India's fastest mobile network: Airtel hits back at Jio

Remigio Civitarese
Marzo 21, 2017

Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd has accused Bharti Airtel Ltd of airing misleading ads on network data speed. A day after Jio filed a complaint with Advertising Standards Advertisements Standards Council of India against Airtel, India's largest telecom operator has hit back.

Further, mobile internet speed testing firm Ookla has stood by the finding that the telecom major had fastest broadband network, a claim which has been challenged by Reliance Jio.

If you are in India, you're probably already exhausted of seeing commercials by Airtel where it claims to be the fastest 4G internet service provider, citing data from Ookla, a Ziff Davis-owned firm that runs Speedtest.net, a website where people can test the speed of their internet connections.

Jamie Steven, COO of Speedtest by Ookla, said when in markets like India they also take into consideration factors like dual SIM devices, network technology and device types.

Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio has been at war with most of the incumbent telecom providers for what it calls "cartelisation" to ward off competition even before its commercial launch.

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Since Ookla is the most used speed test app in India and majority of Indian users use a dual SIM smartphone, this is a big issue and their results regarding fastest Telecom Operator can not be trusted unless they fix the problem and start collecting the data again.

According to the claim made by Reliance Jio, Airtel's claim regarding the fastest network is false as according to recent TRAI ratings, Reliance Jio has been rated the top network in the country.

Recently we have seen Airtel has rolled out too many ads about its "Fastest" speed of its internet and Jio has a problem with the same. However, Ookla would "charge substantial sums of money for this goal and especially for publicly using the award and test results". With Reliance Jio offering free SIM card along with high-speed 4G data, a lot of users have been using a Jio SIM card in the secondary slot, only for data. "The Claims is being made by Airtel acting in a mala fide manner in collusion with Ookla, which professes to be expert in the domain space of testing mobile internet speed", Jio noted in its complaint. In simple words, if you have Jio SIM in second SIM card slot and Airtel in the primary slot, Ookla will show the speed test results as Airtel's instead of Jio. We have taken dual SIM information into consideration and fully stand behind Airtel being named "India's Fastest Mobile Network".

We, personally ran the tests a couple of times in various scenarios as well as smartphones and found the allegations to be completely true. Which Jio could subsequently use, leveraging Ookla's brand.

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