UK carrier comparison

What network would you recommend?


  • Total voters
    112

szolr

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 27, 2011
376
0
London, UK
My 3GS contract runs out in February. At which point I will look at the general rumours and see whether the sixth iPhone is likely due in June/july or autumn. I'll either get a 4S immediately or wait for the next (that's doubtful though).

In advance though, I can consider carrier options. Because, truly, choosing a carrier sometimes seems harder than choosing the phone. ;)

I'm currently on Vodafone and think data services are ****. :mad: So I don't really fancy sticking with them. My mum's always used Vodafone; hence I got tangled up in it. My dad's on Orange and seems to always have 4 or 5 bars phone signal but never uses the internet or anything like I do. My friends virtually all used to be with Orange but have recently had a mass switch to giffgaff (uses O2's network). And they're happy with that.

Personally I will not run with a smaller carrier like giffgaff. Period. Vodafone's out. So really the choice is O2 or Orange for me.

I've compared the stated benefits of both and can't decide at all. Is visual voicemail even important to consider? Does T mobile network really boost Orange? Is Orange Wednesdays more useful then O2 priority moments? What do you all reckon?

Any constructive views are much appreciated. :)
 

Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
9,217
1,606
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

Go with 3 if your looking for contract as they have unlimited data. If you want payg then gifgaf
 

johnnyfuggles

macrumors newbie
Mar 12, 2011
4
0
I agree, go with Three. I have been with O2 for years and had a hesitation going to Three. I travel all over the country and since I have moved to Three just two months ago, phone and internet have been spot on.
 

szolr

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 27, 2011
376
0
London, UK
Do you mostly get 3G coverage? <-- Asking because I understand 3 use Orange's GPRS and EDGE services and only own their own 3G towers. I think.
 

andrewndy

macrumors newbie
Nov 1, 2011
28
0
Again, I'm another one who's recently moved to 3 after my other half has been with them over a year. I've been with Vodafone and orange and both useless. Not had one single problem with 3's customer services, signal or internet

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Plus if you get the one plan on 3, unlimited data usage, cheaper than most others and tether for no extra....sound like I'm a 3 sales person :p
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Moccasin

macrumors 6502a
Mar 21, 2011
938
169
Newcastle, UK
I would go with O2 if you want a major carrier - not just because I'm using them.

My employer recently switched mobile suppliers from O2 to Orange and it was a disaster. They had so many complaints that they had to offer us the choice of returning to O2. Signal quality was so much worse for many of us and I often received a voicemail when the phone had never even rung. As I have a basic Nokia as my work phone, I can't vouch for data

Maybe you would be worth getting your phone unlocked and then getting a cheap PAYG micro-sim from Orange and O2 so that you can test them fore your needs?

Check the operators' 3G coverage maps too, to ensure you have a strong signal in the places where you spend the most time.

Don't rule out giffgaff or Tesco though - they are far cheaper and still use O2

I like Visual Voicemail personally. Its useful to see who's left messages as sometimes I'll just call them straight back rather than listening to their voicemail.
 

szolr

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 27, 2011
376
0
London, UK
Just realised I was rather silly with the poll.

This bit... "(if other, specify and I'll add the option)" is obsolete as 1) I didn't put an other option and 2) I can't add poll options. Fail on my part... :eek:
 

Certinfy

macrumors 6502a
Jan 29, 2011
933
0
London
I would say go O2. Orange can be okay but from their customer service I've experienced in the past there's no way I would get an expensive contract with them.
 

OllyW

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 11, 2005
17,086
6,454
The Black Country, England
Just realised I was rather silly with the poll.

This bit... "(if other, specify and I'll add the option)" is obsolete as 1) I didn't put an other option and 2) I can't add poll options. Fail on my part... :eek:
Fixed that. :)

I've added the other two networks that sell the iPhone in the UK, if you need anything else changing send me a PM.
 

szolr

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 27, 2011
376
0
London, UK
Fixed that. :)

I've added the other two networks that sell the iPhone in the UK, if you need anything else changing send me a PM.
Thanks. I felt like a bit of a muppet when I saw what I'd done. ;) So I take it only moderators can add poll options?

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I liked 3 deals but I found coverage pretty awful in Norfolk. Where abouts in the country do you live?
London. (It's shown beneath my username. ;) ) I'm in the Midlands quite a bit though-Birmingham and Coventry. So a good signal there too would help. :)
 

Moccasin

macrumors 6502a
Mar 21, 2011
938
169
Newcastle, UK
I might consider 3 when my current contract comes to an end but am more likely to go with giffgaff or someone and buy the phone up front.

Not unhappy with O2 but hate being tied into a 2 year contract, so a sim-only plan seems a better way to go.

I used to have a 3 broadband dongle and even though I was living centrally in the city, found 3G signal patchy to say the least. I ended up having to pay for a landline and fixed broadband.
 

shandyman

Suspended
Apr 24, 2010
6,458
396
Dublin, Ireland
Do you mostly get 3G coverage? <-- Asking because I understand 3 use Orange's GPRS and EDGE services and only own their own 3G towers. I think.
I'm on Orange and i only get decent 3G in the centre of a big town, like Reading or London, anywhere else and it's, at best, 1 bar of 3G where the data connection is extremely ropey. i work in the middle of Newbury, i mostly get GPRS signal only and the data connectoin barely works.

my mum is on 3, we put her iPhone 4 and my iPhone 4 next to each other, she had a bar more than me on 3G and ran the speedtest app, i got 0.8Mbps, she got 2.2Mbps...
 

daneoni

macrumors G4
Mar 24, 2006
10,807
79
Happy with O2. Data has improved recently, i still have unlimited data and visual voicemail too.
 

andybno1

macrumors 68040
Nov 6, 2007
3,639
37
Liverpool, UK
I'm currently with Orange I tend to get quite decent signal and finally got the orange t-mobile 3G in my area so yeh can't complain there..... contract runs out next year I may switch to 3 as it could work out cheaper a month
 

shandyman

Suspended
Apr 24, 2010
6,458
396
Dublin, Ireland
I'm currently with Orange I tend to get quite decent signal and finally got the orange t-mobile 3G in my area so yeh can't complain there..... contract runs out next year I may switch to 3 as it could work out cheaper a month
Whereabouts are you? I've not got 3G Orange-T-Mobile signal here in Berkshire yet. I'm due to renew in July and I'm switching to 3 unless the 3G Orange-T-Mobile improves things.
 

andybno1

macrumors 68040
Nov 6, 2007
3,639
37
Liverpool, UK
Whereabouts are you? I've not got 3G Orange-T-Mobile signal here in Berkshire yet. I'm due to renew in July and I'm switching to 3 unless the 3G Orange-T-Mobile improves things.
I believe they are still rolling out the 3G..... I was getting gprs last week it's only this week I have started getting 3G.

I'm in Liverpool

EDIT: says here in October saying over the next few months they rolling the 3G switch on out
 

reclusive46

macrumors 65816
Apr 14, 2011
1,091
34
Canada
Thanks. I felt like a bit of a muppet when I saw what I'd done. ;) So I take it only moderators can add poll options?

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London. (It's shown beneath my username. ;) ) I'm in the Midlands quite a bit though-Birmingham and Coventry. So a good signal there too would help. :)
Go with o2 if you want Birmingham. Their upgrading all their network in Birmingham to HSPA+ on a 3G 900 band. So should have amazing speeds and reception there.
 

szolr

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 27, 2011
376
0
London, UK
Go with o2 if you want Birmingham. Their upgrading all their network in Birmingham to HSPA+ on a 3G 900 band. So should have amazing speeds and reception there.
Cool.

Also, is there any news on the 4G front for the UK? The government have auctioned off the 4G spectrum now I think? (Just considering the future here.)
 

Moccasin

macrumors 6502a
Mar 21, 2011
938
169
Newcastle, UK
Cool.

Also, is there any news on the 4G front for the UK? The government have auctioned off the 4G spectrum now I think? (Just considering the future here.)
The auction hasn't taken place yet because the carriers are squabbling about how its divided up. There probably won't be much movement anyway until March when all the old analogue TV signals are turned off.

There's a trial operating somewhere though I think.
 

brian250

macrumors member
Mar 21, 2008
35
0
I've had great experiences with T-Mobile. Frnakly I got sick of o2's average coverage, below-average tariff's, constantly changing T&C's and mediocre customer service.

I choose T-Mobile because of inclusive international calling and unlimited data (technically Im on an old Android Tariff, which has truly unlimited data, including tethering). Currently I've got a free SGSII (sold!) on an 18 month contract, paying £20/month, getting 300 mins, 300 text, unlimited Data and a booster (I use the EuroAus Talk, but there are loads of others, including roaming ones)
My bills were cut in half instantly. Any problems have been solved instantly, and usually with a bill credit to boost. Their Twitter presence is really useful and actually gets things done.
I found that T-Mobile have a fantastic 3G network, to boot. I have noticed there are lots of HSDPA+ areas, constantly great speed, no problem streaming over 3G, or using Viber, etc. The 2G signal share with Orange works well, certain areas are seeing 3G switch too, areas around Leeds seem to be coming on-line at the minute. TMobile (and now Orange) and 3 share a lot of 3G mast sites, but each network uses their own back haul. So TM 3G tends to be on-par with 3, but with the TM and Orange 2G fallback as well.
 
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