Reliance Jio’s network is “overloaded”, with congestion creating a bottleneck that is slowing down connections for its customers, according to new analysis by OpenSignal.

Wireless mapping firm OpenSignal, which ran an experiment measuring “average peak speeds” in India, found that Jio’s average for the metric hit 50Mb/s, which was 13 times faster than their everyday speeds of 3.9Mb/s.

Average peak speed measures the optimised 4G experience consumers see when the network is performing at its full capacity, “as opposed to the typical everyday experience which is often limited by network congestion and other technical factors”.

Jios results were particularly interesting, said OpenSignal, because they showed that the network “is technically capable of deliver far faster speeds than Jio’s customers actually receive”.

In comparison, market leader Bharti Airtel’s average peak speed was 56.6Mb/s, five times faster than its average 4G download test of 11.5Mb/s.

Rivals Vodafone and Ideal meanwhile had a peak speed measurement that was about four times faster than their 4G measurement, which averaged at more than 8Mb/s.

Notably, while Jio measured bottom of the four in OpenSignal’s India report on average 4G speeds, the company’s average peak speed was only second in comparison to Airtel.

Phenomenal growth
OpenSignal explained that Jio’s peak speeds were so much higher than the average due to the congestion caused by the company’s “phenomenal growth” since launching its all-4G service last September.

Jio signed up more than 100 million subscribers in the space of a few months, offering unlimited access to data for a period of time.

“That kind of heavy usage is bound to tax any network, forcing users to vie against one another for bandwidth,” noted OpenSignal’s report. “Our data shows that Jio’s slow average 4G speeds aren’t a technical limitation, but rather a capacity bottleneck.”

OpenSignal said that as Jio adds more capacity, either through new spectrum or building more cell sites, or indeed as Jio’s data consumption drops, “its typical download speeds should increase.”