Which UK network is the best overall?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by applemax, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. applemax macrumors 65816

    applemax

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    #1
    I'm on O2 at the moment with an iPhone 3G and their coverage/speed is extremely poor - they don't even cover my house.

    I'm looking for a network that is reliable, extensive and fast, with fair data allowances. I'd love visual voicemail, but I guess I can live without it as it's currently, and for the foreseeable future, exclusive to O2.

    Can anyone recommend a good network?

    Many thanks...

    :)
     
  2. vlug macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    #2
    Coverage wise and 3G speeds I'd say Vodafone. I'm currently with O2 and I do like the visual voice mail option too, didn't know it was specific to O2.

    Voda has the best network though imo when it comes to tariffs and FUP on 3G then its anyone's guess as per the contract offered at the time.

    I only came to O2 because of the iPhone and if they dont do an exclusive deal with Apple this time round and all the networks get the 4G then I'm back to Voda.
     
  3. ct2k7 macrumors 603

    ct2k7

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Location:
    London or Florida
    #3
    RNCOM Satellite Link.

    Basically, I'm using my own network :D
     
  4. andybno1 macrumors 68040

    andybno1

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    #4
    their exclusivity ran out when orange and voda got the iPhone there shouldn't be an exclusivity now that the othe rnetworks have the iPhone... rumours 3 may be jumping on board the iPhone train as an official carrier.

    for my carrier choice it's simply a case of porting to O2 as they offer unlim txts on 18 month contract for £30 which is what I pay now
     
  5. abcdefghijklmno macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    #5
    I think it largely depends on where you live. In my house, O2 have full bars of 3G coverage and I rarely use WiFi at home on my iPhone. My wife has Orange, and generally her signal is much weaker. Friends and family have different success, with some even saying T-Mobile are best ;-)

    Try some (free) pay as you go SIMs for those carriers you are considering, and see which gives you best coverage. Then you have to balance that off against the cost of the tariff...

    A
     
  6. wrkactjob macrumors 65816

    wrkactjob

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #6
    O2 does seem flakey, not to be able to get a 3G signal in Soho London seems strange.

    But it's generally "OK"

    What keeps me with them is 600 mins 1000 texts unlimited O2 to O2 calls and unlimited Internet for £20 a month with no contract.

    Can anyone beat that?
     
  7. Bibble macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    #7
    Speaking in general terms:

    Coverage

    Vodafone put a lot of money early on into getting towers in out-of-the-way places. You will generally get some signal from them in most places, and I've found that it's usually reasonable.

    O2 have had a significant boost from the iPhone since it was released, and have ploughed some of that back into the signal, but more fortifying what they had (e.g. speed boosting) than extending coverage.

    Orange I have never had a good experience with. As far as I am aware (and this is from my own observations), their coverage is spotty, and generally slower.


    There are areas where this does not hold up, but it's generally correct.



    Plans:

    O2 seem to have the best iPhone-centric plan. The data plan is excellent, while the voice and such like tends to be what you pay for.

    Vodafone seem to prefer to offer voice and text over internet, which is not particularly brilliant for some users. It's very difficult to get an unlimited internet contract.

    The O2 wireless access points also tend to be the more prolific of the two, as they have BT Openzone (available at many service stations, and wherever it's been enabled on a BT router), and the Cloud (available at most other significant locations).
     
  8. ChazUK macrumors 603

    ChazUK

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Location:
    Essex (UK)
    #8
    When I had my iPhone 3G on o2 I had a weak 3g signal at work and the network (at the time) had a spate of data outages so I sold my iPhone and went with Orange.

    Signal was better at work (but I was using a different handset - The HTC Hero) and across owning my Hero and Nexus One I seem to have had no data outages at all.

    o2 on the other hand were better value as I only get 500MB data allowance for £5 on Orange (I believe it's 750MB on the iPhone plan) and o2's allowance was far more generous.

    The good thing is I only seem to do around 200-300MB a month so Orange's data plan fits me but if I wanted to stream music (Spotify, Last.fm for example) o2 was the better value network again.
     
  9. nlr macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 27, 2010
    Location:
    London
    #9
    vodafone is the best hands down and they're adding new towers everyday but I guess its abit pricey comparing to the others.
     
  10. applemax thread starter macrumors 65816

    applemax

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    #10
    Thanks for your help everyone, I'm sure this will be a valuable thread for next week as many people will have the opportunity to execute new contracts with new providers!

    However, we don't even have confirmation that the new iPhone will be released on any carrier other than O2. I can't source it, but I seem to recall that a timed exclusivity agreement still remains with O2, i.e. O2 get the new iPhone exclusively for 3 months and then it opens up to competitors.

    Thanks again, but here are two additional questions:

    1) Some BT Fon spots appear as BT Openzone spots on my iPhone - why can I not access these for free?

    2) Why is the iPhone not on T-Mobile UK?

    :)
     
  11. Cue macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #11
    I'm not sure what you mean by unlimited. I'm on Vodafone Sim Only 30 days plan and I get 600' minutes, "ulimited" txt (3000) and "unlimited" data (1Gb GPRS + 1Gb on BT Openzone Wifi e.g. Starbucks) for 25 quid.

    Which is 5 quid more than O2 but at least you get better coverage.

    Isn't O2 forcing some sort of cap on "unlimited" data?
     
  12. prfrma macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    #12
    Related question...

    Will tethering be enabled in the UK?
     
  13. applemax thread starter macrumors 65816

    applemax

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    #13
    I think it already is... :)
     
  14. mubo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
  15. ct2k7 macrumors 603

    ct2k7

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Location:
    London or Florida
    #16
    Count that as Vodafone, since Verizon is a joint venture Vodafone and Bell Atlantic.
     
  16. prfrma macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    #17
    Ah, you have to pay extra :(
     
  17. MacScho macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    #18
    I'm trying to decide on which to go with for the next iPhone. Was on O2 for my iPhone 3G, but trying to decide between O2 and Orange. I like the idea of Orange Wednesdays but not sure on their fair use data policy.. especially if I'm going to use MyWi.

    Anyone got any Advice?

    Also, anyone know how O2/Orange 3G coverage differs in Manchester?

    Thanks.
     
  18. camperdown9 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Location:
    London, England & Chatillon-Sur-Seine, France
    #20
    Hi

    The maps showing 3G availability is all very well, but where your house, building, office etc sits in relation to other buildings, hills and things will effect how good the signal is. Also what the building your in is made of can also effect the signal. Your best bet is to try and find someone with an iPhone on Orange and get them to visit your house. Then you will know what the signal will be like.

    Orange don't offer visual voicemail if thats something that you use on O2. Most of the time that I use my iPhone for data its via wifi so the limit on the data does not really effect me.

    Alex
     
  19. MacScho macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    #21
    Cheers. Not too fussed about visual voicemail. It's the data thing that bothers me. What exactly is a 'fair use' policy? O2 say unlimited, I believe, but Orange mention a fair use policy of 750mb.

    I'd really need to assurance of completely unlimited, I think.
     
  20. LegendKillerUK macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    #22
    I looked up the terms and conditions of the unlimited data and I think the fair usage is a round the 3GB mark.

    To give an idea, I had the iPhone before I got broadband back at home again and with 1 months browsing on the phone using 3G I barely used over 2GB.

    This was around 3-4 hours browsing a day and youtube.
     
  21. Chic0 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #23
    I originally bought my iphone 3G on O2. Overall I wasnt impressed with 3G data signal. When I worked up north, it was ok at home, but patchy in a lot of places I went to and also at work.

    I moved down south near London just over a year ago. Signal was terrible in both my apartment and in work.

    I have been out of contract since January, so decided to stick with my phone, but change to Voda onto one of their sim only 30day tariffs.

    The main reason I went to Voda is because I have a friend who has been a telecommunications network engineer for years. He has worked for both Three and Voda in recent years, but also has knowledge about other networks. According to him, he reckons that Vodafone has by far best data network in UK as it is the most modern and most capable with dealing with heavy amounts of data traffic.

    I have great 3G signal whwnever i need it. Also the transfer rates seem to be faster than O2.
    Assuming that the new iphone comes out on Voda, then I'll definitely be staying put.:)
     
  22. applemax thread starter macrumors 65816

    applemax

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    #24
    "There is no limit on the monthly network usage. However if we feel that your activities are so excessive that other customers are detrimentally affected, we may give you a written warning (by email or otherwise). In extreme circumstances, if the levels of activity do not immediately decrease after the warning, we may terminate or suspend your Services."
     
  23. Matty-p macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    #25
    I'm on 3 pay as you go with a unlocked iPhone 3g I get 600 texts , 100 mins , and 150mb data a month all for 10 a month and obviosly no contract (wich is plenty for me I have wifi at home and use my computer for the Internet anyway at work last month I only used 39 mb ) 3g coerage is excellent in jan 2009 ofcom did a 3g map comparison and 3 was ontop since then they ave been tirelessly extending and improving coverage So now it's way better and it's still improving !!

    Source
    http://www.ofcom.org.uk/radiocomms/...and/cellular/3g/maps/3gmaps/coverage_maps.pdf
     

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