3 has lodged an official complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority against rival network Vodafone, over its claims on mobile broadband speeds.
The complaint was officially made last week, centring on Vodafone’s assertion of speeds of 7.2Mbps.
3 claims that 7.2Mbps speeds are only available in isolated areas and not representative of Vodafone’s network.
It is understood that 3’s letter of complaint states that Vodafone’s claims of home broadband speeds are ‘misleading’ and ‘unlikely to be achieved’.
3’s dominance of the mobile broadband dongle market has come under pressure in the last few months, since Vodafone matched 3’s pricing and went on a huge advertising blitz.
Broadband speed has become the area networks are fighting over, with everyone using the same technology and devices.
3 refers to 2.8Mbps for its dongle offer, and claims it uses 3.6Mbps technology.
Vodafone says its 7.2Mbps speeds are available in London and in airports, and will reach the major cities later this year. It also says it has 80% coverage through 1.8Mbps, and is aiming for 3.6Mbps for 50% of the population in the summer.
A spokesman for 3 said: ‘The complexity of mobile broadband means even if you use 3.6Mbps technology it is very unlikely a customer will experience those speeds.’
He added: ‘Vodafone’s 3G coverage is not as extensive as ours.’
Separately, T-Mobile’s complaint about Orange’s TV and press campaign for unlimited texts on its prepay tariff has been rejected by the advertising watchdog.
T-Mobile said that the ‘Good things should never end’ campaign was misleading because it believed the ‘unlimited’ claim was subject to a fair usage policy of 3000 texts per month.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) agreed with Orange’s defence that it was standard industry practice to use such disclaimers. Orange also said it did not charge customers that went over that limit, or stop them from sending texts, just that it reserved the right to review excessive usage.
Read Vodafone’s sales director, Tom Devine, talk about the battle over mobile broadband on page 15-16