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Consumer agency orders KDDI to end exaggerated coverage claims

Kyodo

The Consumer Affairs Agency has ordered KDDI Corp. to stop exaggerating the coverage area of its LTE high-speed network for the iPhone 5.

The agency said Tuesday that KDDI boasted in product catalogs and on its website late last year that its LTE network would cover 96 percent of Japan’s population by the end of March.

The operator of the au mobile phone service also said iPhone 5 users in major cities would get high-speed data service of up to 75 megabits per second.

However, KDDI did not have a plan to expand coverage as pledged. As of September, the high-speed service was offered only in limited areas, and as of late March the LTE network for the iPhone 5 covered only 14 percent of the population, the agency said.

Consumer centers have received 57 complaints about the KDDI ads, officials said. The communications ministry already admonished the carrier on May 10.

The company apologized to its customers and vowed to thoroughly examine its advertising.

KDDI said President Takashi Tanaka will give up 20 percent of his salary for three months to take responsibility, while five other executives will take a 10 percent pay cut for the same period.