Jio Vs Airtel Vs Ookla Controversy – Airtel’s Official Results Claim based on Probabilistic Data

by Karthik Iyer 3

A Few days back Jio sent a legal notice to Ookla for misleading ads by Airtel, and now the controversy has largely picked up. Everyone involved in this is trying to give out an official statement proving their side of the story. Ookla has also given an official statement on this matter, and you can read and get to know more about that here. In their official statement (Quoted below), Ookla said that the carrier displayed in the Speedtest Android application is based on the “Active Carrier” value returned by the device. So in a way, Ookla has openly admitted that their technology is indeed flawed.

In recent days, Indian telecommunications company Reliance Jio has made public statements regarding Ookla, primarily that Ookla has knowingly and blatantly released misleading results about the Indian mobile market. Data accuracy and neutrality is of the utmost importance to Ookla and the company goes to great lengths to ensure that the information collected on any Speedtest internet test is verifiably correct. Ookla fully stands behind the accuracy and reliability of the methodology used to designate Airtel as ‘India’s Fastest Mobile Network’.

Much of the commentary has focused on dual SIM devices. 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 post-processing to help determine the actual data carrier being tested. For example, Ookla matches the connection IP address recorded during the test to known carrier IP blocks. This enables Ookla to determine the actual data carrier with a high degree of confidence. Airtel’s margin of victory increased when the complete analysis was performed.

Ookla’s speed test results are not a 100-percent accurate. They are using known carrier IP blocks. Hence it is definitely clear that there is an element of probability and uncertainty with their analysis. Now what that means is, most of these IPs that they have to belong to Airtel in comparison to any other operators. And since Jio is a new player in the market, these IPs are available to them yet. So if you consider this tiny set of data available to Ookla, then Airtel is “Probably” the fastest network in the country.

With that said, now let’s talk about something that Airtel has smartly pulled off here today. We all know that Airtel is known to put out full page ads on newspapers and obviously when they were supposedly declared as the Fastest Network, they did the same and their ads looked something like this –

However, now since Jio has sent a legal notice and Ookla has admitted the flaw in their analysis, the company has made some subtle changes. As you can see that previously, they self-declared to be “OFFICIALLY” the India’s fastest network and exhibited on all their brand communications. Since Ookla has not used the official in any of their certificates, Airtel has now made some tweaks to the label, and now it looks something like this –

Notice how the Official word is gone now? Also, there is yet another side of the story to this. It has now being reported that the test results are for the year 2016 and not current results. This clearly renders out the existence of Jio in this since it is safe to say that Jio officially started picking up more in 2017 now. Hence, Airtel has rectified that as well and as you can see that the new ad clearly shows 2016 as well which was nowhere to be seen previously.

To sum it up, all of this has now started making a lot of sense as we have more clarity from the parties involved. Jio has no doubt done the right thing by sending a legal notice or else none of these details would have made out in the public. We are not waiting to see how this story unfolds further and we definitely keep you updated here, hence be sure to stay tuned for more info on this.

Karthik Iyer

Karthik is a Computer Science Graduate and a Tech Aficionado who has always found himself fascinated or playing around with all the latest and the best from the world of smartphones and beyond. When he is not working on any smartphone or covering the latest scoop, you can often find playing his favorite PS4 titles.

  • No matter what they say, Airtel is going down!

  • Vishal Giri

    desperate moves from Airtel!!

  • Meem Islam

    Jio is the best.