Bell can't make 'most reliable' claim: B.C. court

Canada no longer has a "most reliable network" after a B.C court ruled Bell Mobility must remove all of its advertising containing such a claim in a decision that conjured up wireless deja vu.
A B.C. court ruled ordered Bell Mobility to remove all advertising with its "most reliable network" claim Wednesday. (The Canadian Press)

Canada no longer has a "most reliable network" after a B.C court ordered Bell Mobility to remove all of its advertising containing such a claim in a decision that conjured up wireless déjà vu.

Wednesday's ruling follows a similar injunction issued last month against Rogers Communications Inc.'s own claim to be Canada's most reliable network.

Rogers launched legal action against Bell on Dec.1, claiming the Bell ads were false and misleading. The action came after Rogers lost its own battle against Telus over the most-reliable issue.

Rogers argued before a B.C. court that data suggesting Bell's network is the most reliable is misleading because it was compiled before the commercial launch of its upgraded network, said John Boynton, chief marketing officer of Rogers Wireless.

Reliability has to be built and validated over time, with many customers, Boynton said.

"Bell testing on an empty network does not constitute that," he said. "The claim is something Rogers has been building and measuring and reporting on for years and years. We have vast, vast amounts of internal and external third-party testing over many years over thousands of tests per city."

Bell spokeswoman Claire Fiset said the court did not argue with Bell's network testing that found it had the clearest reception and the fewest dropped calls but ruled that the reliability of a new network cannot be directly compared to an older network.

"With that judgment today, it means no wireless network in Canada can make a most reliable claim in Canada right now," she said. "So if we can't claim it, nobody can."