The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has suggested mobile data speed measurement apps make details of their methodologies, approach and other nuances available in public domain to enable users to compare, understand and interpret the results from such apps.
Trai has released a 'white paper' spelling out the methodology, approach and evaluation criteria for its own 'MySpeed app' that measures mobile data speeds of various operators through crowd sourcing.
''Since its launch, stakeholders have sought more details about the working methodology of the TRAI MySpeed app. Some of them have also raised queries relating to the test results of the mobile app and network level values being reported on the analytical portal of Trai,'' the regulator stated in a release.
Since measuring broadband speed is ''a complex process'', whose outcome depends upon both the test methodology and test conditions, the paper gives a glimpse into the methodology behind the working of the MySpeed app.
''Wide variations during the individual test of speed measurement may sometimes be observed because of network state and short time window of measurement,'' Trai said.
Speed measurement at an all-India level may need to be presented with smaller distributions across districts or ''geographical bins'' and across different times of the day instead of being represented with a single value, it added.
''For comparing the results from various speed measurement app providers, all such providers need to make available complete details of their methodologies and data processing in public domain so that various stakeholders including users can better understand and interpret them,'' said the white paper on Wireless Data Speed Measurement.
However, as these speed apps are not telecom licensees, Trai officials said the regulator's observation was ''advisory'' in nature.
Pointing out that Trai had taken various initiatives to bring transparency and empowerment to internet users, including the setting up benchmarks for wireless data networks and also assessing the network performance on a periodic basis, the regulator said, ''Expectation level of users about broadband experience has also risen justifiably.''
On rationale behind the paper, Trai said, ''Since its launch, stakeholders have sought more details about the working methodology of MySpeed app. Some of them have also raised queries relating to test results of the app and network level values being reported on the analytical portal of Trai.''
The mobile data speed issue has witnessed Bharti Airtel and RJio indulging in a bitter war of words in the recent past. Jio last year complained to the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) about Bharti's TV commercial claiming it as ''officially'' the fastest network. ASCI then asked Bharti to remove the ad, which the operator did.
The white paper concludes that collecting more data to validate test results like radio access technology (RAT), distance of user from the base transreceiver station (BTS), etc, can help provide more insights on speeds.