Saturday, April 13

Airtel Hits Back After Jio Allegation Over Ookla backing

Bharti Airtel today lashed out at Reliance Jios allegations around its fastest network ad campaign, saying the complaint is a deliberate attempt to “malign the brand” and “misguide customers”.

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

“Ookla fully stands behind Airtel being named India?s Fastest Mobile Network,” Speedtest (Ooklas app) COO Jamie Steven said in a statement.

Ookla has named Airtel as the “Fastest Mobile Network” in India based on data from Q3 and Q4 of 2016 which has been challenged by Reliance Jio.

Jio has approached advertisement sector watchdog ASCI against Bharti Airtel, saying the latters claim of being “officially the fastest network” is “misleading” and done in “mala fide manner in collusion with” broadband speed tester Ookla.

The Mukesh Ambani-led firm has alleged that Ookla, the owner of Speedtest app, charges money for giving such awards and the company has also approached Jio for the same for the very quarter it issued certificate of fastest mobile network to Bharti Airtel.

Jio alleged that the methodology used by Ookla attributes speed result to SIM used in the primary slot of mobile phones even if Jio SIM delivering high speed has been used in the secondary slot.

“When analyzing markets like India, we take many factors into consideration, including dual SIM devices, network technology, device types, and more.

“In addition to what the user sees on their mobile application as they take a test in real-time, we apply a rigorous methodology when aggregating the data which uses a variety of internal data sources that control for potential variability in the market,” Steven said.

Bharti Airtel Chief Brand Officer Rajiv Mathrani said that the company is “rather amused” by the allegations being made against its campaign.

“We believe that this is a deliberate attempt to malign our brand and misguide customers through a campaign of misinformation, which is something we now come across on a regular basis, in particular, on social media platforms,” he said.

Reliance Jio said the core issue is that the speed test results are attributed to the primary SIM even though the SIM for which the data speed test is conducted is the secondary SIM in the case of dual-SIM phones.

“Ookla has baldly stated that they stand by their results and has skirted the main issue. We will initiate actions as we deem fit at appropriate forums. The public should not be misled by these false claims based on the Ookla results,” Jio said.

It said that more than 90 per cent of 4G phones in India are dual-SIM and therefore, there is no guarantee that the speed which is attributed to Airtel is of its data network