UK NETWORK EE has looked to dampen Three's 5G launch by seeking to ban an advert in which the operator claims to offer the only "real" next-generation service.
As per the Guardian, BT-owned EE has filed a complaint with the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), claiming that Three's 5G ads - which features the tagline "if it'' not Three, it's not real 5G" - are misleading.
"Three's claim to be the only real 5G network is entirely false, and deliberately aimed at misleading consumers," an EE spokesperson said. "Our customers have been using real 5G since we launched the UK's first 5G network, back in May."
The ASA will now investigate whether the adverts, which appeared in newspapers and on social media, are in breach of advertising code.
Three, which switched on its 5G broadband network in London on Monday, is claiming its network is superior to rivals' services due to the fact that it's the only operator to have a 100MHz contiguous block of spectrum which improves the reliability and speed of service.
In a statement given to INQ, the operator defended its advert, claiming it "is to inform consumers that we will offer the fastest 5G network, based on Three having three times as much 5G spectrum as any other operator.
"We are also the only operator to have 100 MHz of contiguous spectrum. ITU considers this the gold standard for 5G, enabling consumers to take full advantage of what 5G has to offer," the spokesperson added.
Unsurprisingly, EE isn't the only operator to take issue with Three. O2 last week moaned to Ofcom about its plans to defragment 5G spectrum in the 3.4-3.8GHz band, which it claims "is currently the most important range of frequencies for the launch and development of 5G mobile services" and puts Three at an unfair advantage.
"Unfortunately, Ofcom's policies to date have favoured one operator, [Three UK], allowing it to establish a ‘kingmaker' position, from which it can attempt to extract windfall gains from rivals in return for moving its spectrum, or otherwise expect anti-competitive rents from blocking rivals from acquiring larger contiguous blocks," O2 told ISPReview.
In a statement, Ofcom has said that it's "releasing more airwaves to support the roll-out of 5G.
"We've also proposed new measures to make it easier for mobile companies to bring together their different blocks of spectrum, to help provide a better 5G service for customers," the watchdog added. "We are considering all responses to our consultation before making our final decisions later this year." µ
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