A recent report by Broadband Expert investigated the actual download speeds customers can expect to recieve with each of the main mobile broadband providers. It will come as no surprise to anybody that users are unlikely to experience 'up to...' speeds often quoted.
Vodafone in particular was singled out for criticism, not because their mobile broadband was particularly slow, but because they claimed to provide speeds of up to 7.2Mbps. Despite this tests carried out resulted in speeds of around 1mbps. Most providers quoted speeds of up to 3.6mbps about 3 times faster than the average speeds experienced during tests.
Vodafone's claims to offer speeds up to twice as fast as their competitors was disputed by Broadband Expert. Vodafone have responded to the report by claiming that "reliability and consistency were more important to customers than speed" which begs the question: why are they advertising such high potential (but unrealistic) speeds?
Whilst the best mobile broadband is reliable and consistent nobody wants consistently lower than advertised speeds. Mobile broadband providers should not, in my opinion, be allowed to advertise speeds that less than 25% of users can expect to receive.
This is not the first time Vodafone's claims have been questioned. An advert they created featuring a mobile broadband dongle as a rocket with the tag line "The fastest, most reliable mobile broadband in the galaxy" was disputed by the Advertising Standards Authority and had to be pulled.