When an operator says you can get ‘up to 7.2Mbps’ what sort of speed do you actually expect from your mobile broadband modem? According to the the BBC, 3 has reported Vodafone to the Advertising Standards Authority over the wording of its mobile broadband advertising, contending that ‘up to’ just isn’t good enough.
The Beeb says 3 has accused Vodafone of not making it clear that when it says ‘up to 7.2Mbps’ consumers actually won’t get anything like 7.2Mbps. Vodafone says it tells its customers when they buy a device that they shouldn’t expect to get top speeds.
In first days of wired broadband, this argument came up repeatedly and the regulator pretty much decided that putting ‘up to’ before a speed is enough of a caveat for users. For most man-in-the-street users, as long as they can get a service that lets them browse and send attachments in good speed, that’s enough for them. That said, a bit more realism in speed boasts never hurt anyone.