Vodafone Idea show ‘full signal’ since merger, India’s overall mobile speeds slow down: Ookla

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New Delhi | Published: August 22, 2019 5:07:22 PM

Airtel continued to remain at the top spot in terms of mobile download speeds

Vodafone Idea leapfrogged to become India’s largest telecom company, although for a short while, after the separate entities merged their business last year. One year later, its ambitions to shake up the wireless mobile market still seem unfulfilled, but the consumers have been on the greener side. Ookla conducted a performance review of Vodafone Idea since their merger and found that the download speeds for both Vodafone and Idea networks improved by 23.6 per cent after January this year and 51.2 per cent year-over-year, respectively. Despite the surge in overall data speeds for Vodafone Idea, Airtel retained its top position of being the ‘fastest operator’ for the examined time.

Ookla pointed out that India’s download speed only increased 16.2 per cent from last year, marking a nominal improvement of less than 1.5Mbps over 12 months. The average mobile download speeds in India dipped after the month of May this year, Ookla reported. The stagnant wireless data speeds have been found to be the primary reason behind India’s poor ranking when compared with neighbouring countries.

The fixed broadband speeds, however, have seen an upswing of 25.3 per cent over the last 12 months to 6.21Mbps. Jio is leading the broadband charts with a 120.1 per cent increase in average download speeds. Following it are BSNL at 74.2 per cent, GTPL at 32.1 per cent, and Airtel at 23.8 per cent. However, India saw a dip in the fixed broadband speeds, losing its previous rank that was ahead of its neighbouring countries, the report noted.

It was also noted in the report that Airtel returned the highest Acceptable Speed Ratio (ASR) of 70.4 per cent in every single month. Trailing behind is Vodafone, which saw a short-lived dip in download speeds in January, managed to bring an average ASR of 60.3 per cent throughout the year. Jio came in third with an ASR of 54.5 per cent. Acceptable Speed Ratio is Ookla’s yardstick for a carrier’s performance on how “consistently they are able to provide speeds at or above 5Mbps”, which has been termed “fast enough” for consumers to stream HD videos on mobile devices.

“Based on mobile download speed and ASR, Vodafone Idea customers are definitely benefitting from last year’s merger. Which is good, because the increase in mobile download speeds in India as a whole was nominal and not keeping pace with the rise in download speed over fixed broadband. Worse, India’s mobile download speed is not keeping up with a general global improvement,” noted Ookla expressing concerns over the slump in India’s mobile download speeds.

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