Prateek Waghre submits technical analysis for PIL in the Supreme Court seeking restoration of 4G Internet in Jammu and Kashmir

An application was filed by the ‘Foundation of Media Professionals’ in the PIL seeking restoration of 4G services in Jammu and Kashmir. A part of this application was a technical analysis by Prateek Waghre, of the differences between how websites are likely to perform under 2G and 4G speed.

The complete application has been published by LiveLaw.

A PDF extract of the analysis is included here.

The analysis was divided into the following sections.

  1. Theoretical comparison of website performance on observed 2G and 4G speed as well as the peak theoretical 2G speed.
  2. A qualitative assessment of expected performance of video streaming and video conferencing services based on published system/bandwidth requirements by Youtube, Netflix, Skype and Zoom.
  3. Simulated comparison of specific use-cases such as app downloads, file uploads, accessing information on the MOHFW websites, Youtube videos etc.

Main inferences:

  1. At Observed 2G download speeds, the same task could take upto 50x longer than at Observed 4G download speeds.
  2. At Peak Theoretical 2G download speeds, the same task could take upto 25x longer than at Observed 4G download speeds.
  3. As a security best-practice, OWASP recommends setting the server timeout to the minimal possible value based on the context of the application. In addition, intermediaries and clients impose timeouts on connections too. There is no universal value for these settings. The higher the time required to download content, the greater is the likelihood of such timeouts being encountered.
  4. It should be noted that even the lowest recommended settings are higher than both the Observed 2G speed and Theoretical Peak 2G speed. Thus video viewing experience will be subject to significant degradation compared to 4G speeds.
  5. Comparing the available recommendations for bandwidth and latency with Observed 2G speed and latency indicates that users will face significant issues when using video conferencing applications. These issues will be exacerbated by multitasking, as expected in the current scenario.
  6. Tasks on Observed 2G speeds took 11 – 37 times longer than they did on Observed 4G speeds in the simulated environment. This ratio may increase in real world scenarios once congestion, packet-loss, signal strength etc are accounted for.
  7. Some interactive interfaces like WHO’s Situation Tracker did not function at Observed 2G speeds.
  8. Video playback on Observed 2G speeds faced significant degradation compared with Observed 4G speeds. Playback was near instant at Observed 4G speeds but took upto 60x longer on Observed 2G speeds. There was also significant buffering at Observed 2G speeds, depending on the nature of video (high-action v/s low-action) and resolution playback was constantly interrupted by buffering. For every 1s of video watched there was 0.7 to 3.8s buffering. i.e. a 20 minute video could end up taking anywhere from 34 minutes to 1 hour 36 minutes to watch completely.
2G v 4G Analysis