The much anticipated Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio Infocomm, which is expected to launch 4G services in April this year is likely to provide an impressive average speed of 17.34 Mbps on the downlink and 3.34 Mbps on the uplink, says a yet to be published study from a UK based OpenSingnal.
London headquartered, OpenSignal, which specialises in wireless coverage mapping with the help of crowdsources data on carrier signal quality from users who have its consumer mobile application installed predicted these numbers on the basis of 2500 tests it conducted and 141 Jio users who is contributing to their databases.
“Of the 141 Jio users we have contributing to our database, they all seem to be sticking close to Jio’s coverage footprint. In our 2,500 or so tests, Jio devices were able to connect to the LTE network 93% of time,” claims Kevin Fitchard, analyst at OpenSignal, adding that as Jio launches commercially that number may drop considerably.
OpenSignal concedes that they may not have many measurements on Jio’s network, but tests are widely dispersed across India, confirming just how big the operator’s ambitions are. “Unlike Jio’s established competitors, Jio has a nationwide license, and a nationwide network is exactly what it appears to be building,” says the company.
According to the wireless coverage mapping firm, they have detected Jio LTE signals in most of India’s major cities and state capitals, including Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata Bengaluru, Kochi, Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Indore, Chandigarh and Jaipur. “We also saw LTE in a lot of much smaller cities, including a surprising number of tests conducted throughout the eastern state of Jharkhand,” states OpenSignal. Adding that these are places it has been able to mapped through very limited number of tests. Jio’s network is likely present in many more cities the company still haven’t detected yet.
Interestingly, the company claims that its data analyst Joe Cainey caught sight of a ghost earlier this month when looking at India network data. Defunct Mumbai operator Loop Mobile suddenly rematerialised in network tests, showing LTE connections not just in Mumbai but in cities all over India. Digging a little deeper, according to OpenSignal, Joe found Loop hadn’t actually risen from the dead. Instead he discovered the network belonged to India’s newest 4G operator Reliance Jio, which appears to be using Loop Mobile as a network ID while it prepares its new LTE service for launch later this year.
Jio has been gearing up to launch a highly anticipated pan-Indian LTE service, and though its official launch was postponed from December to the April 2016, it’s still been quite active in recent months. Jio has begun marketing its own LYF brand of smartphones and begun offering those phones to its employees to put its networks through their paces. “It turns out many of those internal testers have downloaded the OpenSignal app so we’re starting to see those measurements show up in our data,” claims the company.
According to media reports, Jio Infocomm has built India’s largest greenfield 4G network, installing 90,000 eco-friendly cell towers and 2.5 lakh route km of fiber optic cables and it aims to enable each Indian to live a digital life.