Vodafone experience thread

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spotify95
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Vodafone experience thread

Postby spotify95 » Dec 17th, 2015, 07:29

Since we have a thread for O2 and Virgin Media, let's have a discussion for Vodafone!

I've heard several reports that Vodafone are just as bad, if not worse, than o2. Which is pretty poor, if you have read the o2 thread.

Here's a post I found amusing: http://forums.digitalspy.co.uk/showpost ... count=7209

What are your experiences with the Vodafone network ? Discuss!


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Re: Vodafone experience thread

Postby Zak » Dec 17th, 2015, 11:22

So which network would you suggest where Vodafone and 02 have poor or non existent 3G coverage? such as is the case in my area.

Probably the "3" Network? as I beleive theirs is the one with the widest coverage of 3G/4G at present.


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Re: Vodafone experience thread

Postby spotify95 » Dec 17th, 2015, 11:40

Zak wrote:So which network would you suggest where Vodafone and 02 have poor or non existent 3G coverage? such as is the case in my area.

Probably the "3" Network? as I believe theirs is the one with the widest coverage of 3G/4G at present.

Hi,

There are an awful lot of areas that don't have O2 or Vodafone coverage - an example being Thrapston, a town in East Northamptonshire. No coverage on O2 or Vodafone, perfect on EE or 3.

If you're interested in just 3G, then either 3 or EE will be fine - 3 are usually a bit cheaper than EE.

If you want 3G and 4G, then EE has more 4G coverage and have faster speeds on 4G - though they are more expensive. EE also don't do unlimited data.

It just depends on your requirements, but in any case, EE or 3 will be fine for 3G/4G. Voda/O2, on the other hand, have got an awful lot of catching up to do!


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Re: Vodafone experience thread

Postby pinkteddyx64 » Dec 17th, 2015, 19:33

You may also be interested to know that mobile phone tariffs are actually on average more expensive in the US than here. :D


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Re: Vodafone experience thread

Postby spotify95 » Dec 17th, 2015, 19:56

pinkteddyx64 wrote:You may also be interested to know that mobile phone tariffs are actually on average more expensive in the US than here. :D

Though that's probably because the US have better networks than we do.

Even EE, the UK's best network for 3G and 4G coverage, haven't managed to get 99%+ 3G and 4G - meaning that some villages etc still rely on 2G.

What makes me unhappy about the UK's networks is that the US are turning off their 2G in 2017, countries like Singapore are also considering switching off 2G - yet in the UK, we're not switching off 2G until at least 2025 (probably even longer) and it could well be that 3G gets axed before 2G does!

Which is no good at all if you are on an MVNO that doesn't have 4G (e.g. Virgin) or you don't have a 4G compatible phone!

And although this does sound like UK-bashing propaganda, it is the reality of things and unfortunately people like you and me can't do anything about it.

A better way would be to refarm all 2G frequencies (and all 2G capacity) to 3G and 4G, i.e. 2G900 (Voda/O2) to be refarmed to 3G900, and 2G1800 (EE/small amount for O2/Voda) to be refarmed to 4G1800. Then whack the power levels of 3G900 (O2/Voda) and 3G2100 (EE/Three) up, so that 3G coverage matches or exceeds the ex-2G coverage. If necessary, add a few more fill in masts to cover blackspots. Done! 2G gets switched off.


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Postby pinkteddyx64 » Dec 17th, 2015, 20:11

spotify95 wrote:
pinkteddyx64 wrote:You may also be interested to know that mobile phone tariffs are actually on average more expensive in the US than here. :D

Though that's probably because the US have better networks than we do.

Even EE, the UK's best network for 3G and 4G coverage, haven't managed to get 99%+ 3G and 4G - meaning that some villages etc still rely on 2G.

What makes me unhappy about the UK's networks is that the US are turning off their 2G in 2017, countries like Singapore are also considering switching off 2G - yet in the UK, we're not switching off 2G until at least 2025 (probably even longer) and it could well be that 3G gets axed before 2G does!

Which is no good at all if you are on an MVNO that doesn't have 4G (e.g. Virgin) or you don't have a 4G compatible phone!

And although this does sound like UK-bashing propaganda, it is the reality of things and unfortunately people like you and me can't do anything about it.

A better way would be to refarm all 2G frequencies (and all 2G capacity) to 3G and 4G, i.e. 2G900 (Voda/O2) to be refarmed to 3G900, and 2G1800 (EE/small amount for O2) to be refarmed to 4G1800. Then whack the power levels of 3G900 (O2/Voda) and 3G2100 (EE/Three) up, so that 3G coverage matches or exceeds the ex-2G coverage. If necessary, add a few more fill in masts to cover blackspots. Done! 2G gets switched off.

Not necessarily in all areas of the US. :(

Can I train my dog to savage James_W because Japan has already long since switched off 2G and has plans to have an all 4G only network by 2019? :banghead: :doh2:


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Re: Vodafone experience thread

Postby spotify95 » Dec 18th, 2015, 13:23

Well well well... I hope that what I found today was just an anomaly, rather than actual coverage issues...

Center of Kettering town, they have great big mobile masts on the roofs of buildings. One was an MBNL mast one was an old o2 mast. Done a network scan and EE was fine, their 4G mast is capable of 60Mbps. O2 also appeared on the 3G scan. Guess who was absent...

Told you that Vodafone are the worst network in the UK in terms of coverage!


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Re: Vodafone experience thread

Postby spotify95 » Dec 18th, 2015, 22:05

I know that this is more to do with EE but it is a general overview of all networks over a 6 hour journey, so suitable here.

Very informative post: http://forums.digitalspy.co.uk/showpost ... count=7285

By the looks of things, EE came out on top, with Vodafone and Three tied for second place. O2 came rock bottom with continuous streaming issues and a lot of time spent on 2G.

What is interesting was that O2 had about 5 minutes where there was not even 2G, yet EE had no blackspots at all and even Vodafone was better than O2.

Also, note that Vodafone was better than Three UK in terms of speed, but 3 UK was better in terms of 3G coverage. Only 20 seconds of journey with no coverage at all - the same 20 seconds that EE spent on 2G (remember, 3 UK do not have 2G).

Crucially, what separates MBNL/EE/Three from Vodafone (and O2) is that MBNL are much better in terms of streaming - Vodafone had one dropped stream, due to going back to 2G - yet there was only 20 seconds on Three with no 3G. It can be deduced that had I had done those tests, and had I used Tunein Radio for streaming performance, then assuming that Tunein worked properly (version 12.9 works fine, version 13.x is a bit iffy, and 14.x is quite poor) and the buffer time was set to maximum (30 seconds), then the no signal time on Three (20 seconds) would have been absorbed by the 30 seconds of buffer, and as such the stream would be continuous for 6 hours - now that's what I call reliability!

If only I had a DS account, then I would be able to report things like that myself, such as when I do streaming tests like the Tunein Test I did last year!


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Re: Vodafone experience thread

Postby pinkteddyx64 » Dec 18th, 2015, 22:12

You may be interested to know that I had the misfortune of being with Vodafone from 2005 to 2009, and the signal despite being only on 2G as all I did then was made calls and texts and nothing more was more inconsistent than The Student Room's moderation policy! :rolleyes: :banghead:


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Re: Vodafone experience thread

Postby spotify95 » Dec 18th, 2015, 22:26

pinkteddyx64 wrote:You may be interested to know that I had the misfortune of being with Vodafone from 2005 to 2009, and the signal despite being only on 2G as all I did then was made calls and texts and nothing more was more inconsistent than The Student Room's moderation policy! :rolleyes: :banghead:

That just tells you that Vodafone is a bit ropey, and certainly insufficient as a network for mobiles in the modern day!

If 2G was ropey, then 3G or 4G would be even worse! As I said when summarizing Pedro C's post, EE and Three are best for reliably streaming media, or anything regarding reliability - because on both EE and 3, 3G was lost for only 20 seconds, and as I said, if Tunein is configured correctly, the 20 seconds of downtime would be gobbled up by the 30 seconds of buffer, and as such the stream would continue.


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Re:

Postby spotify95 » Dec 30th, 2015, 21:24

pinkteddyx64 wrote:
spotify95 wrote:
pinkteddyx64 wrote:You may also be interested to know that mobile phone tariffs are actually on average more expensive in the US than here. :D

Though that's probably because the US have better networks than we do.

Even EE, the UK's best network for 3G and 4G coverage, haven't managed to get 99%+ 3G and 4G - meaning that some villages etc still rely on 2G.

What makes me unhappy about the UK's networks is that the US are turning off their 2G in 2017, countries like Singapore are also considering switching off 2G - yet in the UK, we're not switching off 2G until at least 2025 (probably even longer) and it could well be that 3G gets axed before 2G does!

Which is no good at all if you are on an MVNO that doesn't have 4G (e.g. Virgin) or you don't have a 4G compatible phone!

And although this does sound like UK-bashing propaganda, it is the reality of things and unfortunately people like you and me can't do anything about it.

A better way would be to refarm all 2G frequencies (and all 2G capacity) to 3G and 4G, i.e. 2G900 (Voda/O2) to be refarmed to 3G900, and 2G1800 (EE/small amount for O2) to be refarmed to 4G1800. Then whack the power levels of 3G900 (O2/Voda) and 3G2100 (EE/Three) up, so that 3G coverage matches or exceeds the ex-2G coverage. If necessary, add a few more fill in masts to cover blackspots. Done! 2G gets switched off.

Not necessarily in all areas of the US. :(

Can I train my dog to savage James_W because Japan has already long since switched off 2G and has plans to have an all 4G only network by 2019? :banghead: :doh2:

Yes, but here's the problem: an all 4G network isn't really a good solution!
Firstly, there's quite a lot of people who don't have 4G compatible handsets. In terms of iPhones, anything earlier than the iPhone 5 (that's the iPhone 4S and older) doesn't have 4G support. For Android, anything earlier than about 2012/2013 wouldn't have 4G (I think the first Samsung to have 4G is the Galaxy S3?). The people who have 3G handsets (that still work now) wouldn't want to buy a £100+ phone for 4G. As an example, my parents have a ZTE Blade 3 and a Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus (they both used to be my phones) - both are 2G/3G only (so no 4G) and date from 2011 onwards. They don't make too many phone calls, however it is vital that they are able to make and/or receive calls. They don't use that much phone data either. They'd be rather unhappy (to say the least) if someone told them to buy a £100+ phone each, that supports 4G.
Secondly, not all 4G phones support VoLTE. If a phone doesn't support VoLTE, how do they make a call? Simples - they drop back to 3G! Anything that's older than the iPhone 6, or the Samsung Galaxy S5, will not support VoLTE. That means that I'd have to buy a new phone - and my Samsung Galaxy S4 wasn't cheap! (Cost £380 a year and a half ago.) No VoLTE would mean not being able to make or receive calls - disaster!
Thirdly, (certainly in the UK) phones that support VoLTE have to be flashed with the carrier's firmware, for VoLTE to work. If you bought your phone on a contract, then all you'd need is an update from the carrier. However, for those who buy their phones outright (so they can switch to a different network if necessary), they'd have to find the carrier branded firmware, and flash it on to their phone, in order to get VoLTE working. Do I know how to do that? Nope! Do most people know how to do that? Again, nope! (Note, this doesn't apply to iPhones, certainly the iPhone 6 and newer.)

What they should have done is got 4G LTE working with voice from the offset, so you wouldn't end up with situations where you have a phone that doesn't support calls over 4G. And furthermore - if LTE was launched with voice capabilities from the offset - the power on the 4G frequencies wouldn't have to be heavily restricted, so as to have to fit within the coverage range of 2G or 3G. As an example, if you had, say 4G800 running at full power, with no restrictions on what device can access it, and your 2G network was on 1800 MHz, and 3G on 2100 MHz, then you'd have lots of instances where you'd have lovely data across 4G800, but you wouldn't then be able to take a call because your non-VoLTE phone has no 2G1800 or 3G2100 to drop back to. Hence, why Vod/O2 have had to heavily restrict their 4G800 power; because their 800 band is their primary 4G coverage band and it has to fit within 3G900 in order for calls to work across all devices.



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