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 speedtest.net’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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