In this latest Opensignal analysis of the fixed broadband experience in India, we analyzed real-world data from our users across India and in seven of India’s major cities, examining key measures of broadband user experience: Consistent Quality, Video Experience, Download Speed, Peak Download Speed, and Upload Speed.
In assessment of user experience among individual internet service providers we only included the largest brands. Nationally, we have included three providers for comparison — Airtel, BSNL and Jio — that serve customers across all of India’s regions. Additionally, for cities, we’ve included providers that serve at least 5% of our user base in that particular city.
- Airtel distinguishes itself in the national-level results in India, leading across four out of five categories of broadband user experience. Airtel is the top performer for Broadband Video Experience and leads across all three speed metrics. Airtel outpaces second-placed Jio by 10.3Mbps (30.4%) in Broadband Download Speed and 6.5Mbps (24.3%) in Broadband Upload Speed. With a Broadband Peak Download Speed score of 213.6Mbps, Airtel surpasses Jio's 155.3Mbps by 37.6%.
- Jio has the lead in Broadband Consistent Quality for national-level results in India, with 71.6% of our Jio users’ tests meeting the minimum recommended performance thresholds to watch HD video, complete group video conference calls and play games — 3.2 percentage points higher than those with Airtel. Broadband Consistent Quality measures how often users’ experience on a network is sufficient to support common applications’ requirements — this cannot be assessed fully by simply measuring download and upload speed. This measure uses six key performance indicators including download and upload speed, latency, jitter, packet loss and time to first byte.
- Turning to the current broadband user experience in seven major Indian cities — Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Kolkata — Jio, Airtel, Excitel, Hathway, and Alliance are prominent players in different categories and cities. Airtel leads in Ahmedabad and Mumbai for speed, while Hathway dominates in Bengaluru and shares Chennai's top spot with ACT. Excitel stands out in Delhi and Hyderabad for both download and upload speeds. Jio is top for consistent quality across all included cities, often leading or sharing the top spot in video experience. This analysis underscores the regional differences in broadband infrastructure and the diverse user experiences between providers they engender across India.
Broadband experience in India:
- Airtel is the victor of Broadband Video Experience, achieving a score of 69.6 on a 100-point scale — giving it a lead of 0.3 points over Jio, the second-placed provider, which garners 69.3 points. Both Airtel’s and Jio's scores place them in the Very Good (68-78) category, which indicates that our users with these providers, on average, can stream video at 1080p or better with satisfying loading times and minimal stalling.
- Airtel takes the forefront in terms of Broadband Download Speed across India. Our Airtel users experience average speeds of 44.1Mbps. This lead puts Airtel ahead by 10.3Mbps or 30.4%, outstripping Jio, which comes in second with a speed of 33.8Mbps.
- Airtel is the outright victor in India for Broadband Peak Download Speed, with users clocking up a score of 213.6Mbps, on average. Jio takes second place, with our Jio users experiencing a peak speed of 155.3Mbps.
- In India, Airtel stands at the forefront in Broadband Upload Speed, with our Airtel users experiencing average upload speeds of 33.3Mbps. This is about 6.5Mbps or 24.3% faster than what is observed on Jio, which places second with upload speeds of 26.8Mbps.
- On the other hand, Jio takes the lead spot for Broadband Consistent Quality, scoring a considerable 71.6%. This puts it 3.2 percentage points ahead of its immediate competition, Airtel, which has a score of 68.4%. These scores indicate the extent to which our users are consistently able to engage in high-demand internet tasks such as HD video streaming, group video calls, and online gaming.
Broadband experience across major Indian cities:
- Ahmedabad: Airtel stands out as the clear leader in broadband speeds in Ahmedabad, outpacing the competition on Broadband Download Speed and Broadband Upload Speed. Our Airtel users’ average broadband download speeds (46.7Mbps) are about 26.5% faster than those seen by users on Jio and GTPL. The average upload speeds of Airtel users are 22.3% faster than second-placed Jio. On the other hand, Jio takes the top spot for Broadband Consistent Quality with a score of 74.9%, while Airtel and GTPL statistically tie for second place. There is no statistically significant difference in Broadband Video Experience between Airtel, Jio, and GTPL — all three ISPs place in the Very Good (68-78) category.
- Bengaluru: Hathway leads on Broadband Download Speed in Bengaluru with 67.7Mbps, about 13.6% faster than Airtel’s and ACT’s statistically tied scores of 59.1-60Mbps. Meanwhile, Jio brings up the rear with a score of 48.3Mbps. Hathway also has the edge in Broadband Upload Speed, as our Hathway users experience average upload speeds that are 20.7% faster than those on second-placed ACT and 39% faster than last-placed Jio. Hathway and ACT share the top spot for Broadband Video Experience. Our users across all four ISPs in the city observe a Very Good (68-78) Broadband Video Experience.
- Chennai: Chennai's most consistent fixed broadband experience is with Jio, the provider beats ACT and Hathaway for Broadband Consistent Quality and leads with a score of 79.3%. Hathway and ACT jointly lead the Broadband Download Speed category in Chennai – our users with these providers experiencing average download speeds of 63.2-64.1Mbps, followed by Airtel and Jio with 55.9Mbps and 47Mbps, respectively. However, Hathway beats ACT for Broadband Upload Speed with 50Mbps — a modest lead of 3Mbps (6.3%).
- Delhi: Excitel stands out as the clear leader when it comes to broadband speeds in Delhi. It wins Broadband Download Speed, with our Excitel users experiencing average speeds of 77.2Mbps — an impressive lead of 25Mbps (50.4%) over Airtel and 33.9Mbps (78.1%) over Jio. Likewise, Excitel leads in Broadband Upload Speed with average speeds, as seen by our users, of 54.7Mbps. This gives Excitel a substantial lead of 15.9Mbps (41.1%) over second-placed Airtel. Jio excels for Broadband Consistent Quality in India, securing first place with a score of 76.4%, this translates into a lead of 2.1 points over Excitel.
- Hyderabad: In Hyderabad, Excitel emerges as the top performer for speeds, boasting the highest Broadband Download Speed (71.5Mbps) and Broadband Upload Speed (53.6Mbps). Excitel beats second-placed Hathway by 18.2% in download speed and 14.8% in upload speed. In terms of Broadband Consistent Quality, Jio takes the lead with a score of 79.5%, surpassing Hathaway by 3.3 percentage points. Jio and Hathway are joint top in Broadband Video Experience with scores of 72.1 points, indicating that our users with these providers have a Very Good (68-78) experience.
- Kolkata: In Kolkata, Alliance outpaces the competition Broadband Download Speed (46.6Mbps). Alliance also dominates Broadband Upload Speed with a score of 35.1Mbps, leading statistically tied Jio and GTPL KCBL by 20.3%. Broadband Video Experience in Kolkata rates as Very Good (68-78) across the analyzed ISPs, with Jio, Alliance, and GTPL KCBPL users enjoying the best available experience. Jio leads in the Broadband Consistent Quality category.
- Mumbai: Airtel dominates the competition in Mumbai's broadband speed experience – Airtel's Broadband Download Speed (56.6Mbps) is 24.6% faster than Jio, while Broadband Upload Speed (44.6Mbps) is 15.8% faster than second-placed Jio. Airtel and Jio both lead in Broadband Video Experience with statistically tied scores of 71.2-71.9 points, while all ISPs place within the Very Good category. Our Jio users observe the most consistent quality of broadband experience, taking first place with scores of 80.1% for Broadband Consistent Quality — about 11.6 points higher than Airtel and Hathway.
Methodology and definitions:
Opensignal captures user measurements across all broadband network architectures, encompassing fiber (FTTx), xDSL, cable, fixed wireless access (FWA) via 4G and 5G, as well as satellite, and reports on a holistic evaluation of our users’ experience with the listed providers' internet services. We have only included the largest fixed broadband providers by market share in each area, determined by our user base size.
Tariff characteristics — for example, speed tiers or data caps — vary greatly by provider and the dispersion of the plan mix will affect the average experience result. Opensignal’s measurements capture users’ experience, regardless of the plan that they have purchased from their provider. This report analyzes the real-world situation across all users’ plans.
Broadband Consistent Quality
Measures how often users’ experience on a network was sufficient to support common applications’ requirements. Broadband Consistent Quality uses six key performance indicators, including download and upload speed, latency, jitter, packet loss and time to first byte. Metrics are represented as a percentage of users’ tests that have met the minimum recommended performance thresholds to watch HD video, complete group video conference calls and play games. Broadband Consistent Quality is measured across all users in all hours of the day.
Broadband Video Experience
Opensignal’s adaptive video experience quantifies the quality of video streamed to mobile devices by measuring real-world video streams over an operator's network. The metric measures users’ adaptive video experience using a Mean Opinion Score (MOS) approach inspired by International Telecommunication Union (ITU) studies which have derived a relationship between technical parameters of adaptive bitrate video streaming and the perceived video experience as reported by real people.
The videos tested are streamed directly from the world’s largest video content providers and include a wide selection of resolutions that dynamically match the network conditions, available bandwidth and device performance. Resolutions range from 144p to 2160p, which is also called 4K or UHD (Ultra High Definition). The model calculates a MOS score on a 0 to 100 scale by evaluating a number of parameters, including: the time to start playing the video, the quality of the video, the time playing each resolution, and the time spent re-buffering.
Broadband Download Speed
Measured in Mbps, Broadband Download Speed represents the typical everyday speeds a user experiences across a provider’s network.
Broadband Peak Download Speed
Measured in Mbps, Broadband Peak Download Speed represents the 98th percentile of the user speed distribution. i.e. this is what the users with the highest speeds within the footprint experience.
Broadband Upload Speed
Measured in Mbps, Broadband Upload Speed measures the average upload speeds for each internet service provider observed by our users across their fixed networks. Typically, upload speeds are slower than download speeds, but this often depends on the technology used for broadband connections.
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