Jio Complaints To ASCI For Airtel’s ‘Fastest Network’ Ads . Also, Serves Legal Notice to OOKLA
You might have come across the Airtel TV commercial, where the Airtel girl is claiming Airtel to be the fastest mobile data network in the country, as recognised by Ookla, the company behind the popular internet speed test platform, Speedtest.net. Here is the ad if you have not seen it as yet!
However, according to TRAI’s MySpeed portal, Jio is the fastest 4G network in the country. We had earlier reported Reliance Jio to be the fastest network in the country with its average download speed approaching 16.3 Mbps. On the other hand, Ookla crowned Airtel as the fastest network in the country based on unknown parameters and the results collected via its mobile app, Speedtest.
Reliance Jio Wants ASCI To Take Down The Misleading Airtel Ad
Right now, Reliance Jio is the fastest 4G network in the country. It is the latest entrant into the Indian telecom market having reached 100 million subscribers in less than 6 months. So it is obvious that the company doesn’t want its competitors to steal its crown of being the fastest network.
In its letter to the ASCI (Advertising Standards Council of India), Jio wants to draw the attention of the regulatory body to Airtel’s misleading claims of being the “Officially the fastest network” on its website.
Airtel’s Claims Are False, Misleading and Incorrect, Complains Jio
In its letter to ASCI, Jio complains Airtel’s claims to be false, misleading and incorrect made in a mala fide manner by teaming up with Ookla LLC.
The methodology adopted for determining the mobile internet speed was completely flawed. Ookla has acknowledged the same in correspondence with Reliance Jio.
Jio also noted in its complaint that the speeds that Ookla has attributed to Airtel, many not relate to their network. Various independent persons via their videos uploaded on YouTube have confirmed this. It was observed that Speedtest was wrongly attributing the speed test results of Jio to Airtel.
Jio claims that Airtel is fully aware of these incorrect results based on the flawed methodology, but is still making misleading claims in its advertisements.
Airtel is misleading the public by making using of words like “officially” in its advertisements like the results were declared by the telecom governing bodies like TRAI and DOT, but they were not.
Airtel is now (in 2017) claiming to be the fastest network in the country based on the results, if at all correct, which are based on the data from 2016.
“Assuming without admitting, even if Ookla LLC’s certificate is correct, it dates to a period in 2016 and that cannot be the basis on which Airtel may declare itself in any manner to be the fastest network at the time of airing/publishing of the advertisement, that is, 2017,” Jio complained in its letter to ASCI.
Jio has further alleged that “Ookla is a commercial enterprise who gives awards for money” and that it is not a “not for profit” organisation.
Jio has requested ASCI to ask Airtel to withdraw such advertisements claiming to be the fastest mobile telecom network in the country. The company also wants Airtel to withdraw any references to ‘Ookla’, or ‘Speedtest’, or ‘Ookla’s Speedtest Award’ in all advertisements to prevent the public from being misguided or misled.
Our video in this regards
Jio Serves Notice to OOKLA
Along with complaining to ASCI, Jio’s legal team has also sent a show-cause to OOKLA, the company behind Speedtest app. Jio has termed awarding ‘Fastest Network in India’ status to Airtel as not only reckless but also malicious and with mala fide intentions. Please check the entire notice at the end of this report.
Airtel Refutes Jio’s Claims
Airtel has refuted Jio’s claims by saying that Ookla’s findings are based on rigorous and extensive testing across millions of devices and employs the best of data analytics for arriving at the results.
“We are rather amused by the allegations being made against our 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,” said Rajiv Mathrani, Chief Brand Officer, Bharti Airtel.
Ookla Backs Airtel
Ookla named Airtel as the “Fastest Mobile Network” in India based on data from Q3 and Q4 of 2016.
It explained that while analysing markets it considers various factors including dual SIM devices, network technology, device types, and more.
The company says that it has taken the data collected from dual SIM devices into consideration and that it fully supports Airtel’s claims of being the fastest mobile network in India.
“We are always improving how additional information is collected and analysed through our Speedtest applications to allow Ookla to accurately reflect internet performance. We have taken dual SIM information into consideration and fully stand behind Airtel being named “India’s Fastest Mobile Network”. India is a dynamic market with a rapidly changing mobile landscape and we look forward to seeing how the market develops,” said Jamie Steven, COO, Speedtest by Ookla.
It is interesting to note the difference in statements issued by Jio and Ookla. Jio claims that Ookla has acknowledged the flaws in its methodology, in a correspondence with them, whereas Ookla is saying that it applies a rigorous methodology while aggregating the data.
Only time will tell what will happen to this legal battle between Jio and Airtel, but you as mobile subscribers must not take anything promoted by these telcos at its face value. We advise you to do your due diligence first before making any buying decision.