Coronavirus lockdown: Are you facing slow internet issues in India?

Coronavirus lockdown and you are facing slow internet too? Read why it is happening and what are Indian Telecom giants doing to solve this huge problem.

Laxitha Mundhra
New Update
Slow internet in India

Day 3 of 21 under lockdown. Are you already facing slow internet? YouTube video does not load? Video calls are worse than 144p? Googled something that took forever to load?


Well, the truth is that you are not alone in this. Indians all over are working from home and relying on online games and videos to stay busy. Because China got hit during their lockdown phase, it won't be a surprise if India does too. We have over 564 million internet users. (Source: Statista) India is the second-largest online market in the world, ranked only behind China.

Twitter saw some complaints from people in India today.





Some were even angry...


How do we compare to China?

According to the February Speedtest Global Index, China’s mean mobile download speeds declined from 68.3 Mbps in January to 57.26 Mbps in February. The overall rank of China has also dropped 5 places for mobile, from 6th to 11th worldwide between January and February.

India has been ranked 128th for mobile broadband and 66th (up from 67th) for fixed broadband while mean download speeds on fixed broadband have slipped to 41.48Mbps in January 2020 with minuscule improvement in mobile broadband to 11.58Mbps, Ookla said in its Speedtest Global Index.


What is the speed of the Internet in India?

As per the latest TRAI data, Reliance Jio has topped the average 4G download speed rankings with 20.9 megabits per second (Mbps) speed whereas Vodafone has led the chart in terms of 4G upload speed in January. The report states that Jio’s speed was almost three times higher than its rival Bharti Airtel.

The TRAI data revealed that the Bharti Airtel had an average 4G download speed of 7.9 Mbps, while Vodafone’s speed is slightly lesser with 7.6 Mbps and Idea lags with 6.5 Mbps. Although Vodafone and Idea are not separate entities anymore, TRAI has measured their performances separately.


Vodafone, which came in third in the download speed, has topped the rankings in the 4G upload speed. Its data speed was 6 Mbps, followed by Idea with 5.6 Mbps, Airtel 3.8 Mbps and Reliance Jio 3.8 Mbps.

What can be the reasons for Slow Internet?

India is under lockdown. The Government of India has issued Work-From-Home guidelines for office workers. People are constantly relying on the internet to serve entertainment. Recent reports show that the use of Whatsapp increased by 40% due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Netflix and Amazon Prime have also seen a surge in of nearly 25-30% in their usage time. Podcast apps have also seen a rise of in listenership. Google has also joined the league and recently launched its podcast app.


Entire India now looks at the internet as a saviour.

What does this imply?

Internet speed in India does not even compare to that of China. China took a great hit during its lockdown and we don't expect India to do any better. It simply means that slow internet will be a grave issue now and then.

What are the telecom players are doing to meet up to the increased demand?

Telcos, in a joint letter to DoT, have asked OTTS and video-intensive apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar and YouTube to reduce the load. The companies have responded that they have reduced their data quality by 25%. They have migrated HD to SD. These apps have also done away with heavy advertising due to the increased load.

What can we do while the internet is slow?

Your frustration is real and we get that. Take a break from work. Let your sites load completely and try to work mostly during the offline period. Do not let your anger forget that the companies are doing their best. If you are looking for entertainment, you can also indulge with your family in indoor games. Try not to conduct meetings on data-intensive apps. You can also look at these platforms that will help you while you are at work (from home!).