Reliance Jio maybe breaking records courtesy of the free SIM cards and ‘Welcome Offer’, but the deluge of new users has had an effect on its network speeds. Despite what various apps say, Jio has been adamant that its speeds are up to standards, and to prove it, the company has now added its own servers on Ookla’s Speedtest app. With Jio’s own servers, the app will be able to provide a much clearer idea of what speeds its users are getting. Also Read - Jio 5G launch: How to watch livestream, expected announcements including Jio 5G phone, Jio laptop, moreAlso Read - Jio 5G service: Reliance Jio, Intel partner to develop 5G network for India
Providing high-speed mobile data at rock bottom prices is one of the USPs of Reliance Jio, but as the user base has grown, the network speeds have steadily decreased. Last month, Ookla issued a report about the declining speeds, which read — “It looks like mean download speeds for 4G capable phones actually decreased 23 percent month-over-month from 11.31Mbps to 8.77Mbps, continuing a downward trend for 2016. This added weight to all the screenshots shared by users on social media about the drop in speeds. Also Read - Reliance Jio introduces chatbot to answer questions regarding its 5G phone, laptop and more
This was followed by TRAI data last month, which too talked about the drop in speeds. In fact it even went on to say that Reliance Jio offers the slowest data speeds among the current network operators in India. Airtel led the list with average speeds of 11.4Mbps, followed by the likes of Idea Cellular and Vodafone that offer average speeds of 7.6Mbps and 7.3Mbps respectively. Jio, on the other hand, lags behind with average speeds of below 6.2Mbps. It was a similar case with upload speeds as well.
To counter these issues, Jio has added 14 servers on Ookla’s service. First spotted by RTN.Asia, these are located at Ahmadabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Chennai, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolkata, Ludhiana, Lucknow, Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, and Shimla. With servers located in these wide-ranging areas, Jio users are bound to get speeds closer to what the company claims. On the Speedtest app, you can now select Jio as one of the servers when performing a speed test.
Until now, Jio users testing speeds using the app have had to depend upon third-party testing servers hosted by the likes of Vodafone, Airtel, local ISPs, and certain IT firms. But with most servers placed far away from users, or usually overloaded, users don’t really get a true picture of what speeds Jio is offering. The ongoing interconnect issues between Jio and incumbent operators is another reason why the app could show lower speeds. For example, if the testing server is on Vodafone s network, then Jio s traffic must first cross over into Vodafone s network to reach the server.
Despite multiple reports, Jio has maintained that there are no problems with its network and has blamed the statistics on a proportionally higher number people hitting the daily FUP limit more frequently since its services are currently free to use.
With reference to statistics published TRAI s analytics website, we have performed an internal analysis of the same. Based on this analysis, we believe that the comparison of Jio speeds with other operators has an inherent bias against Jio data usage. Historically, we have observed that a disproportionate number of speed tests are performed once the FUP comes into effect. This is so since most users don t consider performing the test until they observe a deterioration of speed. Such users also tend to perform multiple tests until full speeds are restored, Reliance Jio had earlier said in a statement.
Given that data usage under Jio Welcome Offer is completely free, a higher proportion of Jio users run up against the FUP limit. In comparison, not all non-Jio users have FUP based plans (rather their usage is completely stopped, and they are entirely prevented from performing the speed test), and even those who have FUP based plans face this situation only once a month. Further, such customers tend to recharge quickly and restore full speeds, it further explained.
We ran the Speedtest app on our Jio connections, and in Bangalore we got download and upload speeds of below 2Mbps. In Mumbai, the app showed us download speeds of 9.06Mbps and upload speeds of over 6Mbps. These numbers though are dependent on the locality, and as you move to more crowded areas, the numbers again see a dip. ALSO READ: Reliance Jio has the highest data traffic in the world: Report