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back to article Mobile networks: It's a risky business, says 3

Three confirmed the risky nature of its infrastructure JV operation today, and dropped some hints about how 3 customers could get their hands on an iPhone later this year. 3 has spent big on expanding its network, partnering with T-Mobile to create a joint infrastructure venture called MVNL, the operation of which is wholly …

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Network upgrade for Southerners only?

The 3 upgrade map shows the South getting all the attention. Few people live where I do but a million or so visit - with little or no 3 coverage

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What would they sell?

If all the mobile operators outsourced their infrastructure (meaning they'd all use the same infrastructure I guess) what would be the differentiation? They'd all have the same phones and the only difference would be branding.

While this might drive prices down to rock bottom for the consumer in the short term it would also be disasterous for infrastructure investment. See BT.

Lets keep them competing on service and price rather than branding and price please.

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Unhappy

Try getting the signal with three...

I'm on Three with a HTC Hero, and the 3G signal is hell to connect to sometimes, with the phone showing it is "roaming" to get a signal. I don't know if it is "roaming" onto T-Mobile's network, which isn't really Roaming because of the agreement you mention, or if it is something else. Without knowing, I'm not enabling roaming data access.

... I'm in London. Not the Orkney Islands.

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That's rich!

so a departing customer didn't have to call the network they were leaving to get a PAC code

Never had the displeasure myself but know a lot of others that have had to have 2 hour plus conversations with Three's 'customer service' to obtain their PAC code so would this mean that customers of Three could do the same Mr. Russell? Thought not.

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Anonymous Coward

the JV is called MBNL

that's it...

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Bronze badge

@John Loader / Not just the south....

"The 3 upgrade map shows the South getting all the attention. Few people live where I do but a million or so visit - with little or no 3 coverage"

No, they're currently upgrading the South - they'll be upgrading other areas (and have) over time - three are the only network I've seen that can be bothered to provide network maintenance information so extensively - good work 3.

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FAIL

Hhmmm. If I was him...

I would worry more about my customer service, bring it back onshore (all of it) and make it the best in the business. Most of my friends won't touch 3 with a bargepole until this happens....

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FAIL

Legacy perception?

I recently moved to 3 for their very reasonable tariffs that suited me well. I rue the day. Call quality - when I do get a signal - is shit. I don't get much of a signal at home, or at work in central London. To compound the poor service, I am constantly badgered by texts to use their data (don't need it ta, I get all mine through work). And they have locked down 3 of the phone's 7 homescreen shortcuts to be shortcuts to their various data services. 3 of 7!!

In 18 months I will be very glad to wave goodbye to this sorry penny pinching mistake.

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FAIL

iPhone on 3...

You must be having a laugh!

I'm thinking of getting a shiny new smartphone in a couple of months when my contract comes up for renewal but before that I need to leave 3.

Why? Because their network is crap, their customer service is crap and their price plans (previously the only appeal) are increasingly crap.

I already have an E71 but unlike my friends with the same phone on other networks I rarely use it to access the internet cos it rarely can!

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FAIL

3, wouldn't touch them with a bargepole

I had a pay as you go 3 HSDPA modem last year. To start with I got good data rates which declined over 6 months.

Then I couldn't connect. Over 4 months I was told:

that 3 were "Upgrading their network" (They have a network?)

to switch off my anti virus (am I stupid, I am using Windows!)

that my modem was faulty (tested in a different postcode)

and a number of inane reasons.

Everything they suggested failed.

I was told to connect to a broadband speed test site at one point, AFTER I had told them I couldn't ping the DNS addresses they used!

The call centre staff are less than useless.

There is no easy way to complain.

The hardware is standard Huwei, there was no problem with that.

I would NEVER get a contract with 3. To be tied in with such a bunch of cowboys....

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FAIL

I was in London last week for work..

....very close to Westminster. One would think my 3 mobile "broadband" dongle would work...... One thought wrongly.

Utter, utter pants! I will be cancelling my contract.

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Thumb Up

I live on the South Coast

I bought a Pay as you Go dongle to play with last month. Quite impressed even though I can only get HSDPA upstairs.

Put the SIM in Huiwei's WiFi, modem, and there's no reception downstairs, but still HSDPA upstairs. Which isn't a problem as despite the tiny size of the modem, its WiFi range is far better than that of my ADSL router.

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Flame

Three

I sacked them when they changed their 3-Like-Home tarriff. Anyone waiting to leave, just wait until they change their T's&C's (which seems to be every 4 months), then call them up.

Have a 45 minute argument with them peppered with "is that what you are saying, hold on, I want to record that".

I bailed with 9 months on the contract and got to keep the Kaiser too.

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WTF?

Three better than most

In rural Lincolnshire where BT can't offer broadband, Three offer an good alternative. On some towers a speed test is 2.8mb download. The other networks didn't even come close.

Next step, it will all be about data per month . . . 5GB/month is not much when playing about with an android phone. Three used to offer 15GB for £15/month, which is good. Shame they've taken that off their website.

Skodafone are offering unlimited data download . . . errr . . . possibly!

Their customer service needs improving. The Indian connection does not help. If you use Outlook, then Three have had quite a few problems recently with their smtp server going tits-up. When the fault arises, it's bloody hard to talk to anyone that will admit there is a problem at Three.

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