Airtel's claim of fastest network under doubt after Speedtest flaw emerges

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Bharti Airtel on Tuesday lashed out at Reliance Jio's allegations around its fastest network ad campaign, saying that the complaint is a deliberate attempt to."malign the brand" and "misguide customers". However, Reliance Jio later issued a complaint to Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) claiming that Airtel's ad is misleading.

If you are in India, you're probably already exhausted of seeing commercials by Airtel where it claims to be the fastest 4G internet service provider, citing data from Ookla, a Ziff Davis-owned firm that runs Speedtest.net, a website where people can test the speed of their internet connections.

"The results include all mobile tests, regardless of connection technology", Airtel said in its response.

Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio has been at war with most of the incumbent telecom providers for what it calls "cartelisation" to ward off competition even before its commercial launch.

In a legal notice to Ookla, Jio said it was informed by the broadband testing company that Jio's network was the fastest mobile network in India and could be given the tag of the fastest network in India. Airtel, along with Vodafone, Idea and others, has objected to Jo providing its services for free, calling the move predatory.

The award certifies that Airtel achieved the fastest mobile network speeds in India from consumer initiated speed test results in Q3 and Q4 of 2016, it said.

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Currently, ASCI is processing Reliance Jio's complaint and as a part of the process it will be reviewed and clarifications will be sought from Airtel.

"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 mala fide manner in collusion with Ookla LLC, which profess to be experts in the domain space of testing mobile internet speed", say the media reports. While it all sounds fine, the only problem with that is it may not be true - at least that's what Reliance Jio claims.

Meanwhile, Ookla has stood by its earlier finding about mobile internet speed. Therefore, Airtel can not use the word "officially" in its advertisements, said Jio. The company has asked ASCI to withdraw Airtel's advertisements that claim to be India's fastest mobile telecommunication network.

Mathrani said the company was "rather amused by the allegations" made by Jio. In other words, though you just used your Jio SIM to perform a speed test, the app seems to record the results under Airtel, if you've set your phone to see Airtel for voice calls by default.

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