Unlocked UK iPhone - O2 versus 3 - advice?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by craig1410, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. craig1410 macrumors 65816

    craig1410

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Location:
    Scotland
    #1
    Hi,

    I've just had my iPhone 3G unlocked by O2 and am now free to move away from O2 if I choose to. I am aware of the iPhone simplicity tariff and and weighting this up against the 3 tariff options as follows. I would appreciate any guidance, ideally based on personal experience of running an iPhone on the 3 network.

    O2 Simplicity for iPhone tariff:
    £20 per month
    600 minutes + 1200 texts + WiFi + Unlimited Internet + Vis Voicemail
    But I get marginal coverage at home and have to stand by a window to maintain a phone call. 3G data reception is also patchy (central scotland) as we all know.

    3 SIM £15 tariff (http://threestore.three.co.uk/dealsummary.aspx?offercode=1SO15D002&id=1399)
    £15 per month (1 month contract)
    300 minutes + unlimited texts + unlimited internet
    Coverage at home is much better but I would lose Cloud WiFi, Vis Voicemail (neither of which as a big deal for me). 3G data reception has wider coverage.

    My text usage is probably only 100 per month max and at the moment, perhaps due to poor coverage I only use 60 minutes per month for calls. Data is the main reason I bought the phone but I have WiFi at work and WiFi at home anyway. I hardly get any voicemails and I've only used the Cloud a couple of times.

    So, has anyone tried using 3 with an iPhone 3G and if so, how did you find it? My wife and daughter are both on 3 as is a good friend and they are more than happy with the service. I am really just interested in how it goes with the iPhone in particular. Are there any glitches or hidden costs or missing features other than what I have stated above? The 300 extra mins with O2 is not worth £5pm so if all else is equal then I think I'm better switching but am having nagging doubts that it won't work as smoothly etc.

    Thanks,
    Craig.
     
  2. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #2
    Why don't you just sign up with 3 for a month and try it?

    It's only £15 with no commitment and the best way to find if it works well for you is to actually use it yourself for a few weeks.
     
  3. craig1410 thread starter macrumors 65816

    craig1410

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Location:
    Scotland
    #3
    Hi,
    Good question - I got one of their Pay & Go SIM cards when I was in the store a few weeks back and I'm using this to establish coverage at my home and will try it at work tomorrow but I don't want to go through the process of transferring my number to 3 until I am happy that there are no gotcha's.

    I suppose I was just hoping to benefit from someone else's experience as I was pretty sure that someone must be running on 3 by now. If nobody comes back to me with any concrete findings then I will of course give it a try myself but I rely too much on my phone to switch until I am sure that there are at least no major problems.

    Thanks for a very valid suggestion.
    Craig.
     
  4. Pilki macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Location:
    Scotland
    #4
    Little tip folks,

    3 have the most unbelievably terrible customer service ever known to man.:eek:

    I'm gonna be chucking 3 soon so I can get an iPhone, most likely on O2.

    Everytime I've had to make some sort of request to them at CS (faulty iPhone, tarriff change request) I've had to be on the phone constantly for about an hour each time trying to get what is needed!

    Like for example, they seemed to think my warranty-faulty phone was my fault, and tried charging me £70! :O

    I cannot stress it enough, you don't want to go anywhere near 3
     
  5. just21 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    #5
    I got the unlock and pac number and switched my iphone to three as i was not getting a 3g signal from o2 at my desk in central London. i get five bars from three at the same location. I would reccomend three to everyone, you get a 3g signal at a lot of places o2 could only provide a 2g signal at. Very fast data throughput as well using speedtest.net.
     
  6. ukcolinr macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    I must admit I'm with Pilki, I'd avoid 3 at all costs. I went with 3 once and the service itself as well as the customer was so shocking that I was forced to terminate my contract by paying outstanding line rental, but even doing this through their shocking customer service channels was incredibly difficult. It's a few years ago now so I can't give specifics (I had a list of complaints as long as my arm), but it was truly enough to put me off 3 for life!
     
  7. maximart4u macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    #7
    If I were you I would unlock it and get a sim free plan.
     
  8. Angra-mainju macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Location:
    UK
  9. ukcolinr macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    Angra, if you're on O2 go here www.o2.co.uk/unlockmyiphone And follow the steps :) If you're not on O2 contact your provider to find out how :)

    Colin
     
  10. tico24 macrumors 6502

    tico24

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    Location:
    Eastleigh, UK
    #10
    I'm gonna add a third agreement to that. The customer service is absolutely terrible. When I came to end of contract, I actually had to shout at the retentions guy to stop trying to sell me a new contract. The contract termination phone call was TWO HOURS because he just wouldn't give up.
     
  11. cal6n macrumors 68000

    cal6n

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Gloucester, UK
    #11
    Have you considered Vodafone?

    600 mins, unlimited texts, 500 MB internet, SIM only for £20 per month on a rolling monthly contract.

    It's ideal for me, as I only use about 100 MB/month off wifi and they're the only UK provider to offer a femtocell, the only solution to my reception woes, short of actually moving.

    Their "Access Gateway", as they call it, costs £160 or £10/month for a year if you sign up to a year's contract. I bought mine outright so that I have the option to sign a new contract for iPhone V4 this summer.
     
  12. just21 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    #12
    One thing with three when going for there £15 a month with 1gb a month data is that you have to call up to get the data switched so as not to be billed per mb.
     
  13. jagardner1984 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    #13
    Im in exactly the same position with my contract coming up. I would consider 3, but as others have said, dealing with their customer services is about as satisfying as licking piss off nettles. I was a Mobile Broadband customer a couple of years back. The problem with 3 aside from that is the handover from 3G to 2G (Orange) is dodgy at the best of times, so data and calls drop continually on the go. There is also the issue that they state that non-specific "browser services" are available when 3g is not available. I was unable to ascertain for sure whether data on Orange was inclusive or not. I'm also not sure how that works with the APN settings on the iPhone. I would imagine 3 APN settings won't work on Orange, but I am prepared to stand corrected. Certainly on my Mobile Broadband dongle, no 3g = no coverage. This can't be true for voice, but as for Data, getting this info out of them is near impossible.

    I think the only two sensible choices for me are between staying on o2 Simplicity and going to Vodafone Sim Only, and for lethargy alone, will probably stay with o2 until the 4g is available in a few months. I don't have coverage problems on o2 at home, and I'm not on a 3gs so won't get a speed boost going to Vodafone. I think Ofcom stats and Speedtest results show that with obvious regional variations and the dead spots that ANY network will have, Vodafone is the most solid of the 3g Data networks. Having had Mobile Broadband on Vodafone, 3, o2 and Orange, that is certainly my experience.
     
  14. craig1410 thread starter macrumors 65816

    craig1410

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Location:
    Scotland
    #14
    Hi guys,

    Sorry for the delay in responding, I must have missed the email notification of replies...

    Firstly, regarding 3 customer service, I have had an account with 3 for my daughter for 3 years now and my wife has used them for 2 years, and a good friend has used them for 1.5 years and with no CS problems. Actually, when I first spoke to 3 about getting a contract for my daughter I asked the guy in the shop point-blank about crap CS and he kinda agreed but said it was not a problem because I could do everything through the shop. The only exception was porting the number in the first place but he agreed to do that for me on my behalf. So far I have never had to talk to telephone based CS. I even recently had to get a phone replaced under warranty so I went to the shop. They told me it would take 2 weeks through them or I could drive 5 minutes away and hand the phone to the Nokia approved repair centre myself and get it back within 48 hours. It was handed in on the Thursday and arrived in the post at my home address on the Saturday morning! Excellent service.

    So, the infamous customer service wouldn't put me off initially although I accept that it could become an issue for me if I had some sort of complex issue which needed sorting out.

    @just21: Yes this is what I am hoping to get by switching to 3 so thanks for posting your positive experience. That is exactly what I started this thread for.

    @cal6n: Vodafone is no better in terms of coverage in my key areas than O2. In fact O2 and Vodafone now share cell tower infrastructure and one of the issues I have at home is I get O2 coverage at the front of my house and Vodafone at the back. What I mean by this is that the Vodafone cell tower now has O2 kit in it and gives a stronger signal at the back of the house. Since I am in the middle I get switched between the two all the time which seems to result in dropped calls. I think this is because one is strong enough for 3G and the other is GSM only.

    @just21: Are you sure about having to call up to get switched to unlimited data? I though this was standard now. Will check though so thanks for the heads up.

    @jagardner1984: Interesting what you are saying about possible limitations on 2G data usage - I will certainly want to be able to send data over 2G connections as well. I also won't want dropped calls when dropping back to Orange. I think this all necessitates some testing using a PayAndGo sim card before making any switches to 3.

    I think for now I will stick with O2 on the £20pm tariff because that might benefit me in the coming months when the iPhone 4G comes out and upgrades are hopefully offered.

    Thanks again to all who responded.
    Craig.
     
  15. just21 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    #15
    I had a text saying I was approaching my credit limit so I registered on my three and saw that I had spent £43 receiving 12mb of data so I called three and have been put on unlimited data. I have to call again when billed and will be credited the £43. Dealings with customer support have been very satisfactory so far.

    I chose three after buying a pay as you go sim from all other networks than o2, jailbreaking and unlocking my iphone, testing them at my desk and the local places I go in central london. three had the best data speeds, all other networks spent too much time with a 2g gprs or edge signal in my experience. I have now got the official unlock.



     
  16. cal6n macrumors 68000

    cal6n

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Gloucester, UK
    #16
    The whole point of the Access Gateway is that worrying about reduced signals of any sort, for whatever reason is a thing of the past.

    My flat has abominable reception on all networks. It's so bad that I can guarantee dropping any call that might make it through, on any network. After activating the femtocell, I have 5 bars of 3G. It's going to take some time for my friends to realise that they can contact me again!

    Admittedly, I've had to pay extra for this "luxury" but that's a one-time payment and, as far as I'm concerned, it's a bargain.
     
  17. DenniZ macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    #17
    I am on that tariff, although be careful as there are 2 types of the same tariff, the basic one for non iPhone users and one for iPhone users. ( Only diff is iPhone one has more extras pre selected).

    Also remember that O2 actually do truly unlimited data, I've done over a couple of Gb in a month, and O2 did not contact me or slow my service down. I can get a consistent speed of 100kb/s download and about 50kb/s upload.

    You might want to check the others for fair usage policy and the likes.
     
  18. Moxleyb macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    #18
    Iphone 3g on 3 network

    i was just wondering i have gt latest iphone on 3g 16gb and i am currently useing 3 sim on contratc which has 200mins unlim text and internet in my other phone and was thinking of unlocking the iphone so i can use my 3 sim in the iphone and was just wondering does it actually work ?

    can any help me with this soon as possible please or give me some advice

    :)
     
  19. Moxleyb macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    #19
    would like to know do you know if a 3 sim contract card works in an unlocked iphone 3g vecause i have sim with unlim texts and interent and 200mins nd was thkin ulocking me iphone and putting that sim in it does it work ??

    :)
     
  20. ryan.hayes79 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    #20

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