Poll: 3g On O2-uk

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by billandy, Nov 14, 2008.


How is O2 3G's speed/usability in your area?

  1. Excellent! "Twice as fast!"

    23 vote(s)
  2. It works at least, just not so fast!

    9 vote(s)
  3. Usable, but jumps back and forth between 3G and EDGE

    25 vote(s)

    7 vote(s)
  1. billandy macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2007
    Cambridge, United Kingdom
    Personally I'm experiencing severe issues with the O2 3G network around where I live. The 3G network collapse completely day and night, especially during daytime when the city is crammed with tourists. Still my main issue is NOT just the slow browsing speed on the 3G network, but rather for me it's the case that I can't even make/receive any phone call or SMS most of the time on 3G, not to mention web browsing. Literally, it's completely unusable and I am FORCED to disable 3G while in the city, for the sake of just being able to make and receive phone calls! How ridiculous is that, therefore putting up this poll wondering how the network quality is for other UK 3G iPhone users?
  2. BergerFan macrumors 68020


    Mar 6, 2008
    Mos Eisley
    In the area where I live (Camden Town, north London), the 3G coverage is excellent, but not comprehensive. There's still too many small coverage gaps, even in central London.
    Where I work (Knightsbridge), I'm located right in a gap, so while it keeps jumping between 3G and Edge, it's actually faster overall to turn 3G off, when at work.
    I've had no call issues either way, strangely.
  3. bmh16 macrumors regular

    May 5, 2008
    South Wales, UK
    Doesn't work where i live and i only get GPRS. At college it works in a few places but it loses connectivity to GPRS sometimes. I barely ever see Edge, have only seen it a few times! GPRS occurs most of the time but 3G occurs sometimes.
  4. paulsalter macrumors 68000


    Aug 10, 2008
    3G is not to bad when I am at work, although a lot of the time it gets very slow.
    At home I only get GPRS so luckily I have WiFi
    Edge is non existent, never see it
  5. ryanwarsaw macrumors 68020


    Apr 7, 2007
    I used to think O2 had bad 3G then yesterday I got an HTC touch HD. After this I found out the whole town and area I live in has 3G. Last night my roommate on an iPhone was getting only 4 bars of GPRS at the pub. On my HTC I was getting 5 bars of 3G. This was a revelation as I had assumed my town didn't have 3G coverage.

    There have been posts before with people saying maps show 3G where they are but they had no coverage. The reality is there probably is coverage but the iPhone has such a bad radio in it that it won't pick it up.

    I have an iPhone and so does my roommate. Both of our phones only get GPRS at home. The new phone I just bought gets 5 bars of 3G at my house. I love my iPhone to death but this is utterly disturbing.

    The iPhone has the worst reception of any phone I have ever owned and O2 doesn't deserve to have it's network criticised based on the iPhone. They deserve to be criticised for not calling Apple on it though.

    So I think O2 has ok coverage but the iPhone is the weak point. At the Apple store in Kingston I noticed my iPhone has low coverage so I am going to take my iPhone and HTC in and show them what I have just told you guys. FWIW the HTC is using the sim card from my iPhone so it isn't the sim.

    I feel a little bit like I have been cheated after noticing this. The iPHone is the greatest iPod ever but it is the worst phone ever. If you think O2 has bad 3G coverage if you know somebody with any other brand of 3G phone go with them and take your iPhone and compare the difference.
  6. billandy thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2007
    Cambridge, United Kingdom
    That may be, but the issue around Cambride is a real network problem, even the local O2 store staff confirmed it when he showed me his Nokia phone having similar signal strength. But that's still not my biggest issue, the biggest issue I have is that whenever I'm on 3G for a while, calls can't be received and are redirected to my voicemail. Even more weirdly, when I try to call any number, a dreadful woman's voice keeps on telling "the number you've called is not recognised...". Contacted O2 CS already and while they acknowledging the issue no timeline's been given whatsoever for the repair. More importantly, the local guy told me that the existence of this issue traces back to the launch in July.
  7. ryanwarsaw macrumors 68020


    Apr 7, 2007
    Well if that is the case then the problem of a horrible cellular chip in the iPhone is compounded by a network problem. I hope they fix the issue for you and you get the service you paid for eventually. It wasn't my intention to argue or doubt you but I am having problems of my own. We are all paying a lot of money for our phones and whatever the cause of the problem is needs to be fixed.

    Anyway for what it is worth since putting my iPhone SIM into my HTC I have had no problems what so ever. I realize posts like that can be somewhat annoying as my observation doesn't solve your problem. I don't mean this to be another "There is no problem, mine works fine" sort of posts. The fact of the matter is my iPhone does have problems but it doesn't seem to be network related.

    I would like to see what other people have to say about O2's network in the UK as well.
  8. billandy thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2007
    Cambridge, United Kingdom
    Indeed I also believe that many of the issues are related to both ends. I guess for my problem unless they put up an extra UMTS base station somewhere in the city, the situation won't be improved. I actually switched to O2 from 3. Before I was often moaning about the poor indoor reception and its ridiculously incomprehensible CSR, now it seems that 3's UMTS coverage and speed is way more superior than that of O2. I know O2 has GSM-sharing agreement with 3 to cover the gaps where 3's UMTS signals can't reach yet, but why aren't O2 customers benefiting from 3's better and way faster UMTS network in city? I easily got up to the maximum bluetooth transmission rate of 100kb/s when tethering my n95 on 3 at Cambridge...
  9. capoeirista macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2007
    I got my iPhone last week and was wondering if it was broken as I haven't seen the 3G icon at all. This thread has confirmed it isn't broken, it's just not very good! Thanks! Will I get noticebly better battery life if I turn the 3G off?

    FWIW I was on the train yesterday which stopped in Slough, and from the station you can see the O2 headquarters. I thought of all places I'd be able to pick on up there...nope!

    I'm also at uni in Norwich so even seeing the Edge icon is a treat for me! Thankfully I get access to university WiFi.

  10. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    3G works to spec when I can actually get it.

    It's no secret that O2's 3G network is the poorest in the UK in terms of coverage and probably everything else. Apple's choice of O2 for the iPhone was extremely short-sighted. Still, they got the terms they wanted, so good for them. Shame for us!
  11. Psyxologos macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2008
    I have no problems with 3G reception whatsoever. I have to admit that, after reading pages after pages in here with regards to signal etc, I was VERY apprehensive with buying an iphone 3G. I wanted one since launch day but ended up buying one mid October. Never regretted it!
  12. .adam macrumors regular

    Nov 20, 2007
    Perfect coverage for me.

    Live in Macclesfield.
    Work in Salford Quays.
  13. jamin100 macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2008
    I'd just like to add that o2's 3G coverage is excellent in Birmingham. the iphone 3G on the other hand is rubbish.

    I've had my 3G since July and the reception is awful. Yet when i stand in the same spot with my Nokia 6220 classic and Iphone sim, I can get full 3G and even 3.5G

    I've come the the conclusion that i'm going to sell the iphone and just use the 6220.
  14. wrkactjob macrumors 65816


    Feb 29, 2008
    O2 3G reception is crap.

    How many more masts will O2 have to put up before we get some decent reception?....even in parts of central London your lucky to get a 3G signal.

    The iPhone is a great toy but very much reliant, especially if your an app fan, on a clear and consistant 3G signal, which O2 don't provide.

  15. billandy thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2007
    Cambridge, United Kingdom
    glad to hear that at least some areas are still working. when i checked the ofcom sitefinder this morning, it surprised me to see that around where i live the 3g to 2g base station ratio is about 1:4! no wonder the signal's crap and the base station's constantly bogged down by traffic! hurry up o2, time to spend some money on the real infrastructure, not on the so-called local call centre. we don't need to hear people explain and find excuse, we just need a working state-of-the-art network!
  16. PowerFullMac macrumors 601


    Oct 16, 2006
    I like my 3G speeds but I have a huge lack of signal in my area, most of the time I get GPRS! :(

    Thank god for WiFi! :eek:
  17. ryanwarsaw macrumors 68020


    Apr 7, 2007
    Check your o2 coverage map and compare to other phones if you have friends with 3G phones. I can't believe that people aren't more up in arms about the fact that the iPhone for the most part won't get a 3G signal in areas where it is strong. I looked at my coverage map and using another phone know that there is no problem with the 3G coverage.

    Here is the map for my post code:


    The networks might have some coverage issues but it I think it is the phone itself. In that area not only does my iPhone not get 3G but it also drops to no service at times. There is no reason for this. It seems people are somewhat in denial to me. It isn't your fault, in many cases it isn't o2's fault.

    To the person that couldn't get 3G in Slough looking at the coverage map for that area it is brimming with 3G. Try another hand set if you can and then check. I bet you will find you get 3G everywhere. People are saying you can't pick up 3G in London and that's absurd.

    Apple made a phone with terrible 3G reception that's all there is to it. It isn't just the 3G part of the chip GPRS drops to no signal on many peoples phones as well.

    I am going to take my phone in at the weekend and tell Apple about it but if it is the cell chip don't see what a replacement can do abut it. It is hard to admit you have been sold a phone that has a defective chip but that seems to be the case and I have accepted that fact.
  18. PowerFullMac macrumors 601


    Oct 16, 2006
    It drops to no signal here, too.

    Its not Apple's fault, they didnt make the chips in the phone. Even so, it is O2's fault, my old 3 phone didnt have good 3G signal either... I do get signal a lot when I'm not at home as I'm in a city and when I get the signal it gives me good internet speed... It goes fine until Safari crashes. :rolleyes:
  19. ryanwarsaw macrumors 68020


    Apr 7, 2007
    Maybe some areas have trouble with coverage. What about my area where my iPhone drops to no signal alot and my HTC gets 5 bars of 3G everywhere? How do you explain that? I am looking at an iPhone and the HTC right now. They are both sitting right here on my table in front of my eyes. The HTC has an iPhone SIM in it. HTC=5 bars 3G iphone 3 bars GPRS. it is the same everywhere in this area.

    The radio in the IPhone is very weak. In the middle of cities I can get 4 or 5 bars of 3G like when I go to Guildford. How do you account for one phone get 1.9 MBPS speeds on 3G in my house but 2 separate iPhones getting only 3G even when I am using the same SIM cards and swapping them around to test them all.

    Have you tried taking another brand 3G phone around with your iPhone and directly comparing? You said your old 3G got bad reception but that may have been awhile ago. You would need to have another brand 3G phone to try today.

    It could be that the o2 coverage in my area is exceedingly good in comparison to other areas but if that is the case, why doesn't my iPhone pick up signal?

    People seem to be in denial on this one.

    Again please explain after what I just said why the iPhone gets barely any signal while the HTC is always strong. The only way I can account for this is that the HTC has a more powerful cell chip or it isn't more powerful but for some reason is more compatible with o2
  20. billandy thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2007
    Cambridge, United Kingdom
    a few things i'd like to point out. iphone has consistent symbol for high speed cellular network connection, be it actually a 3g or 3.5g-as nokia calls it- both are displayed simply as "3G" on iphones.

    not sure about your area, but not soon after the launch the whole forum was swamped with complaints just like yours. but in theory, and only in theory i mean here, apple should've addressed this issue after the 2.1 software update and since which i have barely, at least personally, read about any such complaints.

    one of the reasons apple gave was that their "bars" reflect the true strength of signal, ie hinting "others" give a fake full signal. not sure about that, but by and large when you take a look at ofcom's sitefinder, not the o2 one, which is useless, even in central london o2 has way more gsm base stations than those umts ones yet actually umts base stations have smaller capacity and shorter range... i think we can all work out what would that imply. without a proper upgrade of its 3g network, i can hardly see o2's network being able to handle the call and internet browsing traffic.

    and last but not least btw o2 staff and csr confirmed on different occasions that it's a real network issue here at cambridge.
  21. ryanwarsaw macrumors 68020


    Apr 7, 2007
    Well bar strength aside I test out at 2 MBPS on my HTC and I get dial up speeds on my iPhone, in the same location. The HTC gets similar speeds to my home broadband connection. The other thing is that when I use an IM program on my HTC the connection doesn't drop every few minutes, on the iPhone it does.

    When I moved into this area I didn't have any internet and was using my iPhone for communications. I didn't get better results than when I was in the darkest parts of Laos and using my first rev A iPhone for all of my data needs. The connection dropped every few minutes and it defaulted to the "no signal" message. At which point i would turn the radio on and off to get it back.

    Beejive is great as it stays connected to the cloud even if your iPhone cuts out. That is a nice feature but it doesn't fix the fact that an iPhone will not stay connected reliably. It is to the point that if you doubt what I am saying now I will meet you for a few drinks and we can compare side by side.

    Sometimes my iPhone will show one bar of 3G at home, and as soon as I try to use Safari it reverts down to GPRS. I know it isn't about bars of service. I can use a speedtest site to download 6 MB files to see what my connection is and it doesn't time out. The longer the files the more accuracy of the result I would think. After a 6 MB test it shows I get around 2 MBPS. On my iPhone however the test would never complete.

    On the iPhone it will time out. Only on the iPhone though.

    Signal strength bars don't matter. They are indicative of a good signal but not necessarily. If my HTC got no bars at all and could reach these speeds I wouldn't be complaining. The fact is that the iPhone outside of very ideal conditions (for the iPhone itself, not others) can not access 3G or even GPRS with out at times saying "no signal"

    If the iPhone even gave a steady GPRS connection I would shut my mouth and not complain. Try using Meebo from the web and see how that works for you. The connection isn't steady enough. 10 minutes later your friends ask "are you here?" after you are reconnected if you don't have to sign in again.

    The dropped call issue is not a result of bad 3G, but a result of a connection that drops often, under any condition. Try using your iPhone for anything that needs a constant connection like web based IM protocols.

    You will find that the "no service" message happens more often than not. I am sorry nobody here believes me but the cell chip in the iPhone is sub-standard.
  22. MATTHEWLONG macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2008
    I came from 3 and would give anything to try my iphone on that network as I had no issues with my signal. I now sit on the train at Waterloo with full signal in 3G and cant even make a call or send a text....
  23. ryanwarsaw macrumors 68020


    Apr 7, 2007
    Try that connection with any other phone and report back.
  24. Peruvian macrumors regular


    Jun 10, 2006
    In Manchester , I have full 3G coverage all the time..... I'm actually quite impressed with O2.......
  25. billandy thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2007
    Cambridge, United Kingdom
    hope not in the too distant future all the city centres would at least have equivalent quality 3G network. just enabled 3G for a day, the call fail number has been reduced finally after more than a month of malfunction! but still it's now switching back and forth between 3g, edge, gprs and no service even with the unit sitting still on the dock. hurry up o2! get it done before handing out bonuses to your engineers, if any!

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