A couple of days back, Reliance Jio had accused Airtel for misleading mobile consumers by claiming itself as ‘India’s Fastest Mobile Network’, based on a report by Ookla. As a result onus was on Ookla todefend The claim made by India second largest operator. And finally they have done so.
Jamie Steven, COO, Speedtest by Ookla said in a statement, “Ookla named Airtel as the “Fastest Mobile Network” in India based on data from Q3 and Q4 of 2016. When analysing 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.”
He further added, “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.”
Meanwhile, to counter the allegation, Airtel has also come up with its defence. Rajiv Mathrani, Chief Brand Officer, Bharti Airtel said, “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.”
Last week, Airtel released a new advertisement campaign in collaboration with Ookla showcasing Airtel is India’s fastest network in terms of mobile data. However, Reliance Jio later issued a complaint to Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) claiming that Airtel’s ad is misleading.
The whole controversy started when Reliance Jio issued a statement in which it said, “The claim of Airtel that it is India’s fastest network is false, misleading and incorrect. The claim is being made by Airtel acting in a mala fide manner in collusion with Ookla LLC, who profess to be experts in the domain space of testing mobile Internet speed.”
The infant telecom operator by Mukesh Ambani claims that the testing showcased in the Airtel ad campaign has not been authorised by Government of India. Reliance Jio who recently introduced its Jio Prime membership has been a beset to other telecom operators in India following its long spell of free services. The company recently introduced its Jio Prime membership through which users can enjoy all the benefits under the Happy New Year offer for another year by paying Rs 99 as the subscription fee and Rs 303 per month thereafter. Following this, all the other telecom operators including Airtel rolled out their plans to counter the Jio Prime membership offer.