Reliance Jio’s 4G speeds have gone down post launch but overall LTE coverage in India has increased, shows data from Speedtest app maker Ookla. A post on Medium by Isla McKetta part of Ookla team highlightshow Jio has grown in India since the ‘Welcome offer’ went live in September. Ookla is the company behind Speedtest app and website, which is regarded by many as the go to app for testing Internet speeds.
According to data from Ookla, they’ve seen a significant jump in the number of speed-tests being done on Jio 4G LTE network from January to September 2016. The map shared by Ookla shows the green dots rising slowly from January to July and then getting a sudden boost in August and September. This is also the period when Reliance Jio’s preview offer was slowly being increased to more smartphones. In September it went live on all 4G enabled devices. The month of September has also seen a sudden jump in the number of Reliance Jio 4G users testing out speeds on the network, according to another data chart from Ookla. The data chart shows tests carried out by Jio 4G users are significantly higher than those carried out by other network users in India.
However, Speedtest’s data also says that Reliance Jio’s mean average speeds have been declining since it got more users on board. According to the data, speeds for “4G capable phones actually decreased 23% month-over-month from 11.31 Mbps to 8.77 Mbps, continuing a downward trend for 2016.” The report also adds that Reliance Jio’s claims of 135Mbps as average speed across the board is still a dream, and that even the “top 10% of tests averaged out at 17.77 Mbps in September.” Note that this average is for the top ten per cent of the millions of tests that have been carried.
Ookla’s numbers also show there is a big jump in the number of 4G LTE users, and the chart from August to September reflects this very clearly.
The gist from Ookla’s data is this: A lot of Jio users are coming online to take speed-tests for their cellular network, and the number of 4G LTE users in India has risen. But the average speeds are declining since September and thus Reliance Jio hasn’t kept up with momentum of the early speeds it was offering to those who had managed to get on the Preview offer.
In our own case, we’ve seen Reliance Jio’s speeds come down drastically from what we got back in July or August. In the period before launch, our average speed was around 16-17Mbps download speeds for Jio SIM on a LYF phone, which was being used to power WiFi on other devices. But September has seen download speeds drop as low as 1.60 Mbps, and maxing out at 4Mbps in some cases.
Also Reliance Jio has put a cap on daily download limit to 4GB per user on the Welcome offer, after which the speed is further reduced by 128Kbps. These speeds are for Delhi and Noida. In Kochi, Kerala we got an upload speed of 1.25Mbps and an upload speed of 0.37Mbps, which is pretty terrible for a 4G LTE network.
With Reliance Jio getting over 1.6 million subscribers in India in less than a month, it is not surprising the speeds have gone done. The newcomer is engaged in a constant war of words with incumbent telecom players over inter-connect ports, and a data war of sorts has started with new deals being around for the consumers every day by each and every telecom player.
Reliance Jio’s full commercial launch takes place on January 1, 2017, and we’ll have to wait and see how many of users enjoying the free data will stay on with the network. Reliance Jio will need to get the speeds back to 4G levels across the country, if it wants to retain these new users.