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ASA rules that T Mobile broadband not comparable to fixed line broadband
Wednesday 15 October 2008 11:44:07 by Andrew Ferguson

The rise of mobile broadband in the form of 3G USB dongles has made the life of people who travel a lot easier. This popularity has lead to greater competition and mobile providers trying to push their products, T-Mobile in a leaflet for its service stated the following:

"Emails to send, blogs to write, games to play, stuff-to buy- and everything else you love doing online- wish you could do these things when you're out and about with friends and family in the UK this summer? Broadband on the go for £15 a month ... All the benefits of home broadband, on the move. No wires, no waiting, no worries..."

Copy from T-Mobile leaflet

A complaint was raised as to whether mobile broadband was really of similar speed and quality to home broadband. The ASA considered the response from T-Mobile, but upheld the complaint. The ASA felt that mobile broadband was not likely to offer speeds comparable to fixed line broadband, which has products that can go up to 24Mbps versus the up to 7.2Mbps of the mobile products. The authority also felt that some bandwidth intensive activities were not going to be available or of the same standard, with these being streaming, downloading and online gaming.

T-Mobile has been told to not run the advert again, and to avoid the implication that their mobile broadband was of a comparable standard to fixed line broadband.

The ruling is interesting, as there are probably bits of the country where 3G mobile data services can provide speeds in excess of what basic ADSL broadband can manage, so which is best is very much an individual thing. We see on our forums a trickle of people complaining about being sold a mobile data connection with various coverage promises but being disappointed when they find they only get GPRS speeds in their home.

Comments

Posted by keith_thfc over 8 years ago
"We see on our forums a trickle of people complaining about being sold a mobile data connection with various coverage promises but being disappointed when they find they only get GPRS speeds in their home."

Seems no different to most broadband providers who oversell their service if you ask me.

Only difference being that the ASA rule againt t-mobile after ONE complaint, yet happily ignore the broadband providers who have been peddling fake unlimited services to the masses for several years now.



Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
I fail to see what T-Mobile done wrong... If we look at previous news items just on this site the AVERAGE fixed line speed in the UK seems to be around 2Mb and there are plenty with caps lower than what they are offering... Personally i wouldnt use the service but i think their quote of "All the benefits of home broadband, on the move. No wires, no waiting, no worries..." Is pretty accurate and fair.........
YET ANOTHER BAD decision by the ASA, clueless fools.
Posted by yousadlot over 8 years ago
Clearly mobile broadband is never going to be the same quailty of a fixed line broadband service.
Carpetburn, you quick to slate BT for a bit of clever marketing but when T-mobile are comparing a mostly GPRS signal service to that of a strong fixed line Broadband your defending them.
You clearly have something again BT.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"T-mobile are comparing a mostly GPRS signal service to that of a strong fixed line Broadband"

No they aint.... re-read the story... A 3G service in speed terms is similar to normal ADSL.... As the story also states at the end in areas ir exceeds it.... someone 20 miles from the exchange if they have 3G access would and do get better speed
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
BUT! yousadlot is right, £ FOR £, FULL ADSL speed and throughput will always be better than 3G...
yeah sure 3G is promising 20Mb/s by 2009 (the key word is *promised* !!) I'll bet the *actual* speed of this will be less - but there are already 24M services going, I guess they will find a way to get even faster..

to take the part that was missed, "there are probably bits of the country where" even dialup is faster than ADSL :/

Things like FTP & newsgroup downloads I would be surprised to find on 3G, even if people will pay the money for all that usage!!! its not cheap as fixed line...
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Comnut you are right the tech will get even better, but for now the quote of "All the benefits of home broadband, on the move. No wires, no waiting, no worries..." Is pretty accurate, the average landline speed in this country is probably slower than top 3G rates (Average ADSL speed here is around 3Mb). The ASA have no clue as technically the T Mobile quote doesnt mention speed... Even if you take the word "benefit" to mean speed how then does the ASA explain how some miles from the exchange could in theory have lower speed than a 3G connection?
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
well its down to 'whos the stupidest'...
ASA, salesmen, and those that believe all they say...

or who can 'push their luck' the furthest...
eg T-mobile for trying to convince ASA that it can do it..

and of course it aint that easy, if *only* speed mattered, we would not be moaning - it is not as simple as broadcasting TV from one point, and milions each recieving a good service..

it is rather pointless to 'predict the future' or try to guess what the admen's "weasel words" mean...
Posted by NetGuy over 8 years ago
The "3 Connect" utility often shows "no connection" when there is a rock-solid connection, and it has been in use here pretty much 24x7 since it arrived (apart from 2 days when I took it with me to have emergency access when visiting people with ADSL problems!)

I suspect the ASA is basing its judgement on city-dweller thinking, unfortunately, but perhaps they should be given some slack, at least for the time being, for not being in touch with the real world situation. I doubt the availability of higher speeds will match the mobile networks in the next 5 years...
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
CB: sure, tech will get better, and so will fixed wire tech...

- you seem to be talking from a very limited perspective - My 10 Mb is working great, and I guess 50M will do, not trapped by the old BT network limitations - these are only numbers though, most normal people just want the net to work, it shows in the lack of people here..

even if 3G manages to get up popularity and speed, then it will attract all the 'bad stuff' that all the others get... mass downloaders escaping the traps set for them, companies setting limits due to overcrowding, etc, etc... as I said, a bit pointless..
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
I cant agree.... The service is comparable to the average broadband line here in the UK, T Mobile didnt mention speed and what they did mention is accurate... How many people in the country will get 50Mb (i gather your with virgin)?? and even if they do its throttled... The T Mobile service in terms of being connected to 3G is as they say basically the same only minus the wires... A 3G connection at my place of work will run faster than a wired standard ADSL connection.... I hate T Mobile (one bit of rain and bye bye phone call) but their description of their service IMO was fair
Posted by gallafent over 8 years ago
At my house, I get 1.5Mb/s at best on ADSL2, often down to about 1Mb/s or even no connection due to bad line conditions in wet weather etc. … T-Mobile 3G gives me rock solid 2.5Mb/s at all times so far …, so they aren't comparable for me, T-Mobile's 3G service is superior. I suppose it really depends on what one takes "all the benefits" to mean … for me, there is no aspect of T-Mobile's service which is _worse_ than the fixed line!
Posted by nstrudwick over 8 years ago
It's worth nothing that T-Mobile's sales technique was bad. I was phoned up by a 3rd party on their behalf offering the service. They did not even bother to check whether compatible service existed in my area, which it doesn't.

I tried it anyway but I couldn't even get the Mac program to run and on being told I'd have to wait 30 mins on the phone to get support I very politely told them what to do with it!
Posted by calvo over 8 years ago
One of the most annoying things about T-mobile web'n'walk is BBC iPlayer can't be used as they use an IP address in the Netherlands. It did a few weeks ago but not now and I specifally asked about iPlayer when I was buying.
However I have to say their technical support on non-iPlayer issues was very good...actually called back when they said they would. I know that's the way it should be but it isn't always.
Posted by paulj2001 over 8 years ago
QUOTE: "Only difference being that the ASA rule againt t-mobile after ONE complaint, yet happily ignore the broadband providers who have been peddling fake unlimited services to the masses for several years now."

T-Mobile obviously couldn't offer as big a 'back-hander', lol!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Things like this really need taking out of the ASAs hands, quite how many people the ASA thinks are happily surfing along at 24Mb remains a mystery...... Oh and incidentally talking of the ASA i thought they had banned the Virgin so called "Fibre" advert, yet it was on TV again last night.... They have no clue at all.
Posted by MikeStrauss over 8 years ago
There have been some interesting comments here, but you've left out a very important point... "All the benefits of home broadband, on the move." ignores the fact that there are still huge areas of this country where a 3G signal isn't available. If you're in one of them while you're 'on the move' the service you'll get will be nothing like what is available at home. And if you happen to live in one -- as I do -- then mobile broadband isn't worth having!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"the fact that there are still huge areas of this country where a 3G signal isn't available."

There are also chunks of the country that cant get landline braodband... So it could be argued the quote of "All the benefits of home broadband, on the move" is still accurate and fair. Infact id be willing to bet percentage wise mobile coverage and fixed line broadband coverage are pretty similar... Agree maybe not in terms of 3G but it quote says benefits of home broadband, and the average home broadband speed in the UK is 2-3Mb.... something mobile broadband can do without 3G.
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
well I still call it a duff comparison!

"our duff mobile BB is just as good as your duff home BB"..

about as stupid as saying "get all the benefits of ASDA supermarket in your town" when the nearest one is 20 miles away....

- and I can tell from the low audience in this 'comments' that most DONT have problems...

Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote""our duff mobile BB is just as good as your duff home BB"
LOL obviously they would say that but if you study it that is accurate.
quote"get all the benefits of ASDA supermarket in your town" when the nearest one is 20 miles away...."
If you have a supermarket or even a smaller shop selling basically the same products at similar prices then that other shop as far as i can see would indeed basically be offering the same benefits as the other store.
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
er, wrong... most small shops are often 3 or 4 times the price!

even my local tescometro is about twice the price for somethings, *if* they have it...
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"er, wrong... most small shops are often 3 or 4 times the price!"
Considering this service is £15 a month id say that compares very much to a fixed line service, so with regards to price the "benefit" of this service still applies and is comparable.
I dont see how price would result in the ASA ruling against them as £15 is cheaper than many fixed line services/providers.
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