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Jio takes Airtel to ASCI over network speed ad

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NEW DELHI: The telecom war between Reliance Jio and other telecom service providers took a new turn when a complaint was lodged 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.

A letter sent by Reliance Jio to the self-regulatory advertising body ASCI said: "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 a mala fide manner in collusion with Ookla LLC, who profess to be experts in the domain space of testing mobile internet speed.”

Reliance Jio, which is the latest entrant in the field but has over 100 million subscribers, has also separately served a legal notice to Ookla for what it has termed as its "flawed" test, according to an IANS report.

Claiming that Ookla does not have any accreditation from the Indian government, Jio said It also stated that Ookla is not a "not-for-profit" organisation. "It charges money for its services used by telecom companies for their internal consumption, and charges additional consideration" for awarding certificates "that may be used by such companies for external consumption, marketing and publicity".

"Without prejudice to the above, in any event, the way the award is being projected misleads the public into believing that Airtel has the fastest network today, that is when the advertisements are being aired/published," the letter said.

"Even in the past, Airtel has been guilty of making attempts to use such titles and proclamations," the letter states.

In its reaction, an Airtel spokesperson reiterated that "Airtel has been rated as India's fastest mobile network by Ookla -- the global leader in broadband testing and web-based network diagnostic applications.”

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