Head of Three Regrets Using Term 'Unlimited'

Kevin Russell, the head of mobile network Three has criticised the way phone tariffs are being advertised.

Russell's comments follow a recent ruling from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) against Orange who had that its 3G network "covers more people in the UK than any other operator".

ASA ruled in favour of Hutchison who had raised the concern and said the advert was not clear whether the claim referred to coverage in terms of population numbers or geographical area, in which Hutchison 3G is larger.

One analyst at Forrester Research said the ruling was likely to be the first of many. "There will be a debate about this," said analyst Ian Fogg.

"It's much harder to measure or communicate how good an operator's 3G network is than it would be for home broadband.

"Network coverage can vary based on signal strength and whether it works indoors, but performance works on the number of people using a network as well."

That is more likely to be "unpredictable" for a mobile network, he said.

Guy Parker, ASA's Chief Executive has said that the organisation now intends to investigate the terms under which packages can claim to offer "unlimited" data downloads

"The market has evolved quite a lot in the last few years particularly with the popularity of mobile broadband. We think it's a good time to have a look at that policy, see if it's fit for purpose," he said.

Russell from Three has expressed regret for using the term "unlimited" to describe data packages.

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