Want fast 4G speeds in India? Here’s where you need to be

Gently down the stream.
Gently down the stream.
Image: REUTERS/Amit Dave
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If you’re looking to download a movie on a 4G connection in India, you’re best off in Navi Mumbai.

Data analytics firm OpenSignal measured 4G download speeds across 20 of India’s largest cities and found that average rates varied widely. The city with the fastest average download speed—Navi Mumbai, at 8.1 Mbps—had a rate over twice that of the lowest, Prayagraj (formerly Allahabad), at 4 Mbps.

But OpenSignal also measured the fastest possible download speeds that could be reached in different locations. These tended to be achievable early in the morning, with 4am being the prime time for smartphone users, across all 20 cities, at 16.8 Mbps. Speeds are high in the early hours as networks are the least congested during that time.

“The wide range between a city’s fastest hourly speed and the average speed smartphone users experience shows the challenge India’s operators face from the need to support a really big number of smartphone users consuming mobile data services,” OpenSignal said.

And with India’s mobile data boom still going on, congestion problems on 4G networks don’t seem likely to end anytime soon. With “increasing number of people accessing mobile services, cheaper smartphone devices, and rising average data consumption per user, India’s mobile operators can expect the number of connected devices and data traffic to continue soaring and the challenge of network congestion to persist,” OpenSignal claimed. “As soon as the 4G availability race has been played out, operators will need to focus on continuing to increase network capacity to ensure all the connected smartphone users can get a more consistent download experience throughout the day across all of India.”

The cities with the fastest average download speeds were not necessarily the ones with the fastest possible speeds. Indore, for example, was only the eighth-fastest in average speed, but its top speed, at 21.6 Mbps, beat all others.