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For what can only be called the largest telecom startup of the country, Reliance Jio entered the Indian market with its unlimited data plans and created a ruckus among the masses. One can at anytime pass-by a Reliance Digital store and see customers queuing up to secure on SIM with the 3-month Welcome Offer.

But, this extensive hubbub has most likely caused Jio’s network to overload and it seems to be breaking under this immense pressure. To add salt to the already bleeding wounds, Jio is now being regarded as the slowest 4G operator in the country. This data comes from the highest authority, TRAI, who published 4G network speed test data on its analytics website on Thursday.

During the launch of Jio a couple months ago, people were promised 4G speeds reaching up to 135 GB. This might have been true if 25 million users hadn’t choked the network within the past two months. The situation is now pretty complacent and you can find every other person on the curb swearing about sluggish download speeds on the Jio network.

If you remember, TRAI had recently launched its own speed test application called ‘My Speed’ on both iOS and Android. The speed test portal is also available on the web but it doesn’t help test the speed of your connection. It only showcases findings from data collected from tests across the country, which have been attached below.


As per the analysis of internet speeds by TRAI, Reliance Jio is currently the slowest 4G network in India with an average download and upload speed of 6.2 Mbps and 2.4 Mbps respectively. This data has been compiled using over 1.5 million speed tests conducted for a multitude of networks across the country. Jio follows pursuit to every other major telecom operator in the country, including even Idea Cellular. Airtel leads the show with a tremendous download speed of 11.4 Mbps.

These findings by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India have also been supported by Ookla, the company which runs the most popular speed test app on the interwebs. The company has also shared its findings surrounding the significant drop in download speeds in a Medium blog post. The line-graph attached underneath shows mean download speeds for Jio users decreased 23% month-over-month, from 11.31 Mbps to 8.77 Mbps. The results have been gathered via 8 million tests conducted in the past two months.


What does Jio think about it?

Mukesh D. Ambani, founder of Reliance Jio has reportedly spent about $20 billion to build out this robust 4G network to support the humongous usage load of the Indian masses. Thus, how can we expect him to sit silently when the media is out there, trying to murder its reputation. Reliance Jio has contested the results posted on TRAI’s analytics website and shared a statement exclusively with the Tech Portal.

Commenting on the hubbub around Jio’s network being the slowest of the lot, a spokesperson says,

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.

The spokesperson further adds that under the Jio Welcome Offer, users are fairly being allocated 4 GB daily usage on the 4G network. After this limit is reached, users can enjoy unlimited data usage but at reduced speeds of 256 kbps. This limit has been set up with the express intention of preventing heavy data users from degrading the experience of other users.

We have observed that a disproportionate number of speed tests are performed once the FUP[fair usage policy] 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.

This results in a large proportion of the speed tests being conducted on Jio network when the speeds are reduced via FUP to 256kbps. This has the effect of dragging the average far below the speeds experienced by Jio customers who are enjoying full 4G LTE speeds.

I might have laughed out after reading the analytics reports released by TRAI and OOKLA but the arguments put forth by the operator aren’t completely biased and in fact completely true. The moment you realize that your Jio SIM is delivery low download speeds, you get flustered and fire up the speed test app to check what’s the issue — only to realize you’ve consumed the free 4G LTE data. You might also run another test to recheck these findings and this has added to the reduction in average speeds for Jio.

But, will Jio continue to maintain its prideful stride in the coming months(or years), still remains to be seen.

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