Vodacom loses Wi-Fi calling complaint
Vodacom and Cell C have been at each other’s throats again in front of the Advertising Standards Authority, this time over a claim by Cell C that it was the first to introduce commercial Wi-Fi calling in South Africa.
In this instance, the authority has handed victory to Cell C and dismissed Vodacom’s complaint.
Vodacom took issue with Cell C’s claim to have been the first to debut Wi-Fi calling, and said that it was in fact it the first to launch, back in June 2015 (albeit that the service was and still is limited to Samsung Galaxy S6 handsets).
“These handsets make up approximately 1% of Vodacom’s subscriber base, and as such Vodacom did not believe it to be in consumers’ interest to promote a service that is only available to a very small portion of Vodacom’s subscriber base,” Vodacom said in its complaint.
It said it is now working to ensure that modern Android phones and iPhones support Wi-Fi calling.
“This does not detract from the fact that Vodacom has launched Wi-Fi calling some time prior to the Cell C launch.”
Vodacom said it estimates that fewer than 1% of Cell C’s subscribers have handsets that can take advantage of Wi-Fi calling.
In response, Cell C said that although Vodacom’s network may have been capable of supporting Wi-Fi calling in June 2015, the company’s presentation of the facts was “somewhat disingenuous”.
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