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on2it

94 posts

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#28314 26-Nov-2008 11:36
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I see the Dominion Post reporting today that the Commerce Commission is investigating whether Vodafone has breached the Fair Trading Act for misleading and deceptive conduct by claiming they offer 'the largest and fastest 3G network in New Zealand'.

[Edit: Add link to story on businessday as it's not on stuff]

http://www.businessday.co.nz/industries/telco_it/4773614

As discussed in the Herald poll thread in the Telecom forum, the pommie company seems to think that 3G doesn't include Telecom's EVDO network which is utter crap. (I use EVDO and it's brilliant on a datacard - loads of coverage around the country).

[BTW, before Paul Brislen flames me, I use Voda for mobile voice and Telecom for mobile data because it's miles better and even Telecom's nationwide 1X is wildly faster than Voda's slooooowwwwww GPRS.]

Up here in Auckland there's a big Botany Downs sign where Voda's small print 'based on W-CDMA coverage' is down in a corner in white type on a pale background and can hardly be seen particularly when driving past the billboard.

The standard for who might be misled under the Fair Trading Act is not the average Joe but something less than that and even the average Joe doesn't have a clue what the diff btw network acronyms is (the English courts describe 'the man who's just missed the bus ;~)

I'd say Voda are up sh*t creek.

Maybe the prospect of Telecom's truly nationwide 3G bearing down on them like a runaway train makes the maximum $200,000 fine under the Fair Trading Act just a cost of doing business!

Mind you it won't be a good look for the world's largest mobile operator if they get found out for blatantly deceiving customers whilst flogging their stuff.

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robbyp
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  #180407 26-Nov-2008 11:45

Yes it is an interesting story. This is the article http://www.nzherald.co.nz/small-business/news/article.cfm?c_id=85&objectid=10544358


on2it

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  #180410 26-Nov-2008 11:57
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The Herald story refers to the complaint alleging Vodafone's 'largest and fastest 3G network' advertising is misleading and deceptive.

The Dom Post story now confirms that the Commerce Commission has agreed to investigate the complaint rather than dismiss it (presumably because they think the complaint has substance).

Personally I agree with Mauricio that having Mr Brislen spinning up pure PR with claims like "Telecom's network covers zero" may possibly be relevant in the press but doesn't add anything to this forum which is about informing geeks and others not defending Vodafone's commercial behaivour and other 'reputation management'.

Actually Paul's employer should be real careful with his Herald claims of "speeds of up to 7.2Mbits/s". This is rubbish as well as that's only the over the air speed between the cellsite and mobile and has nothing to do with actual throughput speeds in the field. I've never seen real life internet speeds anywhere near this and I saw a comment by JohnR that bugger all sites can even do 7.2 over the air (let alone sites having backhaul capacity etc.)

[Edit: Add link to JohnR's comment 'only a handful of sites' do 7.2]

http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?ForumId=40&TopicId=28215

The Commerce Commission has already spanked ISPs on this issue and stated they must only advertise speeds that can be expected by most users most of the time.

I can't see the average Joe understanding the nuance behind GSM, CDMA, W-CDMA, GPRS, 'over the air interface' etc., when reading the commercial claims of supposedly reputable network operators trying to drum up sales.

Real-world customers just want to know what they'll see on their laptop which I'd like to think is why Telecom promotes real-world average speeds (I don't think they even mention theoretical max speeds).

Why does Vodafone claim theoretical maximum speeds that their customers will never experience?

Talk about overpromising and underdelivering - from a sales perspective it's just nuts and arguably telling lies is not the Kiwi way...

In fact here's a direct challenge for Paul Brislen to walk the talk and support his claims in the Herald

Paul, please advise exactly where and when I can experience 'up to 7.2 Mbits/s' on New Zealand's largest and fastest 3G network - I'll bring a Vodem stick and check it out on speedtest.net on the New Zealand servers :-) Anything less than consistent 6 Mbs results is a 'FAIL'

 
 
 
 


robbyp
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  #180416 26-Nov-2008 12:38

I have had a look on the stuff website and can't find any mention of it

manhinli
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  #180453 26-Nov-2008 16:09
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... and that billboard is my picture! Laughing (See my user profile for my name)


I do think Vodafone have created a marketing dream but a PR nightmare (in terms of the people who know their stuff). It's easy to say anything you want - just make it so that it's not going overboard.




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manhinli
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  #180456 26-Nov-2008 16:24
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Here is the new NZ Herald article (a new one, not the first one):

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/technology/news/article.cfm?c_id=5&objectid=10545190




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skyplonk
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  #180457 26-Nov-2008 16:24
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A part from this link makes me laugh.

http://www.businessday.co.nz/industries/telco_it/4773614

"Vodafone spokesman Paul Brislen queried whether EV-DO was a 3G technology."

Vodafone need to be worried if their staff does not know that EV-DO is a 3rd gen technology.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I am sure it is the International Telecommunication Union, Not Paul or anyone from Vodafone for that matter decides what is 3G and what is not.

manhinli
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  #180463 26-Nov-2008 16:33
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skyplonk: A part from this link makes me laugh.



http://www.businessday.co.nz/industries/telco_it/4773614



"Vodafone spokesman Paul Brislen queried whether EV-DO was a 3G technology."



Vodafone need to be worried if their staff does not know that EV-DO is a 3rd gen technology.



Correct me if I am wrong, but I am sure it is the International Telecommunication Union, Not Paul or anyone from Vodafone for that matter decides what is 3G and what is not.


Yep - EV-DO is definitely an acceptable 3G standard, and that part also made me worry a bit.




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freitasm
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#180469 26-Nov-2008 16:49
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manhinli: ... and that billboard is my picture! Laughing (See my user profile for my name)


I do think Vodafone have created a marketing dream but a PR nightmare (in terms of the people who know their stuff). It's easy to say anything you want - just make it so that it's not going overboard.


I'd hope you get some credit...




 

 

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manhinli
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  #180471 26-Nov-2008 16:55
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freitasm:
manhinli: ... and that billboard is my picture! Laughing (See my user profile for my name)


I do think Vodafone have created a marketing dream but a PR nightmare (in terms of the people who know their stuff). It's easy to say anything you want - just make it so that it's not going overboard.


I'd hope you get some credit...

We had a quick chat - my name is under the picture. Smile




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robbypreb
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  #180472 26-Nov-2008 16:56
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manhinli:
skyplonk: A part from this link makes me laugh.



http://www.businessday.co.nz/industries/telco_it/4773614



"Vodafone spokesman Paul Brislen queried whether EV-DO was a 3G technology."



Vodafone need to be worried if their staff does not know that EV-DO is a 3rd gen technology.



Correct me if I am wrong, but I am sure it is the International Telecommunication Union, Not Paul or anyone from Vodafone for that matter decides what is 3G and what is not.


Yep - EV-DO is definitely an acceptable 3G standard, and that part also made me worry a bit.


 

 

If it isn't 3G, hasn't telecom been advertising it as 3G? If it isn't 3G, why hasn't VF made their own compliant about TCs advertising?

This shows it is 3G http://www.cdg.org/technology/3g_1xEV-DO.asp

Its a tiny fine if they are found to be wrong with their advertising. You couldn't buy that sort of publicity for that small fine.


on2it

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#180500 26-Nov-2008 18:42
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Hey maybe there's a new idea for Tui's - "Yeah Right" is getting a bit tired, right?

Maybe they could revive the idea with the new "Based on" campaign

"Vodafone - the largest and fastest 3G network".........................based on W-CDMA coverage

"George W Bush - the greatest US president ever".........................based on US Presidents serving 2000-2008

"Helen Clark - the sexiest woman alive".................................based on Labour prime ministers

The possibilities are endless...

cokemaster
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  #180502 26-Nov-2008 18:44
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Excellent to see the commerce commission involved in can only be described as exercise in misleading the public and spreading FUD.
Its always a pity to see people who DO know better, engaged in furthering and spreading such rubbish.

I would personally like to see them post retractions, using the same medians that they used to propagate the FUD. Yes that means billboards, mailers, etc. I worry that fines would be similar to being slapped with a wet bus ticket.




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coffeebaron
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  #180504 26-Nov-2008 18:59
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on2it: Hey maybe there's a new idea for Tui's - "Yeah Right" is getting a bit tired, maybe they could revive the idea with the "Based on" campaign
"Vodafone - the largest and fastest 3G network".........................based on W-CDMA coverage
"Helen Clark - the sexiest woman alive"......................based on Labour prime ministers
The possibilities are endless...

Have we all forgotton the third player here?

NZ Comms, the fastest and largest mobile network in NZ* ** ***

*based on our own coverage + our roaming agreement with Vodafone
**also based on 3G only networks where 3G means only WCDMA
***also based on having an authorised beta tester SIM card for our network




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VFNZPaulBrislen
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  #180511 26-Nov-2008 19:33

Just to clarify... I did not question whether EVDO was 3G technology or not. I was one of those who argued against the Commerce Commission ruling that EVDO wasn't 3G when it made that call back in 2005.

I can't find the columns I wrote on it but here's one story and here's a second.

In fact, the only kind word Theresa Gattung ever had for me was over that series of stories. To argue that Telecom's EVDO wasn't 3G simply because it was making efficient use of the spectrum was farcical and quite wrong. Eventually the Commission decided that it did in fact have a 3G network and so wouldn't be regulated (IIRC).

I'm sure I didn't say that to Tom - he may have misunderstood or misheard. Telecom's EVDO network certainly is a 3G network.

Cheers

Paul




Paul Brislen
Head of Corporate Communications
Vodafone

http://forum.vodafone.co.nz


on2it

94 posts

Master Geek


  #180515 26-Nov-2008 20:03
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Paul Brislen> I did not question whether EVDO was 3G

OK, bit of backtracking/clarfication, fair enough.

What about my challenge to you to walk your talk and support your claims reported in the Herald?

"Please advise exactly where and when I can experience 'up to 7.2 Mbits/s' on New Zealand's largest and fastest 3G network - I'll bring a Vodem stick and check it out on speedtest.net on the New Zealand servers"

And I mean as in tomorrow, not after your network engineers have cooked up a sh*t load of Vector's fibre backhaul onto a single site

Well? Don't want to have to start going "Bourrrrk, bok, bok, bok" or maybe "meow"

Or don't tell me, this comment was "misheard" as well?

Yeah OK Mauricio I know you don't like baiting the PR department - I'll stop now ;~)

BTW I've thought up another one for the new "Based on" campaign

"Winston Peters - New Zealand's most trustworthy politician".................................based on NZ First leaders


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