Australian operator Telstra initiated legal action against rival Optus, claiming it misled customers over the superiority of its mobile network quality, The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) reported.

Telstra is concerned by adverts implying Optus’ network covers a larger proportion of Australia than its rivals, the media outlet noted, explaining the campaign had been broadcast since August 2019. Telstra is seeking a court order restraining Optus from making statements hinting on network superiority and calling for an end to the publicity.

But Optus VP of regulatory and public affairs Andrew Sheridan told Mobile World Live the operator has no plans to back down.

“Optus’ national mobile network covers more of Australia than ever before because it’s our biggest and best network on the back of over $6 billion of investment since 2015. We will continue to talk it up because it provides coverage where it matters most to people.”

He added the company was proud with the depth and breadth of its network coverage, and regards Telstra’s action “as a clear sign that their claimed point of differentiation continues to diminish”.

Optus claimed Telstra had increased prices during the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

SMH noted the two companies have had spats over advertising content since 2014.

GSMA Intelligence figures ranked Telstra as Australia’s largest operator by mobile connections in Q2, with 16.6 million: Optus placed second on 10.4 million.