The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has termed Bharti Airtel’s 4G speed challenge advertisement as misleading and has asked the teleco to withdraw the advertisement immediately, according to a report of the Mint, a financial daily.
“The claim in the ad, ‘Airtel 4G is the fastest network ever’ and ‘If your network is faster, we will pay your mobile bills for life’, is misleading by omission in the absence of appropriate disclaimers in the print, TV, hoarding advertisements. The advertisement contravened Chapter 1.4 of the code,” the notice read, as per the Mint.
Note that as per Chapter 1.4 of the code, “Advertisements shall not contain statements or visual presentation which directly or by implication or by omission or by ambiguity or by exaggeration are likely to mislead the consumer about the product advertised or the advertiser or about any other product or advertiser.”
Airtel is the first operator to offer 4G services in India and is currently offering 4G services in more than 300 towns in India while other 4G spectrum holders are yet to launch their 4G services.
On its website, Airtel claims that its 4G services are 4 times faster than 3G which offers speed up to 7.2 Mbps. Earlier in July, Telecomtalk tested Airtel’s 4G services in Mumbai and found that the maximum download speed of up to 60 Mbps (averagely 30-40 Mbps) while the upload speeds are between 3-10 Mbps.
In its advertisement, the operator says, “Airtel 4G is the fastest network ever and If your network is faster, we will pay your mobile bills for life.”
As a matter of fact, whatever claim Airtel is making regarding 4G data speed is nothing extraordinary as all the other operators who are offering 4G or plan to offer it in India are claiming to offer the same speed.
Also, in most of the circles where Airtel is offering 4G services it is the only one doing so and it bound to be the fastest. The real picture will emerge only when Reliance Jio commercially commences is 4G services and one compare oranges to oranges.
Also, when we spoke to a few Airtel 4G users in Delhi and Banglore, they said, “4G speed is good, but it lacks seamless connectivity and especially in indoor locations most of the time it is difficult to access the fast internet speed.”