OpenSignal report on the way: Who will act Verizon in India?

SK Telecom to expand LTE speedLast month, Verizon Wireless, the US-based telecom giant, has rejected a speed test and network performance result prepared by OpenSignal.

Verizon did not like the OpenSignal report because the network performance report said both T-Mobile and Verizon are equals in performance. There was no specific reaction from AT&T and the struggling telecoms Sprint.

OpenSignal is now getting into a big controversy in India, where Mukesh Ambani-promoted Reliance Jio Infocomm and Sunil Mittal-promoted Bharti Airtel are fighting for the supremacy in the mobile Internet space.

Several tech media reporters “revealed” that Bharti Airtel is the king in the Indian mobile network space – quoting information available in OpenSignal website. OpenSignal denied this – saying it is yet to come out with its final report. Some guesses that Reliance Jio may be the king of Internet networks.
Airtel speed test campaign
OpenSignal says it has published an analysis of LTE speed and availability in a set of India’s largest cities but this does not include an analysis of individual operators.

In addition, the OpenSignal mobile app contains some average statistics on measurements in India, but these are localized, indicative results sampled over a longer period of time (9 months) and therefore cannot be considered a definitive, nationwide analysis representing the most current state of affairs.

The network analysis company suggests that public should avoid any misleading reports from media and stay tuned to official OpenSignal channels to be notified. This will come through OpenSignal’s forthcoming “State of Mobile Networks: India” report.

Both Airtel and Reliance Jio are already in a major spat in India to show that their network is better than all rivals. In fact, Reliance Jio did not like Ookla’s report that crowned Airtel as the undisputed mobile network owner in 2016 though its report is based on Q3 and Q4 performance.

OpenSignal report and Verizon       

OpenSignal, in February 2017, announced the winners (rather joint winners), comparing the 4G and 3G data speed, latency, and coverage of the big four carriers in the US: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. It said T-Mobile has actually come a long way since last year and is tied with Verizon for the top spot.

Verizon explained its stand through a series of tweets.

Verizon thinks that OpenSignal’s data are inherently flawed because crowd-sourcing favors major metropolitan areas. This may not necessarily reflect how each carrier does overall throughout the country.

Verizon says OpenSingal’s methodology does not take into consideration when users are simply unable to get a signal and that crowdsourced data are usually congregated in urban areas. Pure geographical coverage poses some serious problems. For instance, one carrier might have the best overall coverage in the country, but the strong ones tend to be from rural areas where the population is lacking.

T-Mobile said the OpenSignal study showed that T-Mobile customers and their Verizon counterparts get an LTE signal almost the same percentage of the time. That fact underscores the expansive breadth of T-Mobile’s LTE network, which now covers 313 million people and covers more than 99 percent as many people as Verizon.

“Just like T-Mobile’s Un-carrier moves have pushed the industry to change, our consistent, relentless, and proven LTE speed leadership has pushed the industry to try to catch up,” said Neville Ray, T-Mobile CTO.

It seems OpenSignal will have to satisfy both Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm when it really comes out with the network performance report. I think nearly 400 million plus customers of Jio and Airtel are not bothered about these test results.

Baburajan K
[email protected]