Telus sues Rogers over wireless speed claims

If Telus Corp. gets its way, the future could be quite unfriendly to the wireless marketing executives at Toronto-based Rogers Communications Inc.


Vancouver-based Telus is suing Rogers for allegedly misleading ads claiming it has the “fastest network.”


Telus recently launched its High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) wireless network, which it built in a partnership with Bell Canada Enterprises Inc.



On Wednesday the carrier released a court document – originally filed Nov. 12 – asking for an injunction that would force Rogers and its agents to stop making statements in advertisements that Rogers either has “Canada’s fastest network: 2X faster than any other” or that Rogers has “Canada’s most reliable network.”
A Rogers spokesperson said the company stands behind its reliability claims and looks forward to defending itself in court.
“All of our internal and third party testing since 2007 has consistently demonstrated that we have the most reliable network,” the spokesperson wrote to Network World Canada. “Telus has not submitted any data on their network performance.”

Telus is asking for punitive damages and that Rogers be forced to reimburse Telus for money it spent investigating Rogers’ conduct.


Toronto-based Rogers had already been providing cellular service using HSPA, which is based on Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM). Previously, Bell and Rogers had been offering EVDO (the high-speed version of Code Division Multiple Access, or CDMA) but wanted to be able to offer service for a wider variety of handsets, such as Apple Inc.’s iPhone, in time for the Winter Olympics.


Telus filed a statement of claim with the B.C. Supreme Court alleging Rogers ads running after the Telus HSPA launch Nov. 5 were misleading.


The allegations have not been proven in court.



Telus claims in its court filing that since Nov. 5, it has been using a “newer” HSPA network than Rogers and it provides “more coverage to more of Canada than do the HSPA or HSPA+ components of Rogers’” network.



HSPA offers a theoretical maximum data transfer rate of about seven megabits per second (Mbps). HSPA+ boasts up to 21 Mbps. Rogers announced last summer it plans to offer HSPA plus in major centres.



Telus stated it has demanded the Rogers “cease making the Fastest Network Representation and the Most Reliable Network Representation.” It claims it “will continue to suffer loss, damage and expense” as a result of the Rogers advertising Telus is disputing.


Telus also claim Rogers has violated the Competition Act when it claimed it provides “Canada’s fastest network.”

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