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Breaking News : Vodafone trails Airtel in 4G speed on lack of waves
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Vodafone India's 4G data speed is much lower than market leader Bharti Airtel's due to its paucity of 4G airwaves, which could pose challenges for the company in differentiating in terms of overall user experience, US brokerage Citi Research said.

Airtel, according to the brokerage, also "has the best spectrum portfolio among incumbents and is better placed to counter Reliance Jio Infocomm," which is slated to launch 4G services commercially later this year.

"Airtel's larger 4G spectrum allotment appears to be helping it to provide much higher data speed than Vodafone, the US brokerage said in a recent note to clients.

"Tests undertaken across multiple days and times in Mumbai show Vodafone's 4G data speed is generally between 5 and 10 mbps, going up to 15 mbps, while Airtel's 4G speed is in the 25-30 mbps range, going up 50 mbps sometimes," analysts at Citi research said in the note.

Vodafone is the second-largest mobile carrier in India, behind market leader Airtel. The US brokerage recently evaluated Vodafone and Airtel's 4G services in Mumbai that highlighted the British carrier's relatively slower data speed due to its limited 4G spectrum holdings.

But tests conducted by Citi Research also indicated that Vodafone's 4G coverage in Mumbai is superior to Airtel's as it uses a lower spectrum band (1800 MHz) instead of the higher 2300 MHz airwaves deployed by India's No 1 carrier for fourth-generation services. "The tests confirmed a need for a lower spectrum band for an efficient coverage, but also highlighted that sizeable spectrum is needed to differentiate in terms of user experience," the US brokerage said.

In fact, Citi analysts said Airtel's superior 4G speed comes with coverage disadvantages. "Using 2300 MHz has resulted in relatively inferior coverage in Mumbai for Airtel, even though it had a seven-month headstart, having launched 4G in the city last August to February 2016 by Vodafone."

Global brokerages and industry experts, however, consider Vodafone the most vulnerable among India's top three incumbents in the 4G space.

Analysts at CLSA had said Vodafone's vulnerability stems from the fact that it has 5 MHz of 4G LTE spectrum in only four of its top-10 markets that form 74% of its revenues, which is why they expect as many as 20 million Vodafone India customers to shift over to Jio once the telecom unit of RIL launches 4G operations.

http://m.timesofindia.com/tech/tech-news...390052.cms
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