Since announcing its 4G network earlier this month Vodafone has been loudly asserting that it is the fastest in Australia. The claim is based on the fact that it uses a different part of the spectrum than Telstra and Optus, allowing greater bandwidth.
Now Telstra has sent Vodafone a letter asking it to stop making the claims. Vodafone has said it will not. The matter has not yet gone legal, but it may well do so.
The action comes on the same day Telstra announced a major expansion of its 4G network. 4G is the new battleground, and bragging rights are important. The text of the letter has not been made public, but its existence has – a number of news organisations are reporting it and speculating as to its contents.
“Vodafone's 2x 20MHz spectrum holdings are bound to attract our competitors' attention, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne where our spectrum is currently unmatched,” a Vodafone spokesperson told iTWire. “We are extremely pleased to be able to offer superfast 4G data speeds to our customers at some of the most affordable prices in the market and will continue to promote our 4G.”
Note the reference to Sydney and Melbourne. When the Vodafone network was announced, its spectrum enabled it to offer faster speeds in all capitals except Perth, where Telstra’s 4G operated over a similar spectrum, Industry sources have told iTWire Telstra has since ‘re-stacked’, or re-apportioned, its spectrum in Adelaide and Brisbane, thus prompting its letter to Vodafone, but that this restacking has not yet occurred in Australia’s two largest cities.
Does anybody really believe these claims anyway? Whether Telstra is right or wrong, it is foolish to make an issue out of it. All it is doing is giving publicity to Vodafone. And taking away from its own achievements – it has overshadowed Telstra’s 4G expansions, announced today.