Reliance Jio vs Bharti Airtel: Trai looks to find solution to speed fight; this is what it has done

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New Delhi | Published: October 4, 2017 5:45:12 AM

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) will deliberate with telecom operators and other expert bodies such as Ookla and Open Signal to create a new methodology to calculate mobile data speed, an issue which, in the recent past, has been the subject of a bitter debate between Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio.

reliance jio, jio airtel row, airtel jio row, reliance jio data speed, jio data speedTrai chairman RS Sharma on Tuesday said the Authority plans to make its ‘MySpeed’ app more robust and will soon be meeting stakeholders to devise a new methodology for calculating data speed. (Reuters)

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) will deliberate with telecom operators and other expert bodies such as Ookla and Open Signal to create a new methodology to calculate mobile data speed, an issue which, in the recent past, has been the subject of a bitter debate between Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio.

Trai chairman RS Sharma on Tuesday said the Authority plans to make its ‘MySpeed’ app more robust and will soon be meeting stakeholders to devise a new methodology for calculating data speed. The regulator’s ‘MySpeed’ app allows subscribers to check the upload and download speed of their handsets. It also allows the user to send the results to Trai, which is then collated by it and published on its website.

Sharma said some operators had complained about the methods and results of the app following which it was decided that the Authority will release a white paper by October-end on the methodology and algorithms used by the app for calculating data speed. “We will talk to all the stakeholders. We will also sit with the operators. We have contacted Ookla and some others too. Trai is trying to understand what their methods are and we would want all the stakeholders to sit together and come to a conclusion on the most appropriate methodology,” Sharma told reporters.

Bharti and Jio were involved in a bitter war of words on mobile data speed in the recent past, with the latter complaining to the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) about Bharti’s TV commercial claiming to be “officially” the fastest network. The advertising watchdog, in March, asked Bharti to remove the ad, which the operator did.

Trai on Tuesday also conducted an open house discussion on data speed under wireless broadband plans. Sharma said the regulator expects to finalise benchmarks for measuring data speed of wireless broadband plans by this month-end. “Today, data is becoming more prominent and voice is becoming an application on top of data. So, there is a need to have a much better grip on the quality of service norms for data. We want to ensure that this (consultation) addresses the current requirements and issues,” he added.

Through the consultation, Trai intends to take inputs from stakeholders on how to ensure transparency and customer awareness on data speed under wireless (mobile) broadband plans. It sought responses from telecom operators and other shareholders on whether information on mobile data speed currently being made available to consumers is transparent enough to make informed choices and what should be the parameters of calculating average speed.

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