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Airtel hits back at Reliance Jio, Ookla stands by its findings

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NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel today accused Reliance Jio of making a deliberate attempt to ?malign the brand? and ?misguide customers.?

A day after Reliance Jio wrote to the Advertising Standards Council of India against Airtel?s advertisement claiming it was officially the fastest network based on a finding by Ookla, Bharti Airtel chief brand officer Rajiv Mathrani said the company is "rather amused" by the allegations being made against its campaign.

Meanwhile, Ookla has stood by its earlier finding about mobile internet speed. "Ookla fully stands behind Airtel being named 'India's Fastest Mobile Network'," Speedtest (Ookla's app) COO Jamie Steven said in a statement. Ookla has named Airtel as the "Fastest Mobile Network" in India based on data from Q3 and Q4 of 2016 which has been challenged by Reliance Jio.

Jio had alleged that the advertisement was "misleading", and done in "mala fide manner in collusion with" Ookla.

Jio also alleged that Ookla, the owner of Speedtest app, charges money for giving such awards and the company has also approached Jio for the same for the very quarter it issued certificate of fastest mobile network to Bharti Airtel.

But, Steven said: ?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."

He alleged 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."

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