The Indian city of Patna, once known as Pataliputra, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world, and was once a capital on ancient India. History isn't the only thing Patna should be proud of. Patna is currently top of OpenSignal's league table for 4G availability. It's jumped ahead of the trendy tech hubs in the south and west of India in our 4G availability metric, which measures where users can get access to an LTE connection more of the time.
India's central and eastern regions saw more cities in the top ten of OpenSignal's latest 4G availability metrics, as cities in other regions began to close the gap with the tech hubs of the south. In our latest measurements, which covers the 90 days from December 1, 2017, we looked at the user experience of 4G availability in 20 of India's largest cities. Six cities from India's central and eastern regions – Patna, Kanpur, Allahabad, Kolkata, Bhopal and Lucknow – made it into our top ten.
Our measurements show that the disparity in 4G availability between India's cities is also getting slimmer. The difference in our 4G availability metric between top-placed Patna with 92.6% and 10th-placed Bangalore with 88.3% was just 4.3 percentage points. All 20 cities in our measurements have achieved 4G availability measurements of over 80% – a score we would expect to see in many of the worlds most mature 4G markets.
Our recent post on Indian cities 4G speeds showed the tech hubs in the south and west of the country continued to dominate our top ten in our 4G speed metric. The rest of India is catching up in terms of the 4G availability user experience, and we expect these cities to also close the gap in terms of 4G speed in coming months as operator network rollout accelerates.
This shrinking disparity between the southern and western tech hubs and India's other cities reflects the rapid growth of 4G in the country. Driven by fierce competition, India now has one of the most extensive 4G footprints in the world. The growth in availability of LTE in the country is particularly remarkable, as users were able to connect to an LTE signal over 86% of the time, a rise of some 10 percentage points from a year earlier, as we found in our latest State of LTE report. The market is still feeling the aftershocks from the debut of Reliance Jio, and with three mobile mergers on the table, our city rankings for 4G availability are likely to see further significant shifts in the coming months.
For more OpenSignal analysis on the Indian market, check out our last State of Mobile Networks: India report, and keep an eye out for our next update to be published in the coming weeks. In the meantime, if you’re a smartphone user in India and want to help us measure the consumer mobile data experience, we encourage you to join our testing community by downloading the OpenSignal or Meteor app.