March 23, 2017

Airtel hits back at Jio on speed ad with Ookla backing

21 March 2017, 12:37 | Megan Pierce

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Days after Airtel released a new set of advertisements claiming that "it has been officially declared as the fastest network", Reliance Jio sent a legal notice to the company for what it alleges to be "misleading" and "incorrect".

And they are dragging a third-party company into their fight.

Reliance Jio didn't respond to Mashable's request for comment.

Reliance Jio has asked ASCI to ask Airtel to withdraw the subject advertisement and any related advertisement claiming themselves to be India's fastest mobile telecom network, cease and desist from using the word "official" and withdraw any reference to Ookla or Speed test in all advertising or promotional material. Jio has complained against Airtel for claiming that it is the fastest network. Considering dual SIM phones have been around for a while, this issue should have been resolved by now.

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"The word "officially" when used in the context of the telecom services is linked to only the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and the Department of Telecommunications, in the minds of general public", states the letter from Jio to ASCI.

Taking on unlimited data plans offered by Reliance Jio, Airtel and others, BSNL will also provide 25 minutes of free calls per day to other networks and after that the users will be charged 25 paise per minute.

In the meanwhile, Airtel and Ookla have stood by their previous claims. For instance, if the handset has 2 SIM slots; the results would be declared in favor of the first slot only. While it all sounds fine, the only problem with that is it may not be true - at least that's what Reliance Jio claims. "In our experience, we have found that the "Active Carrier" does not always indicate the actual data provider in devices with multiple SIMs". "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 at Bharti Airtel. "Ookla fully stands behind Airtel being named "India's Fastest Mobile Network"," Speedtest (Ookla's app) COO Jamie Steven said in a statement. This definitely seems like a curious bug, and it's one that Ookla "expects" to fix in the future. "Speedtest has been actively used billions of times, making it the dominant global leader in internet performance testing and metrics", he added.

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