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Data Speeds in India Remained Unaffected Despite Increased Usage During 2nd Wave: Report

Indian users were experiencing lesser speed when the content consumption significantly increased during the first corona wave last year

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Despite increased data consumption in 2021, the download speeds experienced by the users were maintained, according to the latest report of Opensignal, a London headquartered independent mobile analytics company specializing in "quantifying mobile network experience". However, in the first wave of the pandemic that had hit India last year, the users in India had reportedly experienced lesser speed as the content consumption significantly spiked due to more activity turning online.

This is slightly different from a report published in January 2021 where Ookla had ranked India at number 131 spot out of 140 countries in January 2021 as compared to December 2020 when India was ranked at 129. The average mobile internet download speed in India in January 2021 was reportedly 12.41Mbps. UAE (183 Mbps) followed by South Korea (171 Mbps) were at the top two positions in that list. Ookla is a web service that provides free analysis of Internet access performance metrics, such as connection data rate and latency.

As per the latest data on Indian internet users and data consumption, this time around no major change was reported in mobile data to download speed starting March 2021. This highlights that the Indian mobile experience has been remarkably resilient during the second wave, despite the growing demand for mobile data, the report stated. 

Opensignal measured 'smartphone users’ weekly average mobile data consumption and download speed experience starting December 30, 2019, till May 2, 2021.

According to the report, Indian smartphone users, on average, consumed a similar amount of mobile data throughout the initial weeks of 2020, and their mobile speeds did not change significantly. However, as the Indian government introduced strict lockdown measures in March 2020, there was a sharp increase in the average mobile data consumed by smartphone users on a weekly basis — 26.8% to 30.1% higher than at the beginning of 2020.  

Moreover, the increased mobile data consumption lasted for six weeks between the last weeks of March 2020 and May 2020, and later on it gradually plunged to the pre-lockdown levels. Alongside, users also noticed significant drops in their average download speeds — up to 24.8%, compared to the first week of 2020. 

The report further indicates that the average mobile data consumption and the overall download speeds experienced by our users had returned back to pre-lockdown levels between June 29 and July 13, 2020. And remained more or less the same until the second week of February 2021, after which the average data consumption started to grow substantially. 

In the last three weeks of April 2021, “average data consumption had soared between 19.9% and 22.7%. However, this time we saw little change in the average download speed experience, showing that mobile operators successfully prepared their networks to cope with the increased data demand by their users due to the latest wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.”, said the Opensignal in the report. 

Tags assigned to this article:
mobile networks Data Speeds Opensignal