Airtel again tops in 4G speed in January; Jio lags

The country's largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel has clocked the highest average 4G data speed among telecom operators in the country during January at 11.862 megabits per second (Mbps), and has captured the top spot four times since September 2016, shows data from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).

Bharti had lost the top spot only once in December, to Reliance Jio Infocomm, which launched its commercial operation in September last year.

According to the Trai data, Airtel provides the fastest 4G download speed to its users at 11.862 Mbps, followed by Idea Cellular at 10.562 Mbps, Vodafone India (10.301 Mbps) and Jio (8.345 Mbps).

During December 2016, Jio had topped the speed test with a 4G download speed of 18.146 Mbps, followed by Vodafone (9.666 Mbps), Idea (5.943 Mbps), Airtel (4.747 Mbps) and Reliance Communications (2.686 Mbps).

Bharti has improved its performance since December when it was in the fourth spot and has more than doubled its data speed. Similarly, Idea too has improved its performance and has doubled its speed from 5.943 Mbps in December 2016.

The country's second-largest telecom operator, Vodafone, has also made improvements in its 4G data speeds from an average of 9.666 Mbps in December last year.

Since September, Idea and Vodafone have bagged the second spot twice, each, and Reliance Communication once.

According to a recent report by Credit Suisse, Bharti offers the best 4G download speeds at over 12 Mbps, while Jio, Vodafone and Idea fare at around 7-8 Mbps.

However, it said Jio's speeds may be impacted by the high load on the network in the free offer period as it carries more than 90 per cent of the data traffic in the country at present.