Reliance Jio offers better coverage than rivals, but not the fastest 4G network: Report
Reliance Jio, the newest entrant in the Indian telecom space, offers superior coverage than other operators but trails Airtel when it comes to 4G speeds due to high load on its network, a report by Credit Suisse has said.
Jio’s bested its rivals in terms of coverage in most cities that were surveyed.
“Our conclusion is that Jio’s network coverage is significantly ahead of the other operators. Jio has good coverage in 80 percent plus of cities surveyed, compared to less than 30 percent for the others,” the latest report said.
“The difference is even more stark when compared only with 4G networks of incumbents (sub-15 percent of cities),” it added.
However, the Mukesh Ambani-owned network did not fare as well when it came to speeds. The survey concluded that Airtel offered the best 4G speeds, while Jio was “probably bogged down by load”.
“We also studied the network speed results across all these locations. Airtel 4G offers the best download speeds in general (12Mbps plus). Jio, Vodafone and Idea are close to each other (7-8Mbps). We suspect Jio’s speeds are impacted by the high load on the network in the free offer period,” Credit Suisse said.
Interestingly, Jio carries 90 percent plus of all data traffic in the country currently while its network capacity share is closer to 35 percent, it added.
The competitive pressure is expected to sustain, the report said adding that significant pressure on fundamentals will continue in coming quarters from Jio.
“We have already started seeing the impact of Jio on the incumbents’ numbers (Bharti 3Q). Our study here shows Jio has built a significant lead in terms of network coverage, and the incumbents have a fair amount of catch up to do (especially on 4G). Importantly, going by recently announced enhanced capex plans, the company continues to invest,” it added.
The study covers over 30 Indian cities that represent a “significant chunk of current data demand and revenues”, it said.
Earlier this week, Vodafone also confirmed that it was in talks with the Aditya Vikram Birla group for the merger of its Indian entity and Idea Cellular, a deal that was likely spurred by the Jio’s arrival.
With agency inputs.