Advertising standards body, ASCI, has ruled that the claim made by Reliance Jio about its network being the best and the world’s largest are misleading. The association also termed as misleading the assertions made by the operator that it offers the industry’s best postpaid plans. The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), responding to a complaint made by Bharti Airtel on May 25, also stated that the claim by the country’s largest mobile broadband services provider of providing the ‘best entertainment’ is ambiguous and misleading.
ASCI’s arm, Fast Track Complaints Panel (FTCP), while upholding Bharti’s complaint in a ruling on June 7, said, “FTCP concluded that the claim of ‘Best Network and World’s largest mobile data network’ is misleading by ambiguity and implication as it refers to only ‘consumption of data’ and not the extent and infrastructure of network”.
The panel, which agreed with Jio’s claims that its network carries the largest amount of data globally, even more than China, stated that data consumption alone cannot be a parameter for asserting to have the world’s largest mobile data network. The infrastructure as well as the number of subscribers, are important parameters for which Bharti provided evidence that China Mobile has larger number of 4G base stations as well as subscriber base, FTCP said.
Responding to the ASCI order, a Jio spokesperson said the matter is under discussion with the association. “We believe that the recommendations at this stage do not reflect the submissions made and favourable views expressed by ASCI during the course of discussions. We have followed up with further submissions and clarifications so that the right decision is made,” the spokesperson added. Jio said that the allegations made by the incumbent dominant operator (Bharti) are thoroughly frivolous and have been made only to distract others.