Airtel and Reliance Jio are embroiled in a new battle this week, and most of that is because Jio doesn’t like Airtel claiming to have the fastest 4G speed in India.
Which is why Jio filed a complaint against Airtel with the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI). But there’s a new twist to the saga, which shows no love has been lost between these two telcos.
This complaint was born out of a report by Ookla on speed tests, which claims Airtel’s 4G speeds are the fastest in India.
Milking this for all it’s worth, Airtel recently rolled out a TV commercial, which clearly hasn’t gone down well with Jio. On its part, Ookla has now decided to stand by its decision to declare Airtel 4G as the company offering the fastest speeds in the country.
Ookla statementOokla named Airtel as the “Fastest Mobile Network” in India based on data from Q3 and Q4 of 2016. When analyzing markets, like India, we take many factors into consideration, including dual SIM devices, network technology, device types, and more.
Who Said What
This is what Jio’s complaint on Monday said:
Reliance Jio to ASCIThe claim of Airtel that it is India’s fastest network is false, misleading and incorrect. This claim is being made by Airtel acting in a mala fide manner in collusion with Ookla, LLC.
In it’s reply, Airtel contends that their claims are based on a report put out by a company which is globally accepted.
Rajiv Mathrani, Chief Brand Officer, Bharti Airtel Our latest advertising campaign is based on the findings by Ookla, the global leader in Speed test and internet diagnostics. Ookla’s findings are based on rigorous and extensive testing across millions of devices and employs the best of data analytics.
Going further, Airtel alleges that Jio is looking to hurt its brand image by misinforming consumers.
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.
What Makes Sense?
All telcos are pushing to become the fastest internet provider and with good reasons. After the recent Vodafone-Idea merger, the Indian telecom industry now has four competitive operators, which has Airtel and Reliance Jio as the others in the mix.
Ookla’s speed test have been tried out by millions of users, and while many go by their credentials, many suspect the test processes adopted by its app. While testing the app ourselves a couple of times, we saw how that the Speedtest app only registers detail for SIM 1, without taking in account that the phone’s internet is running via SIM 2.
Such inaccuracies have given us the clarity that it wouldn’t be right to go by their speed claims. Especially when the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has its own MySpeed app that shows up different results.
Ookla also has a history of switching sides every now and then. And without getting more clarity on how the tests are processed, it would be unfair to comment on this subject, favouring either of the parties involved.
Having said that, TRAI’s app has been a mixed bag itself. After claiming that Jio’s speeds have gone down in October 2016, TRAI went on the record to say that Jio had fastest internet speeds in January 2017.
This isn’t the last of this speed battle, but let’s hope consumers won’t have to bear the brunt of this situation.