5/14/2008 5:55:00 PM
Vodafone ditches dongle claims of 7.2Mbps
Vodafone will no longer claim in its adverts that its dongles offer download speeds of 7.2 megabits per second (Mbps), after 3 lodged a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
Vodafone revealed earlier this week that it would no longer use the figure 7.2 ‘as a headline rate’ in its marketing campaigns. The operator also announced plans to extend the coverage of its highest download speed to six more UK cities.
3 registered a complaint with the advertising watchdog at the end of April. The operator said that, although the line rate offered by Vodafone may be 7.2Mbps, the maximum download speed is actually only 6.69Mbps.
3 also claims that other factors – such as interference, the distance of the dongle from the base station and the interference of voice, video and SMS traffic – will reduce the speed further, making speeds of 6.69Mbps ‘very unlikely’.
Alec Howard, head of PC connectivity at Vodafone UK, said the reason for the change was that the mobile broadband market had shifted from a business market to a consumer market, and that marketing would now focus on the time
taken to perform tasks such as downloading music tracks.
‘Figures such as 7.2Mbps don’t mean enough to enough people. We need to talk in a mass-market language,’ he added.
3’s head of mobile broadband, Jonathan Lutz, said: ‘Some of our competitors over promise and under deliver, using technical standards which just aren’t deliverable.
‘We don’t want to see Vodafone taking advantage of something that’s misleading.’
Vodafone currently offers its maximum speed in selected areas of London and some major UK airports. It plans to roll out the coverage in Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester and Reading by autumn.
3 says its network offers download speeds of 2.8Mbps, with plans to increase this by July.
The ASA is expected to give its verdict on Vodafone’s adverts at the end of June.