Airtel 3G offering amazing speed in Delhi/NCR


Ever since I got my number ported to Airtel and got 3G activated for my iPhone 4, I have been trying to measure speed that I can get over the network. Some of my initial analysis can be found in this article. Here, I am going to post some more results at other times of the day & night.

I downloaded the’s app for iPhone and checked out the speed at around 3:15 am. This is what I got:


Awesome na? Totally. The download speed of 475 kilo bytes per second (or 3.8 Mbps) totally blew me away. However, I do not know why the upload speed was too low. I thought that it might be because 3G mobile networks usually have pretty low upload speeds compared to download speeds in general. However, I was proven false when I ran the test during the day time.

Like anybody else, at first I thought that the amazing download speed is probably because of low user traffic during the wee hours of morning. So, I ran another test when I woke up, and, to my surprise, it gave me pretty good speed of 392 kilo bytes per second (or 3.1 Mbps) at around 11:15 am on a Saturday:


What also caught my attention was the improved upload speed in this test. This led me to conclude that the meagre upload speed in my previous test was probably because of some network glitch.

All in all, I am currently totally impressed by the Airtel’s 3G network. I agree that these speeds are OKish when compared to the claims they make in their advertisements, however, this is the best speed that I have seen from any 3G provider in India. And I have tried MTNL, BSNL, Aircel, Tata Photon+ & Reliance NetConnect+. It is ¬†expected that the speed will vary as it depends on a number of factors like signal strength, current network load etc., but what I see (and have always seen) in Airtel is improvement over the time. Given the fact that their 3G network is relatively pretty new, I see these speeds getting better over time. The biggest contender to Airtel is Vodafone and their network is generally rated better by their loyal subscribers. It will be very interesting to see what they have to offer to counter this, as they also seem to be doing some very aggressive marketing.

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5 Responses to this post

  1. Himanshu Kukreja says:


    I am also using Airtel 3G from the day it was launched in Delhi on my Iphone 3GS and here are my observations

    1) If you are travelling you would observe periodic break in 3G network .
    2) The max speed I have seen on my handset is 1.1Mbps which is 1/3 of what you are saying.
    3) I called up Airtel customer care to know what should be the data download speed they said if your handset is compatible to 3.5G it would be close to 3.1Mbps or else it would be 300Kbps to 800 Kbps

    Overall its surely better than GPRS we were using before but I hope the network continuity issue is resolved. Since these are early days I am sure we will get better facilities and data plans in future.


    • Chirag says:

      I’m getting similar speeds in Bangalore. Also the network drops to EDGE pretty often.

      I hope it gets better though. it’s ridiculous to pay those amounts for 2G network.

    • Chirag Gupta says:

      I’m getting similar speeds in Bangalore. Also the network drops to EDGE pretty often.

      I hope it gets better though. it’s ridiculous to pay those amounts for 2G network.

  2. mohit sinha says:

    when airtel 3g was launched in Delhi it had good speeds now though the scene is totally different. it’s hardly working and even their customer care is not reachable. feel that my money has good down te drain for what paid it really annoys me when can’t even do simple things like email forget downloads and streaming.

  3. rahul says:

    hey i m also using airtel 3g. and i dont know why they saying u wil get speed upto 21mbps…
    it takes me more than 2 min. to download a 5mb song and sometime it takes even more time.

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