Telstra may sue Voda over 4G speed claims



blog Those of you who follow such things will be aware that Vodafone is currently blanketing Australia with advertisements telling all and sundry about the speed of its 4G mobile network. And the company does have reason to boast; early tests have shown that although its network coverage is significantly inferior compared to the 4G networks of Telstra and Optus, its speeds can often be faster, due to the company’s spectrum holdings in certain cities. However, Telstra, which has long led Australia’s mobile sphere, isn’t happy about the claims, despite the fact that they’re often true, and has threatened the big V with legal action unless it pipes down. The Australian newspaper tells us (we recommend you click here for the full article):

“The Australian has learned that Vodafone has been asked by Telstra in private correspondence to change a number of claims made about its 4G mobile services that Telstra believes are untrue.”

It’s hard to say whether Telstra will get very far with its claims; Vodafone’s argument that its 4G network is technically faster (where you can get it) does have some evidence in fact, as far as we can see. However, Telstra customers can rest easy that the speed lead may not last that long; in a teleconference moments ago (which your writer is currently listening in to), Telstra chief operations officer Brendan Riley revealed that Telstra had been able to source new blocks of wireless spectrum in 1800Mhz, and was able to achieve 15Mhz or 20Mhz contiguous blocks in some locations around Australia. The telco has spent some $4 billion on its Next G network from 2005 until now … and it’s not going to be beat by upstart Vodafone if it can help it.

Image credit: Vodafone


  1. So rather than just beat them on the playing field (which they already pretty much have, with a far larger & more popular network) Telstra is suing the underdog for daring to temporarily beat & compare their top speed. Actually, that does sound like the sort of thing Telstra would do.

  2. I’d love to see this go to court, but it won’t. It’d be great to have some legal precedent for what ISPs can and can’t advertise about speeds.

    • They didn’t get more spectrum. When the original spectrum was auctioned off, it was done in chunks.
      Telstra and Optus happened to get chunks that were discontinuous. LTE (currently) can only work with continuous spectrum.

      Basically the spectrum was shuffled to join the bits of spectrum together into single blocks to enable it to be used for LTE. The fragmentation was an unintended consequence of the method used for earlier auctions and basically the ACMA directed the owners of the spectrum to sort it out.

  3. ah, I see – thanks for the reply!

    so Telstra WILL have 20Mhz to play with for their LTE soon enough to silence Voda…

    • Actually it has already happened, though not everywhere will get a full 20MHz and there may be some work required in some areas before teh spectrum can be used.

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