"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 said. British mobile phone giant Vodafone's Indian unit will merge with Idea Cellular to create India's largest telecoms operator, the firms said Monday, as they combine to fight the rise of Reliance Jio.
Clarifying its position, Jamie Steven, COO of Ookla, stated that it is the global leader in measuring Internet speeds, and it follows an unqualified methodology to gauge internet performance.
While Jio and Airtel have locked horns over the best network provider in the country, Vodafone and Idea have teamed up to take the first spot as the largest network. With Airtel claiming to be "officially the fastest" network in India, Reliance has taken the case to the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI).
Reliance claims that Ookla's results are misleading and that it has sent them a legal notice. In the notice which Jio has sent, it mentions that "Ookla charges substantial sums of money for this goal and especially for publicly using your award and test results". With Reliance Jio offering free SIM card along with high-speed 4G data, a lot of users have been using a Jio SIM card in the secondary slot, only for data.
Idea Cellular and Vodafone India have chose to merge their business (although will continue to run two brands separately) creating India's largest telecom company in the process. On its part, Ookla has now chose to stand by its decision to declare Airtel 4G as the company offering the fastest speeds in the country.
Jio claims its 4G network already covers 80% of the country and Ambani has previously claimed it would cover 90% of India's population by March 2017. When you perform a speed test using Ookla's Speedtest app and share the result, it opens a webpage that shows your telco as the one that's been set as primary for calls.
In an nearly similar development a year ago, Jio had opposed speed test results released by telecom regulator TRAI (in October 2016) which rated Jio's average speed as the lowest in the country.
The company has further raised its objection to using words appearing in the advertisement " Officially The Fastest Network".
But most importantly, there is a fault with the speed test itself.
"The combined company will have the scale required to ensure sustainable consumer choice in a competitive market and to expand new technologies, such as mobile money services, that have the potential to transform daily life for every Indian", Vittorio Colao, Vodafone chief executive, said in a news release.