According to the recent data released by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), mobile phone users experienced slow internet speed in March 2020, owing to a large number of people working from home amid the nationwide lockdown announced by the government to contain coronavirus outbreak. Mobile devices account for around 97 per cent of broadband connections in the country and are crucial in supporting work from home.

As far as average mobile broadband speed for the month of March is concerned, TRAI data highlighted that there was a dip of up to 22.5 per cent in 4G download speed and around 13 per cent in upload speed on Bharti Airtel’s network. Further, the download speed on Bharti Airtel network, which provides only 2G and 4G services, fell from 8 Mbps in February 2020 to 6.2 Mbps in March 2020.

Meanwhile, the 4G download speed on Idea network declined from 6.3 Mbps in February 2020 to 5.1 Mbps in March 2020, observing a fall of 19 per cent. Likewise, the 4G download speed on Vodafone network fell from 8 Mbps to 6.7 Mbps, registering a decline of 16 per cent, during the period under consideration.

The download speed on Reliance Jio network reduced from 21.5 Mbps in February 2020 to 19.6 Mbps in March 2020, recording a drop of about 9 per cent.

Coming to upload speed, Bharti Airtel network saw a decline from 3.7 Mbps in February 2020 to 3.2 Mbps in March 2020.

Meanwhile, Upload speed on Idea and on Jio network declined by about 7 per cent to 5.1 Mbps and about 8 per cent to 3.6 Mbps, respectively, during the period under consideration.

Despite recording around 11 per cent fall in upload speed, Vodafone network remained the fastest at 5.8 Mbps.

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, which provides mainly 3G services, recorded a 5 per cent decline in mobile broadband download speed at 1.8 Mbps.