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Speedtest Parent Ookla Bullish On Indian Market With Rising User Base

As Internet speeds are becoming faster than ever and a higher number of people using data-intensive applications, consumers are more curious to know the speed of their connections – mobile or fixed.

With over 800,000 tests a day in India, Ookla – parent company of the popular speed checking app Speedtest – thinks India is a big market. Speedtest is a popular web service that provides free analysis of Internet access performance metrics, such as connection data rate and latency. In 2018, it had over 40 million active users in India. “Our business has two sides. One is the consumer side, as our applications are used by consumers to access the speed of their broadband and mobile connections. The second is the enterprise side that works with traders, ISPs and provides them insights to help them improve the networks… India became a strong growth market for us on the consumer side even before (Reliance) Jio entered the scene; once Jio really changed the landscape, India became a top market for us in terms of users,” said Doug Suttles, co-founder and general manager of Seattle-based Ookla.

Over the years, Ookla’s Speedtest has become the go-to web resource for checking speed. The company courted controversy in 2016, when its results found Airtel to be the fastest network in India, leading to a near-war of words between Airtel and Jio, with the latter contesting the claim and even filing a complaint with the Advertising Standards Council of India against Ookla.

The issue was finally sorted and Ookla worked with the telecom regulator in India to provide details on their methodology of testing Internet speed.

When asked about the fastest network in India at present, Suttles said it was still Airtel on mobile network. On engaging with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, he said: “We keep an open dialogue with them. We work with regulators around the world. I can’t say we have had a recent conversation but that doesn’t mean the partnership is not there.”

Ookla recently acquired three companies – Mosaic, which creates maps for telecom service providers globally on the basis of data provided by the carriers themselves; Downdetector, which tracks real-time outages for different websites/web services; Ekahau, which helps in the planning of Wi-Fi networks.

The company plans to monetize all these services, in addition to its current monetization strategy.

According to Ookla’s data, India’s mobile data speeds ranked 120th among 178 countries it tracked in March, and 69th on the fixed line connection side. In the first quarter of this calendar year, over 76 million speed tests happened in India alone.―Afaqs

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