.

Video streaming

The Opensignal report claims users enjoy the best video experience on Airtel’s network. The operator won the same award in the last report as well, but this time Opensignal upgraded Airtel’s ratings from Fair to Good.

Vodafone also joined Airtel in the Good rating category, making it the highest increase seen by the analysts. Users on both Airtel and Vodafone get faster video loading times, lesser buffering during playback while streaming videos on their smartphones using mobile data.

Jio and Idea come next. Both of them are in the Fair rating category, which is characterised by sluggish video load times, frequent buffering especially on higher resolutions.

BSNL which only offers 3G connectivity has been rated Poor once again.

App-based voice Calls

App-based voice calls saw toe-to-toe competition between the four key players. But here too, Airtel was ahead of the pack and won the award. Airtel went from a Poor rating to Acceptable in the time period, overtaking Vodafone to take up the first place. An Acceptable rating is awarded by the analyst firm if the users are satisfied and are generally able to understand what the person on the other end is saying.

Jio, Idea and Vodafone remained in the Poor category where according to the report, users experience frequent distortion, clicking sounds and silence during the call.  

App-based calls include calls over Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook and other OTT services.

Download speeds

Airtel also offers the highest download speeds according to the report. And it has a significant lead over its rivals with an increase of half a megabit in download speeds. Vodafone and Idea saw the highest growth of 1.5Mbps to 9.5Mbps and 9.2Mbps respectively. Going by the trend, Airtel may not be able to hold its lead for much longer.

Jio was quite far behind according to Opensignal with an average download speed of 7.3Mbps. BSNL took the last spot with 2.9MBps on its 3G-only network.

Upload speeds

As for upload speeds, Vodafone is the best network. It received an overall upload speed experience of 3.9Mbps which was significantly faster than the rest, with a 24% lead over Airtel. The report states Vodafone’s upload speeds are 42% faster than Reliance Jio and three times faster than BSNL’s.

Latency

On the other hand, Airtel showed the lowest latencies among the three. The average response time on Airtel was 54.1 milliseconds, while the previous winner Jio trailed closely behind at 56.3ms, showing a 2.1ms decline. Vodafone users saw the highest improvement as the consolidated infrastructure from the merger helped iron out network stress. It posted an improvement of 3.6ms to have an average response time of 60.6ms.

Overall 4G availability

Despite a slower download speed and lower latencies, Jio still dominates the 4G landscape in India. Opensignal’s quantification revealed the company is well ahead of its rivals, but all three of its key rivals are closing the gap quickly.

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