Ookla stands by its decision to name Airtel as "India's fastest mobile network"

Ookla has provided a statement clearing the air as to how it rated Airtel as the fastest network for 2016.

It was just a couple of weeks ago when the makers of Speedtest.net, Ookla announced that Bharati Airtel was rated as the "fastest network for 2016".

While its success was celebrated by Airtel, a report by TechPP pointed out a glaring flaw in Ookla's Speedtest app. While the flaw affects all networks, not just Airtel, it does bring Ookla's test process into question.

Shortly after this, Reliance Jio on Monday lodged a complaint with the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) against broadband tester Ookla’s network speed test that said Bharti Airtel has the fastest network speed. Now, Ookla has provided a statement clearing the air as to how it rated Airtel as the fastest network for 2016.

Jamie Steven, COO, Speedtest by Ookla, said, "Ookla 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."

"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 explained, trying to clear the air around a recent report which hinted at the flaw when using a dual SIM device.

"We are always improving how additional information is collected and analyzed 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."

In addition to this, Airtel too has come out and given an explainer on how its advertising is not misleading.

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,” said Rajiv Mathrani, Chief Brand Officer, Bharti Airtel.

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.

Disclaimer: Reliance Jio is owned by Reliance Industries, who also own Network18, the publisher of Firstpost and tech2.

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