Orange and T-Mobile Signal Sharing (Everything Everywhere)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by kolax, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. kolax macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #1
    I'm with Orange, but I've always used T-Mobile's signal because it is far stronger in Edinburgh (for those that don't know, in the UK, Orange and T-Mobile allow people to use each other's signal).

    It usually shows up as "Orange T-Mobile" in the menu bar, but from today, its just been showing up as "Orange". I switched my signal to Orange then back to the T-Mobile one and it was the same strength (though definitely the same strength as T-Mobile, not the usual bad signal from Orange).

    So it appears that they've combined the separate signals into one entity? If I'm on "Orange" as the signal, it'll roam both Orange or T-Mobile towers. Before, for your phone to switch to T-Mobile if you had bad signal involved your phone actually having no signal at all, then it would search and then connect to T-Mobile's signal.

    This implementation is great as it means the signal is always the strongest without the user having to intervene to manually force one. But I can't find any news on their website of this actually being the case.

    Anyone else noticed this?
     
  2. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #2
    This is a recent change called "smart signal share".

    Your phone should now switch to the other network when it is offering a better signal. This also means that your phone will prefer T-Mobile 3G over Orange 2G.

    Orange and T-Mobile are rolling this out across the UK at the moment, with Scotland getting it first.
     
  3. OzyOly macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, AU
    #3
    I'm just switching from O2 to T-Mobile now. Everything Everywhere seem to have this signal sharing working good these days and it's looking like they'll be the first to roll out LTE if offcom don't stop it next month.
     
  4. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    Location:
    Scotland
    #4
    It's about time they sorted this, but it is good news.
     
  5. kolax thread starter macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #5
    It chooses with signal is strongest on the fly, but right now, I'm on 4 bars of Orange GPRS, but if I manually switch to T-Mobile, I can get 3 bars of 3G.

    So it isn't quite flawless yet.

    I've no knowledge on cell tower configurations, but at some point, can't they combine all the cell towers as one entity? Instead of having Orange and T-Mobile cell towers operating independently, have them combined?

    Obviously, it seems like it doesn't matter since your phone will roam either cell tower automatically, but maybe someone can clarify the reason why my phone won't switch to T-Mobile 3G and instead stick with Orange's GPRS/EDGE? It will switch to T-Mobile at times in other locations.
     
  6. reclusive46 macrumors 65816

    reclusive46

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    #6
    The smart signal share they are currently rolling out, will fix this. It will always pick a 3G network first.
     
  7. fat jez macrumors 68000

    fat jez

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Location:
    Glasgow, UK
    #7
    The long term plan is to totally merge both networks, getting rid of duplicate cell sites and core network infrastructure, e.g. the switching equipment that routes the calls around the network. It will take a while to do so though.
     
  8. fat jez macrumors 68000

    fat jez

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Location:
    Glasgow, UK
    #8
    errr, that's what I said! Everything Everywhere intend to run one 2G and one 3G network.

    What you see displayed on your phone will be either Orange or T-Mobile, but that's just down to what is programmed into the SIM card (or might be phone) to display. The network doesn't actually transmit the name Orange or T-Mobile. In the case of Orange, it transmits the country code and network code which is 234 for country code and 33 or 34 for network code (there is a list on Wikipedia). This is then mapped on the device to show Orange, but it could show anything, e.g. T-Mobile instead.

    To cut a long story short, there will be one network which will still show your chosen network provider (which already happens with T-Mobile and 3's 3G network, run by MBNL).
     
  9. susanjf90 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    #9
    This implementation is great as it means the signal is always the strongest without the user having to intervene to manually force one. But I can't find any news on their website of this actually being the case.[​IMG]
     
  10. kolax thread starter macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #10
    Ah that's great.

    There's currently an issue with HulloMail's answer phone and the signal sharing - if you are on the T-Mobile signal, then HulloMail isn't the default answer phone.

    Hopefully when they near the completion of the merging this won't be an issue.
     
  11. fat jez macrumors 68000

    fat jez

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Location:
    Glasgow, UK
    #11
    How are you setting the alternative answerphone? Are you using divert on no answer to an alternative number? I'm wondering whether only the operator controlled call forwarding number works when you are using T-Mobile's network and not any user controlled diverts. Basically, when using T-Mobile's network, it's like you are roaming in another country, only without the exorbitant call charges, so there may be some limits as you can end up with the call tromboning through the roaming network (i.e. 2 legs of a call, one to the roaming network, then the divert kicks in and one back to the home network).

    I don't work for Orange any more (haven't for a number of years), but I still know quite of a few guys there. If I get a chance, I'll ask.
     
  12. kolax thread starter macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #12
    The topic I linked to there over at HulloMail's forum implies the same as your thinking, and someone with knowledge suggested that should all be sorted by July. I'm setting the alternative answer phone by ringing a number provided by HulloMail - I've tried setting it up on both T-Mobile and Orange, but as the forum topic there shows, it seems to be an issue with Orange rather than HulloMail's setup/my setup.

    That'd be great. I'm keen to know the roadmap/timescale for the merging of networks. Are you able to hop from Orange to T-Mobile's signal mid-call or would it drop while it connects?
     
  13. fat jez macrumors 68000

    fat jez

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Location:
    Glasgow, UK
    #13
    I won't be able to find out time scales, as that would be commercially sensitive.

    To answer your other question, it works pretty much the same as 3 and Orange's arrangement (where you have no coverage on 3, you use Orange's 2G network). The call will drop, the phone will find the stronger signal and switch to it and you'll have to redial. It's like driving from France to Belgium. If you set up a call before leaving France, it won't seamlessly switch to the Belgian network when you run out of signal.

    Eventually it will be one network (there would be no point in merging to save money otherwise!), but as to how long this will take, I have no idea other than it won't be a trivial exercise to merge the two.
     
  14. kolax thread starter macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #14
    I wish I could set my phone to prefer the T-Mobile signal, because I can no longer select T-Mobile exclusively.

    Right now in my apartment, I get 1 bar of Orange 3G which will usually drop to 5 bars of Orange GPRS. I know I can get 4 bars of T-Mobile 3G in my apartment, yet my phone still seems to always prefer Orange.

    Before, I used to set my phone to use T-Mobile instead of Orange because 3G reception was far better, but this whole "phone will use whichever signal is strongest" concept isn't working at all.
     
  15. smethrony macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2012
    #15
    T-Mobile network is a in the top of the class. By the signal sharing with Orange mobile gives better network result. Orange mobile and T-Mobile both has best 3G signals so people will get more better, faster and seamless Internet by sharing 3G signals between them.
     
  16. bp1000 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    #16
    The 3G coverage of the tmobile + orange setup is excellent. Even though I use O2 in my 4s I have a t mobile sim in an old android handset which I use as a personal hotspot as the 3G coverage easily beats o2.

    I haven't made the leap yet as my o2 contract is unlimited and speeds are over 5Mbit/sec and strong signals in 3g900. But with the 3 of them I can get 3G pretty much anywhere.
     
  17. smethrony macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2012
    #17
    Yes, T-Mobile sim card in an android handset gives best performance and high speed Internet. We can get best 3G coverage easily. I am also using T-Mobile sim card with my android phone and I really got more faster Internet connectivity.
     
  18. kolax thread starter macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #18
    iOS 5.1.1 must have included an update for Orange/T-Mobile's carrier settings.

    It switches between Orange and T-Mobile's signal really reliably now. I get a stronger T-Mobile signal than Orange, and before it would still use Orange. Now, it always uses T-Mobile.
     
  19. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #19
    This will be down to the new system I outlined in Post #2

    As far as I know, they didn't change the carrier settings of ANY carrier (worldwide) in the last update.
     
  20. kolax thread starter macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #20
    Yeah I saw that, but oddly enough was only after the 5.1.1 update that the switching became reliable - before it would only really switch during phone calls, not while inactive. Coincidence maybe.
     
  21. paulkerdot macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2010
    #21
    Orange /t mobile is great however Orange data is totally useless in the Glasgow area. I am told by an Orange employee that there is going to be a big upgrade to Orange in the Central Belt over the summer so fingers crossed. T-Mobile data and coverage is fantastic though.

    I have 4 S just now but am thinking of getting a Galaxy sIII.
     

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