South Africa: Cell C Loses Final '4gs' Appeal


The final appeal committee of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) of South Africa has dismissed a last attempt by Cell C to have a ruling that the "4Gs" term it used in its advertising was in breach of the authority's advertising codes overturned. The committee has awarded costs to complainants Vodacom and MTN.

In a decision handed down by the committee's Mervyn King on Monday, 29 August 2011, it says the appeal is "dismissed with costs, which shall include the costs of counsel on behalf of Vodacom, taxed on the party-and-party basis as if this matter had been heard in the high court".

The decision is a blow to Cell C, which had initially claimed it had a fourth-generation (4G) mobile network. It later changed its advertising from "4G" to "4Gs", claiming the abbreviation stood for "for great speed" and "for great service".

Other African countries (particularly Nigeria) have operators who claim to be providing 4G services but are not challenged by any advertising standards body.