Fight! Fight! Fight! 3 and Orange scrap over 3G coverage
On a day that the Inland Revenue wins an award for business innovation, you know the planet has been knocked off its moral axis and sent spinning into some special sort of Hell. In fact it's the perfect opportunity for mobile service provider 3 to whine they're been badly done to and nothing's right or fair. Why? 3 is marching Orange to the Advertising Standards Authority for claiming that it has the biggest 3G network in the country.
Orange has spent over £4 million in advertising and marketing recently, to tell consumers its 3G network covers 93 per cent of the population. 3 obviously disagree, claiming it has the largest 3G network. A spokesman for 3 said:
“We’re confident that we have the biggest 3G network in the UK — both in terms of geographic and population coverage — built on a 9,192-site network that grows by about 150 sites each week. It’s no surprise consumers are being confused about coverage.”
We haven't heard any customers expressing confusion but let's put that aside for now. Orange, how do you plead?
“The figure that 3 has published shows that we have a greater 3G population coverage than they do. We think that’s something to shout about and that’s why we’re telling our customers — and theirs — about it. It’s not how many masts you have; it’s where you stick them.”
3 is arguing that there are different types of measurement for this sort of thing, each providing a slightly different set of results, and that an independent third party is required to measure coverage. Obviously Ofcom aren't up to the job, then? In the meantime, consumers will just have to make their purchasing decisions based on other preferences, like customer service for example. On second thoughts, it's 3 and Orange we're talking about - that won't work either.