A day after Reliance Jio lodged a complaint with the advertising watchdog against broadband tester Ookla declaring Airtel as the "Fastest Mobile Network" in India, Ookla on Tuesday clarified that test was based on third and fourth quarter data of 2016.
On Monday, Reliance Jio had complained to the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) against Ookla's testing.
"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," said Jamie Steven, COO, Speedtest by Ookla, in a statement.
"In addition to what the user sees on their mobile application as they take a test in real time, we apply a rigorous methodology while aggregating the data which uses a variety of internal data sources that control potential variability in the market," he said.
"We have taken dual SIM information into consideration and fully stand behind Airtel being named 'India's Fastest Mobile Network'," Steven said.
"Ookla has baldly stated that they stand by their results and has skirted the main issue. We will initiate actions as we deem fit at appropriate forums. The public should not be misled by these false claims based on the Ookla results," said Reliance Jio spokesperson on Tuesday.
"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," stated the letter sent by Reliance Jio to the ASCI, the advertising watchdog on Monday.
Meanwhile, Rajiv Mathrani, Chief Brand Officer, Bharti Airtel, said in a statement on Tuesday: "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."
"The core issue is that the speedtest results are attributed to the primary SIM even though the SIM for which the data speedtest is conducted is the secondary SIM in the case of dual-SIM phones," said Jio spokesperson on Tuesday.
"In India, more than 90 per cent of 4G phones are dual-SIM. Therefore, there is no guarantee that the speed which is attributed to Airtel is of the Airtel data network. We are surprised that Ookla in its press release has not talked about this issue even though they had acknowledged the blunder to us earlier," the spokesperson stated.
Newcomer Reliance Jio, which has over 100 million subscribers, has also separately served a legal notice to Ookla for what it has termed as its "flawed" test.
Jio told ASCI that Ookla -- which had dubbed Airtel as "Officially The Fastest Network" -- does not have any accreditation from the Indian government.
"Without prejudice to the above, in any event, the way the award is being projected misleads the public into believing that Airtel has the fastest network today, that is when the advertisements are being aired/published," the letter said.