You probably have seen the advertisement on TV, newspapers and web about Airtel getting rated as India’s fastest mobile network. The rating was given by Ookla the company behind Speedtest by analysing millions of internet speed tests done on its app.

However, the new entrant in the India’s telecom sector Reliance Jio calls foul play on the entire hype created by Airtel. Jio has questioned the methodology adopted by Ookla for determining the mobile internet speed after a recent flaw has been discovered in the Speedtest app.

Reliance Jio calls foul play over Airtel’s Fastest Mobile network claim

What’s the bug in Ookla’s Speedtest app? The android app records and display incorrect speed test results on smartphones with dual-SIM slots. When you run the Speedtest app, it takes into account only the network that has been assigned for voice calls. That’s irrespective of the network assigned to mobile data.

For example, if you are using Airtel as your primary connection configured for calls and Reliance Jio configured for data. When you run the Speedtest app it actually calculates the speed of Jio’s network. But due to the bug, the app records and display’s the network speed as that of Airtel instead of Jio. The Speedtest app full ignores the dual SIM settings and assign the speed test result to the primary network configured for calls.

The flaw in Ookla’s Speedtest app

  • A flaw in Speedtest android app when testing in smartphones with dual SIM slot.
  • Speedtest app assigns speed test results to the network configured for calls.
  • The app completely ignores the dual SIM settings and network assigned for mobile data.

Reliance Jio has already raised a complaint with the Advertising Standards Council of India regarding Airtel’s advertisement. The operator claims the ads data are not true and is misleading. Jio has also sent a legal notice to Ookla regarding its rating of Airtel as ‘India’s Fastest Mobile Carrier’.

In case you have missed the new ads from Airtel claiming to be India’s fastest network, do watch it below. The campaign features Airtel Girl, Sasha Chettri.

update: 21 March, 2017

Airtel has issued an official statement saying “Airtel has been rated as India’s fastest mobile network by Ookla – the global leader in broadband testing and web-based network diagnostic applications. This is clearly mentioned in the ad.  Ookla’s findings are based on analysis of millions of internet speed tests logged on ‘modern devices’ by mobile customers across India using its popular Speedtest app. The results include all mobile tests, regardless of connection technology.”

update: 21 March, 2017

Ookla fully stands behind Airtel being named ‘India’s Fastest Mobile Network. When analysing 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” said Jamie Steven, COO Speedtest.

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 Bharti Airtel Chief Brand Officer.

update: 22 March, 2017

Well, we have an official statement from Reliance Jio.

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. In India, more than 90% 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. 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 a Reliance Jio Spokesperson in a Statement.

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