iPhone 4S on O2 UK - experiences now?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by miniConvert, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #1
    After leaving O2 for Vodafone a couple of years ago when O2's network seemed to have reached breaking point I'm finally considering making the switch back. O2 fought the PR fires of their network congestion with bold claims about investment in the network, so I'm interested - have you seen improvements? What are your current thoughts of O2 for the iPhone 4S compared to the competition?

    I live in Canterbury, and the city, being rather tiny and home to many old buildings, and surrounding areas have rather poor 3G coverage. When I was with O2 for the iPhone 3G and S, I rarely if ever saw 3G. Then O2 declared they were to roll out 3G900 (3G in the previously GSM band at 900MHz, known for covering greater distances and building penetration), and recently the O2 coverage map has come alive with 3G all over the place. I've blogged my early experience here: http://www.talk3g.co.uk/entry.php?331-Living-the-3G900-dream

    Any particular qualms or concerns you have with O2? Having been liberated from having to use their network when iPhone exclusivity ended it seems odd to be choosing to go back. There has to be a catch ;)

    Thanks!
     
  2. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #2
    3 offer better deals and although I'm on an original iPhone contract with unlimited everything im considering swapping!

    Not because of bad service but just about saving £300 a year for pretty much the same deal.

    The other downside to o2's new contracts is the data limit is poor for what you pay and after 3 warnings they start charging you for overages.
     
  3. mopatops macrumors regular

    mopatops

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    I've been with giffgaff (runs on the 02 network) since October now and have found decent coverage everywhere I travel. The only times signal drops out for me is when I'm on the train travelling through rural landscape but I don't know if that's the same for all networks. I'm also using an iPhone 4 rather than 4S so I don't know if the HSPA+ support in the 4S makes any difference to coverage.

    If you're getting ready to sign up to a 12/18 month contract, it may be worth signing up to giffgaff for a single month with your current handset to test the waters. It'd suck to find out yours is the only house in town which doesn't get coverage and be stuck for 12 months!
     
  4. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #4
    I've been on O2 for years and have next to no issues. I have tried Vodafone (not bad). My Dad is on 3 and drops calls all the time. He does live out in the sticks though. I'm on the simplicity plan which has no tie in and only £15 a month. For me data is no issue because the majority of time I'm on WiFi which is free.
     
  5. biohead macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Location:
    West Drayton, UK
    #5
    Likewise I'm on Giffgaff, and have been on O2 previously since 2004.

    Since the rollout of 3G900, the coverage has definitely improved. There's still a lot of black spots but it's much better for 3G coverage wise. In the mean time I've also played about on Vodafone (poorer 3G coverage) and 3 (miles better 3G coverage but inside buildings you're in trouble).

    Unfortunately, for the past two months I've also had a TMobile SIM in my iPad 2 - and that has shown me that O2's 3G network is still severely lacking.

    O2 definitely have a better network now, but from my recent experience they still have a long way to go. If you don't desperately need 3G everywhere you go, then they are fine for that.
     
  6. miniConvert thread starter macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #6
    Regarding the iPad, yeah, I use Three in mine - I think when you've got a data hungry device that's only really working at its best when it has 3G then one of the networks using MBNL (Orange, T-Mobile, Three) makes the most sense. The device can't take calls, so areas of no coverage inside buildings aren't a deal breaker with WiFi so prevalent.

    On a handset it's a different kettle of fish - being available for calls and texts is important. I'm thinking O2 is a good compromise here because 3G900 has given them a half-decent 3G footprint at long last, and data on their 2G network seems to work acceptably well (unlike on Vodafone, in my experience).

    And hey, Visual Voicemail! :)
     
  7. reclusive46 macrumors 65816

    reclusive46

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    #7
    Orange and T-Mobile probably have the best 2G and 3G coverage now they fully share their networks.
     
  8. miniConvert thread starter macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #8
    In terms of an integrated network it does sound like the best proposition on the face of it. Unfortunately neither Orange nor T-Mobile had 2G networks to match O2 and Vodafone prior to the merger, and with no sub-1GHz spectrum held by either player the joining of their 2G networks does not necessarily the best 2G network make.

    All the pieces are soon to be thrown up into the air with the arrival of the 4G spectrum auction, and who knows where they'll land. In the meantime, I think sub-1GHz 3G from O2 may just be the best proposition for an iPhone... local variations and black spots notwithstanding.
     

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