Jersey regulator warns customers over 4G claims

BBC's Ryan Morrison investigates whether the new "4G" mobile broadband actually reaches the speeds advertised

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The Channel Islands telecom regulator has warned people to be cautious about a company's claims over 4G speeds.

The Channel Islands Competition Regulatory Authority (CICRA) said it was worried JT's advertising was misleading.

CICRA director John Curran said it was a relatively limited service and its advertising did not reflect this.

JT said it stood by its campaign and the network was available in the areas with demand for higher speeds.

Mr Curran said the company's description of a 4G network did not make it clear it was a relatively limited service.

Start Quote

This statement from the CICRA on 4G is surprising, not least because it runs counter to the practice adopted by the industry governing body”

End Quote Daragh McDermott Director of Corporate Affairs at JT

Jersey government owned telecom company JT said it upgraded masts in St Peter Port and St Helier as those were the two areas which saw the most mobile data usage.

Mr Curran said the regulator wanted people to be clear the technology JT was using was different to the 4G being proposed for launch next year.

"The term 4G is most commonly used to refer to Long Term Evolution (LTE) services which could offer mobile download speeds of 100 Mbps or more," he said.

Mr Curran told BBC News CICRA were considering how this could be rolled out and would be offering space to island operators within the next 12 months.

JT Director of Corporate Affairs Daragh McDermott said: "This statement from CICRA on 4G is surprising, not least because it runs counter to the practice adopted by the industry governing body, and some of the world's major telecommunications firms."

He said calling this technology 4G was approved by the industry governing body, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Mr McDermott said the designation was also being used by some of the world's largest telecommunications firms such as AT&T and T-mobile, as well as by JT's local competitor Cable and Wireless in the Caribbean.

Mr Curran said: "We have asked JT to be more precise in its advertising of what exactly its network can deliver to consumers and regrettably it has declined to do so."

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