Data Accuracy and Neutrality is of the Utmost Importance: Ookla on Airtel-Jio Speedtest Issue

Ookla on Wednesday reiterated that it fully stands behind the accuracy and reliability of the methodology used to designate Airtel as ‘India’s Fastest Mobile Network,’ claiming that it goes to great lengths to ensure that the information collected on any Speedtest internet test is verifiably correct.

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The company said that data accuracy and neutrality is of the utmost importance to the company. Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio lately made public statements that Ookla has knowingly and blatantly released misleading speed results that designated Airtel as the fastest telecom network in India.

Reliance Jio on Tuesday said the public should not be misled by false claims based on the Ookla’s speedtest results, and it will initiate actions against the company at appropriate forums. A Jio spokesperson said that 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.

Explaining its stand, Ookla said that the carrier displayed in the Speedtest Android application is based on the “Active Carrier” value returned by the device. “Due to limitations of the Android platform, the “Active Carrier” does not always indicate the actual data provider in devices with multiple SIMs. In these situations, Ookla applies additional data sources and mechanisms during postprocessing to help determine the actual data carrier being tested,” the company said in a statement.

Ookla said that it matches the connection IP address recorded during the test to known carrier IP blocks, which enables it to determine the actual data carrier with a high degree of confidence. Airtel’s margin of victory increased when the complete analysis was performed, the US-based company said.

Jio has already approached the Advertising Standards Council of India, the advertising watchdog, seeking withdrawal of Bharti Airtel’s recent advertisements based on Ookla’s speedtest results claiming that it is India’s fastest telecom network.

In addition, Jio also sent a legal notice to Ookla, saying that the latter falsely certified Bharti Airtel to be the “India’s Fastest Mobile Carrier with full knowledge of that your test “results” are fundamentally flawed and unreliable.

According to the notice, Ookla abused its dominance in this domain in an unethical manner by “concealing true facts, and have purported to provide an unfair advantage to Bharti Airtel and further their business interests for your commercial gains.”

Bharti Airtel’s Chief Brand Officer, Rajiv Mathrani, separately countered Jio’s statement and said that “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,” he added.

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