Mobile internet speeds return to pre-Covid levels – Know what users experienced during lockdown

By: |
July 24, 2020 3:15 AM

In the last week of analysis (week ending July 12), users in Delhi saw the greatest improvement of 38.1% in download speed, followed by users in Mumbai (33.5%), Hyderabad (33.1%), Gaziabad (32.4%) and Chennai (30.4%).

Overall download speeds showed slightly different patterns in Tier 1 cities.

The mobile internet speeds across the country have returned to pre-Covid levels with lockdown restrictions being eased.  Cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai, etc have seen over 30% improvement in speeds for the week ending July 12, analytics firm Opensignal said in its latest insights. The firm has not shared actual mobile speeds but has shared percentage variation experienced by users during the lockdown as compared to normal times.

Opensignal analysed the download speed experience seen by Indian smartphone users in the last five months to understand how their mobile network experience changed during Covid-19 compared to that observed before the lockdown. “We found that Indian users experienced a negative impact on download speeds during the initial phases of lockdown, and this trend was more pronounced in Tier 2 cities compared to Tier 1 cities,” the firm said.

As per the insights, users in most of the cities observed a significant change in the third week of March (starting March 16) — when the government introduced the Janta curfew (a one-day lockdown). In the following three weeks when a strict countrywide lockdown was imposed, a sharp decline was recorded in overall download speeds, suggesting congestion on mobile networks.

In the second phase (April 13-May 3) of the lockdown, Indian users continued to see significantly lower download speeds compared to pre-lockdown levels, although the speeds gradually improved over time. In the third phase (May 4-May 17) the speeds returned to pre-lockdown levels in a majority of cities.

Overall download speeds showed slightly different patterns in Tier 1 cities. Bangalore and Chennai did not see any significant decrease in download speeds, while users in Pune saw a decline of 6.9-12.5% which was limited to Phase 1 of lockdown. Also, in the remaining Tier 1 cities the speeds started returning to normal in the second phase (April 15-May 13).

Towards the end of the fourth phase of lockdown (May 18-31), the overall download speeds for users in a majority of cities had returned to normal, showing no significant difference from pre-lockdown levels. At the same time, users in some of the cities started to see significantly faster download speeds, and this trend was seen expanding to more cities during the period when lockdown was relaxed from July 1 onwards.

In the last week of analysis (week ending July 12), users in Delhi saw the greatest improvement of 38.1% in download speed, followed by users in Mumbai (33.5%), Hyderabad (33.1%), Gaziabad (32.4%) and Chennai (30.4%).

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