[UK] iPhone Dilemma

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by SayCheese, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. SayCheese macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Location:
    Thame, Oxfordshire, England
    #1
    Hi all,

    as the title suggests I have a dilemma on what to do with my UK O2 iPhone.
    I queued up for it on Friday and activated it Friday night. The activation went fine and I have to say that I love the phone. The interface, the features and the whole user experience is great, however I have an issue......

    The Network, O2, where I live the signal is poor. So poor in fact that I can only get 3 bars if I sit the iPhone in it's dock, next to my laptop in my room (still living with parents and no funds to move out for about a year). When I am downstairs watching TV or chatting or anything in fact the signal is non-existent. There is no signal at all no matter what I do or where I put the phone. I have tried almost every inch of the downstairs and there is nothing.

    This poses a problem for me. I use my phone a lot for texting and calls while at home. I cannot hear the phone ring from downstairs and I cannot hear the text message tone no matter how loud I turn it up. So what I am thinking is that I need to change networks, so that I can get a signal all around the house. I can get a signal on T-mobile and Vodafone but that is about it. Now vodafone charge a lot for their data and T-mobile are much more reasonable. So I think that I should go with T-Mobile.
    What I want to know is which option from the following should I go for?

    1. Return the iPhone, cancel the contract, put it down to a bad decision, swallow the restocking cost and forget about it. Maybe buy a iPod Touch with the funds.

    2. Cancel the contract and then keep the phone. Take out a contract with T-mobile, get a free phone (N95/Sony Ericsson/Something similar) and when the 1.1.2 gets hacked (which will happen eventually) transfer the sim card across and then use the iPhone on another network.

    3. Put up with a poor signal at home and spend 18 months regretting my decision every time I miss a call or text.


    I would love to know everyone's thoughts on this. I love the iPhone, I really really do. I don't want to have to get rid of because of a bad reception but I just cannot spend 18 months with such a poor reception.

    Thanks all in advance and if you have an opinion (other than I should have done some research prior to getting the phone) then I would love to hear it.

    Please please please help,

    Thanks

    Say_Cheese

    P.S. If you have another alternative to the above then please let me know.
    P.P.S I need to act quick otherwise I will run out of the 14 day grace period and be stuck with having to buy myself out.
     
  2. nickspohn macrumors 68040

    nickspohn

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    #2
    You could call and complain to Vodaphone. If they have a diagram of their network and you live in it, they might let you switch out for free and go to another carrier.

    You could also downgrade the firmware to where an unlocking program could be used, get a contract with TMobile and use them. It's not like Apple forces you to have the latest firmware.
     
  3. DenniZ macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    #3
    2 problems its 02 not vodafone

    Also downgrading only makes your iphone unlocked to other 02 sim cards rendering it pretty much useless. Wait a couple more days see if there is any more development with the unlocking situation.
     
  4. nickspohn macrumors 68040

    nickspohn

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
  5. DenniZ macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    #5
    sometimes with some phones when it shows no signal bars it actually has like 10% which is enough for it to work, therefore meaning low signal but it still works.

    Also try changing the channels on your wireless transmitting devices such as router as this sometimes creates interference if you set it up wrong.
     
  6. AppleNJH macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    #6
    O2 and the unlocking dilema

    Just to give you my own experience - I have an O2 account for several phones in my company i.e already fixed with data and 7 users. There was no way to port my number to a new O2 account anyway until at least next April - so having played with the demo phones for months on my visits to the US I decided to buy and unlock anyway.

    My decision was made easier when I bought an iPhone in Hong Kong a few weeks ago which is a US model but was already unblocked. I slipped my O2 sim card in and have had no problems with operating it in 7 countries so far.

    But to your point of the unblocked phone only working with O2 sims, I have a HK "3" sim card which was ok, I have a "Lattelecom" Latvian number and a "Cingular" US sim card - all of which have been fine when I put them in the unblocked phone. All were able to send receive and accept SMS messages.

    I am running 1.02 firmware and honestly see no reason to upgrade the firmware to 1.1.1 or further unless significant features were to be added. The iPhone is great as it is - and I never updated the firmware of the countless Nokia phones I have had over the past 10 years, so why start now.

    If you know someone who has unblocked their new UK phone - why not ask them to try your Vodaphone sim and see if it registers on the network. Then you will have the definitive answer.

    Also have to agree with the previous poster about wireless interference from other computers. I have mine connected to my MacBook Pro in my office but I have a G5 on the desk and a MacMini on the next desk - and my O2 signal is definitely worse than with the various Nokia's.

    Perhaps once the phone is synced you should use the separate charger to charge elsewhere in the house and see if that improves your reception.

    Worth a try!
     
  7. skeen macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Location:
    London, England
  8. SayCheese thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Location:
    Thame, Oxfordshire, England
    #8
    Can someone please point me in the direction of a signal booster? I googled cell booster and all I came up with was one for £345 or those cheap things you put in the battery compartment. However we all know you can't open the battery compartment on the iphone so they are out.

    I'm not at home but tomorrow I'll play with the wifi router channel and see if that makes a difference. I'll also try the charging elsewhere thing.

    Thanks all for your help so far.
     
  9. Kenn Marks macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    #9
    Wireless Extender

    A customer recommended the YX600-PCS ($499US) wireless extender. I have a similar problem in my house in the US I cannot reliably receive call on my main floor. If I answer a call, without the iPhone plugged in to charge, the call will answer and in a very short time will disconnect. I feel the iPhone cannot handle the battery drain with a weak signal and the radio trying to compensate. I feel if you only have poor reception in the house I would keep the phone and keep calling O2 to find when they plan improved seervice for your area. With all the new customers they are getting they should now have additional revenue to improve services country wide.
     
  10. SayCheese thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Location:
    Thame, Oxfordshire, England
    #10
    Well just as an update to this post in case it helps anyone else.

    I tried the changing the WiFi channels thing and that made no difference.
    I then tried plugging the iPhone in when it was downstairs and WOW it worked. The signal strength jumped from 'No service' to 2 bars instantly. I am amazed that plugging the iPhone in is the answer. I then browsed around the internet and on apple.discussions.com I found the following thread. It seems that I am not the only one who is having issues.

    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1233355&tstart=15

    It looks like it is a known issue with the phone that you can boost the signal by plugging it in.
     
  11. Honest Truth macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    #11
    Well here in the US, I used to have verison. They sold the signal tower next to me, so I threw a few complaints at them. They said they were sorry, gave me a free contract cancelation option, payed my last bill.

    Now my friend got an iPhone and complained to AT&T that he had no signal at his house. AT&T said they got enough complaints and they are plannign to put up a signal tower. Now, remember, my firend lived in a highly dense residential area so that made a difference.

    I suggest you tell O2 about this and maybe they'll give you some options.
     
  12. MrT8064 macrumors 6502a

    MrT8064

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    Not an issue, a clever bit of design...
     
  13. SayCheese thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Location:
    Thame, Oxfordshire, England
    #13
    I disagree. I think that it is an issue as I cannot get a signal downstairs unless i plug it in. Therefore I have to plug it in in another room as there are no free plugs in my lounge.
     
  14. CD3660 macrumors 68040

    CD3660

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    Location:
    Cheshire, United Kingdom.
    #14
    What about an adapter in the lounge?
     
  15. SayCheese thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Location:
    Thame, Oxfordshire, England
    #15
    Possible to put an adapter in the lounge but the real question should be why do I have to plug it in to boost the signal at all? Surely as the signal is there in the first place the iPhone should be able to adapt the power to compensate for different signal strengths.
     
  16. marcol macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    Norwich, UK
    #16

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