City specific results
Hyderabad had the highest excellent consistent quality among the top 10 largest cities in India, at 52.7% in Tutela’s testing. The city’s mobile networks had an average download speed of 6.9 Mbps, fifth overall among the top ten cities.
Airtel had both the highest excellent consistent quality at 61.3% and fastest average download speed in Hyderabad at 8.7 Mbps. Meanwhile Jio was in second place on both accounts, at 50.7% of tests meeting Tutela’s excellent consistent quality threshold and an average download speed of 6.4 Mbps. Jio also had the highest overall basic consistent quality at 98.4%, meaning nearly all successful network connections on the network should be able to handle basic web browsing activity and VOIP calls.
BSNL had the lowest excellent consistent quality at 24.2%, largely due to its reliance on 3G networks. This is also reflected in its average download speed of 3.4 Mbps. Idea, meanwhile, had the lowest basic consistent quality at 94.5%. This is likely the result of higher than average packet loss on the network, possibly as a result of network stability problems.
Hyderabad had the lowest percentage of traffic go over 3G (2.9%), and highest over Wi-Fi (49.4%), perhaps a result of a large free public Wi-Fi initiative launched by the Telangana State Government in 2017.
Despite being one of the world’s densest cities, Mumbai performs well in Tutela’s testing, placing third among the 10 largest cities for excellent consistent quality, and also providing the highest average download speed. Both Vodafone Idea and Airtel have recently announced investment in 4G in Mumbai, and this performance suggests that this investment may be having a real impact on citizens in India’s largest city.
Airtel had the highest excellent consistent quality at 56.6%, as well as the highest average download speeds at 9.0 Mbps. However, in terms of basic consistent quality, Airtel was slightly behind other operators at 91.2%. Here, Jio came top with a near-perfect 98.5%, meaning that customers could expect to be able to browse the web almost any time they had a signal. This may in large part be due to the fact that Jio’s network is built around 4G, and 4G connections almost always hit the basic thresholds. Meanwhile, Jio’s third place finish for download speed may be due to the sheer volume of traffic on its network -- nationally, Jio’s network handles at least 3 times more traffic than its competitors per SIM per month.
Mumbai had the second highest percentage of traffic over Wi-Fi, at 47.4%, and the second lowest of 4G at 49.0%. Overall Mumbai had the lowest level of basic consistent quality among the ten largest cities in India (although still at 96%), which could indicate that even with the proliferation of Wi-Fi and 4G networks, congestion remains a problem.
Bengaluru placed fifth for excellent consistent quality (49.1%), and eighth for basic consistent quality (96.4%). This was despite Bengaluru placing third for average download speed at 7.0 Mbps.
By operator, Vodafone had the highest percentage of tests meet Tutela’s excellent consistent quality threshold at 53.3%. Second-place Jio had the highest overall basic consistent quality at 98.3%. However, all three other networks had a basic consistent quality in excess of 94.8%.
Jio had the fastest network at 7.2 Mbps, but Airtel was only just behind at 7.1 Mbps. BSNL’s placed last overall for pure download speed with an average of 3.8 Mbps, although this is not surprising given the network’s heavy reliance on 3G.
In Bengaluru, a relatively low 4.7% of data use went over 3G, with 61.9% over 4G.
India’s capital came sixth overall for excellent consistent quality, at 48.7%, and had the second fastest average download speed. In terms of basic consistent quality, New Delhi was among the middle of the pack at 96.8%.
Airtel had the highest excellent CQ among operators, at 52.8%, but Jio, which placed second, had the best basic consistent quality at 98.2%. Airtel was also the fastest mobile network in terms of download speed at 8.7 Mbps, followed by Jio at 6.8 Mbps.
After Pune, New Delhi had the second highest percentage of traffic over a 3G network, at 6.1%. This may explain why New Delhi’s excellent consistent quality score is lower than other similar cities, as 3G connections often have latency that is too high to meet the threshold.
Ahmedabad placed seventh overall for excellent consistent quality at 48.3%, and joint seventh for average download speed (6.0 Mbps) among the top ten largest cities in India.
Airtel had by far the highest excellent consistent quality at 59.5%, according to Tutela’s testing. Jio comes in second, although Jio, Vodafone and Idea all have very similar excellent consistent quality between 45-46%. Airtel also just had the joint best basic CQ at 98.4%, alongside Jio. Airtel was also the fastest network in Ahmedabad at 7.4 Mbps.
BSNL’s network had the lowest consistent quality -- both against the excellent and basic thresholds. 25.9% of tests did not meet Tutela’s threshold for basic quality suggesting that a quarter of the time, the network will not allow users to reliably browse the web or make VOIP calls. This is likely due to high latency on the network.
Ahmedabad has the second highest overall percentage of traffic over either 3G or 4G, after Jaipur. Overall, it had the third highest percentage of data traffic among the 10 largest cities go over 3G (6.7%), which may explain the city’s high basic consistent quality but more middling excellent consistent quality score.
Tutela measures network quality based on the real-world experience of millions of users. We employ software installed in more than 3,000 partner apps to actively test network performance, conducting download, upload, and server response tests against Tutela-configured servers. The tests are conducted randomly and in the background to avoid sampling bias, with a testing configuration designed to emulate and measure real-world user activity, not maximum network throughput.
At the heart of Tutela’s throughput testing is our use of small, lightweight files (2MB for download and 1MB for upload), which are designed to mimic the way that people actually use their devices. The most common smartphone uses include things like web browsing, using weather apps, written communication with friends and colleagues, playing games, or reading the news -- all of which involve sending and receiving small data packets. How a network performs depends on the size and type of data packets being sent and received, which is why Tutela uses a small, fixed file size to test how the network handles typical traffic -- rather than huge files of several hundred megabytes, which are representative of downloading huge apps, entire movies to watch offline, and little else.
Unlike traditional methods of benchmarking mobile network performance, the crowdsourcing techniques employed by Tutela don’t inherently offer a head-to-head comparison of operators in exactly the same location. Crowdsourcing measures network performance wherever users are actually using the network -- which, if you’re seeking to examine the real-world experience of subscribers using their own devices on the network, is exactly what you’d be after.
In addition to working in the background (to eliminate user-initiation bias) and testing using representative packet sizes, Tutela also employs the largest crowdsourced population in the world for mobile network testing. Our software is present on over 250 million Android and iPhone devices globally, and our network collects over 10 billion mobile data measurements every day. Our data scientists analyze results for countries on a monthly basis and tabulate the results into reports. Our custom analytics solution, Tutela Explorer, updates with new measurements on a daily basis, and enables operators to chart, map, and filter over 80 key performance indicators into customized dashboards to help them better understand network performance, enhance customer Quality of Experience, and benchmark their network against competitors.
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