The city of Dhanbad is known as the coal capital of India, and is headquarters of some of the country's biggest coking companies in the mineral-rich Jharkhand state. And now Dhanbad is on fire as Opensignal's hottest city for 4G Availability.
We looked at 50 of India's largest cities and analyzed them by their 4G Availability, based on a combined score for all operators that operate a 4G network in those metros. Dhanbad scored 95.3% in Opensignal’s measurements — one of only two cities to pass the 95% mark. The other was Ranchi, Dhanbad's neighbor and state capital of Jharkhand, which scored 95.0% in 4G Availability.
Opensignal’s 4G Availability metric is not a measure of coverage or the geographic extent of a network. It measures what proportion of time our users with a 4G device and subscription can get a network connection, in the places they most commonly visit. So when we say an operator has a 4G Availability score of 95%, that means our LTE users on that network were connected to 4G services 95% of the time. This important distinction is often missed by traditional coverage metrics. 4G Availability represents when users have an LTE connection, rather than where, providing a far more accurate reflection of the true mobile user experience. For more on Opensignal's metrics, please read about our methodology and Experience Charter.
In India 4G Availability, in a slightly unlikely third place we saw Srinagar, one of India's remotest cities, located in the mountain passes of Jammu and Kashmir. Srinagar was just shy of the 95% mark with a 4G Availability score of 94.9%. In fourth place we saw the much-larger metropolis of Raipur, which scored 94.8% in our measurements, followed by Patna with 94.5%. Patna won our comparison of 20 of India's largest cities by 4G Availability nearly a year ago, and has increased its score by close to 2 percentage points in that time.
Of India's largest cities, none were really stoking the fires in Opensignal's 4G Availability analysis. Delhi and Mumbai were in the lower half of the table, neck-and-neck with scores just shy of 90%, behind Hyderabad's 90.5%. Bangalore was mid-table on 92.3%, while Ahmedabad scored 92.7%. Nonetheless, all of the 50 Indian cities we measured scored over 87% 4G Availability — a feat that many much more developed mobile markets would be proud of.
Fanned by the flames of competition, India is really smoldering in 4G Availability. In Opensignal’s most recent India Mobile Network Experience report, we found Jio's national 4G Availability score was a remarkable 96.7% — over 20 percentage points ahead of its main rivals. The world's first "super-disruptor", Jio stunned the mobile world with its revolutionary free data offerings, amassing over 100 million subscribers in just 6 months. But its rivals have reacted. All of India's key operators continue to aggressively invest, while the merger of Vodafone and Idea is set to create India's largest operator, further disrupting the market.
Opensignal will publish the latest Mobile Networks Experience Report on India soon, when we'll be casting a close eye over this competition, so keep a look out for that. And in the meantime, check out our other reports and insights on the market — and please follow us on Twitter to stay on top of our latest analyses and insights.