back to article O2 outs liars and philanderers with live status feed

O2 has launched a live network checker, showing the current network status by post code and updated hourly. The "Live Status Checker" popped up briefly on Wednesday, though it wasn't clear if it was using live data at the time, but now the system is fully operational and reporting that there are currently no network problems …

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SEG
WTF?

Nice user experiance but data a bit odd.

A site that makes good use of Silverlight (just before it dies). The user experiance is great but when I checked my area the map said there was good outdoors coverage but the text on the left said there was no service in my area (the text is correct).

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Re: Nice user experiance but data a bit odd.

Hi Seg,

Have you checked again? I'd like to see what you saw.

Please drop an email to webteam@o2.com with the post code you checked so we can take a look.

Thanks

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Looks not that accurate

I was at Bosworth Hall Hotel in Leicestershire over the weekend (CV13 0LP - it's the site on the curvy road on the right of Park Street in the Bing map) and nobody in our party (mixed networks) of 20 had any indoor coverage and very limited out door coverage. o2's map says excellent coverage.. :(

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Re: Looks not that accurate

Hi Richard C,

Thanks for your comments, I'd like to take a look at why the checker gave the result it did.

By posting the post code, that's helped begin that process. Could you let me know what kind of devices you and the others with you were using? Nokia devices, BlackBerries?

Thanks

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FAIL

load of poo

says I should get good signal indoors and out yet the signal where I live is pathetic both indoors and out.

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Happy

Likewise

Likewise, except I do get two bars outside. O2 claims I have good coverage inside and out.

Mind you, I'm on an iPhone 3GS. My wife's Motorola gets 5 bars in the kitchen where mine gets no signal at all.

My phone is *way* shinier though.

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FAIL

.... and it doesn't work

Earlier this week both my wife and I started suffering Network Busy signals with incoming calls failing to reach us too. We are in East London, she's on O2 I'm on Tesco (which uses O2 infrastructure). The status checker told us (and still tells us) that service where we live is perfect.

Upon calling customer services it became apparent that three masts in surrounding areas are down, so presumably our local mast is suffering from congestion hence our service is borked.

Not very impressive that it can't detect and model this.

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Re: .... and it doesn't work

Hi Chris 3,

Thanks for your comments and feedback. I'll make sure it's passed on.

When you look at the coverage page, just before going into the checker, you can go to the 'Our Live Network' page (http://www.o2.co.uk/livestatus). That page will tell users about any localised network issues after being provided with a post code.

Thanks

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FAIL

Doesn't seem to be working @11:35Z

.

.

All I get, no matter what postcode I enter, is:

"Please enter a valid postcode."

Oh well. Better luck next time I suppose.

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Silver badge
Thumb Up

Nice toy^w tool

It seems to be pretty accurate, if a little optimistic about some of the coverage in the north west of scotland (last time I was in Glenelg, just next to skye, I had to wait until low tide and boulder hop out about 10 meters to get a signal...), but it shows the big gap in coverage round Loch Rannoch.

Nice.

If I had a smartphone I'd be interested in the Wi-Fi hotspots - there are about 4 within 20meters of my office.

About time, and nice implementation - it's worked without problem on all the devices I've tried.

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Two flaws...

1. No 3G metrics

2. It's inaccurate and not granular. Apparently I have good indoors and outdoors reception, but my 1 bar begs to differ.

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FAIL

Wrong...

Looking up my home post code shows good service indoor and out.

Shows how much they know as indoor coverage is non-existent and outdoor coveragte is piss-poor...

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Re: Wrong...

Hi mamsey,

I'd like to take a look at why you got the results that you did from the checker.

For me to do that, I need to know the post code of your home and what kind of device you've got.

If you could send that to webteam@o2.com we can start to take a look into this for you.

Thanks

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Computer says no

Reminds me of a conversation I had with 3.

- I'd like a PAC code please and to end my contract

- Why?

- Because I don't get reception in my flat.

- Yes you do

- No, really, I don't

- I've got your postcode and it's covered by our network

- Yes, I get reception in the garden. Not in the flat.

- But I can see you've made calls from there

- (WTF??) Yes. FROM IN THE GARDEN. I have to go outside.

- Your area has very good coverage with 3

- Can I have my PAC code now please?

... and so on.

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Not accurate

The scale of signal strength is too simplistic, apparently I live in a solid blue area, but I experience complete loss of signal at times. You'd be very foolish to purchase a mobile broadband product in my street....

Bridgend, South Wales.

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'Good indoors and outdoors'

For my home.

So it MUST be fucking iPhone that sucks.

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Variable signal defeats "real time" display

This kind of thing only applies to the general level of signal. I've lost count of the number of times my phone has rung only for the call to be dropped when I answer. Phone goes "beep beep" so I look at the display which says "no service". So how did it ring?

I've yet to find anyone explain to me how I can be looking at my handset and see it go from 3 bars to no signal in 5 seconds. Any takers?

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Bronze badge

Yawn. Seriously, it's very simple...

Yeah, see the iphone 4 antennagate stuff.

You've got a weak signal, you picking up the phone moves it and likely pushes it over the edge.

Plus if you're on 3G signals breathe, so on-the-edge coverage is variable.

That and many other reasons.

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Not iphone, not 3G

The antennagate explanation "you're holding it wrong" doesn't apply in this case because the three bars to no signal can happen when the handset is on the desk next to me. I'm in a weak signal area, yeah OK and I only get GPRS coverage. I'm not talking about three bars to zero, it goes from three bars to No Service. That's a BIG difference. Thanks for trying.

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Indoors signal atrocious here, "Good" according to the map

Does anyone see a "report a flagrant lie in our reporting" link on the status pages?

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Re: Indoors signal atrocious here, "Good" according to the map

Hi Graham,

I'd like to take a look at why the coverage checker gave you the results it did.

For me to do that, I need to know the post code that you checked and what kind of device you're using.

If you could send that to me (webteam@o2.com) I can take a look for you.

Thanks

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Grenade

@ Neil Charles

had a similar problem there. they insisted that i was having an issue because my mobile was moving while i was using it.

suffice to say that i told them to shove it.

however, i think most networks are as bad as each other.

the grenade. as thats what should have been put there

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FAIL

SP4 0HF

According to the tool, good indoors and outdoors coverage. According to my phone and multiple dropped calls this morning, virtually zero coverage indoors and outdoors. So a chocolate teapot then...

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Re: SP4 0HF

Hi Peter 88,

I'd like to take a look why you got the results from the coverage checker that you did.

I'm guessing that you checked 'SP4 0HF' and this is the place that you're talking about in terms of the coverage issues?

I need to know what kind of device you're using. Is it an iPhone? BlackBerry? etc

If you could drop an email to webteam@o2.com with this information, I can take a look into this for you.

Thanks

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Happy

Iphones poor RF performance???

I presume you work for 02 seeing as you're using the comments on this site as a helpline forum. Why do you ask if they're using an Iphone / Blackberry shouldn't you be a bit careful with your questions it's almost like you're saying these phones have issues.... The websites not a bad idea if it's kept up to date and I presume it will help if people can check for themselves for live faults (less calls to helpdesk anyway). We all know the tools that show coverage cannot take everything into account (trees/leaves/tall buildings) so it's never going to be 100%....and although not relevant to your comment can people stop talking about bars on 3G they mean virtually nothing..

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"a significant effort"

Oh really?

Almost nothing on a network should involve *any* effort, once the appropriate software has been put in place.

OK, so checking a mobile service is probably slightly more complex than the internet equivalent of a ping, but the principle is the exactly the same. You send out requests to strategically selected devices at regular intervals, and you log whether you get a reply. But the whole process can be automated, there should be absolutely NO effort involved. And indeed, they should already be doing constant checks to a selection of mobiles in each mast area to know the network status, regardless of whether they are publishing it. So, the "effort" is just the one-time cost of writing some software that presents the collected data in a user-friendly manner.

The only place where a significant amount of effort is involved is if you intend to manually *fudge* the figures to pretend that there's not a problem even when there is. And somehow, I suspect that particular part of the process will be the very first to be automated.

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Rubbish

Two houses that always have dodgy reception for me are both reported as good indoors and out.

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Grenade

Reception issue NOT Tower Coverage (Transmission) issue

Actually those who say the map is inaccurate may have one thing to blame. Their phones.

I think sometimes people forget that the receiver in their phone is responsible for a lack of reception a lot of the time.

All my Sony Ericssons have worked in remote locations (hills, mountainsides in wales and scotland). That said the nokia I had failed to maintain any kind of signal, and many of my hiking partners have gone with Sony Ericsson now because of the crappyness of reception in their previous makes of phones.

I'm sure other people will be very defensive now but seriously if you look at the specs of the transmitters and receivers some makes will only maintian good signal in great battery life, others will rely on older tech and if you've got the iPhone, well you're just asking for rubbish signal in sub-urban/rural areas.

Don't blame the network, blame the handset, or even blame your choice of handset!

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Silver badge

Erm, indoors...

Depending on building construction, signal attenuation can vary dramatically - some buildings don't have much impact, but my wee flat, constructed in the 19th century, with 40cm stone walls, which then have insulation panels that are backed with aluminised mylar film fitted internally - well, let's just say that I go from 5 bars outside the front door*, to zero bars sitting in my arm chair - a grand total of 3meters away.

If I leave the phone by the main window in the bedroom, I can get a sort of signal.

Wi-fi coverage is the same - I have to move the router to the window if I want to go sit in the garden with my laptop.

Also, outdoors, you can get enormous variation in the signal levels with shadowing and other such wondrous imponderables (know unknowns as certain vice-presidents would say).

This tool presents a general overview of the signal in an area. It will never have sufficiently fine granularity for the precision a lot of folk here think it should have.

I haven't seen a similar system on other providers, and, IMHO, it's not a bad first approximation of a useful tool, provided people look on it reallistically.

*I can see my nearest base station from just outside the front door

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Anonymous Coward

Err WRONG!

Shows both my home and place of work as being full indoor and outdoor coverage, yet I received no signal sat at my desk, and no signal sat in my living room.

What is said and what is done are two different things!

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Paris Hilton

@Harry et al

>Almost nothing on a network should involve *any* effort,

>once the appropriate software has been put in place.

Ah! The powerpoint school of design. Anything is easy if you put it on a powerpoint slide. The real trick is doing it in the concrete world where software licenses cost many millions of pounds a year(!)

It might suprise you to know that all the network operators already have very detailed monitoring in place. It might also suprise you, that most (probably all) already collect this data and plug it onto a map for their call centre staff to use, including outages and planned works.

The coverage map is only an estimate based on predicted coverage. This coverage is impacted by many different factors, i.e. time of year, type of building, weather conditions, height of trees, amount of traffic etc.

A network might receive many *Millions* of alarms from it's thousands of network elements every day, so which ones impact the customer and which ones are irrelevant? Alarm correlation and impact assessment is not always correct, so high priority/customer impacting alarms can get lost amongst all the other millions of tedious alarms.

So, in principle, all that you need to do is plug a rough guess of coverage into a web application which uses a not complete view of network impacting faults, in such a way that the customer thinks they have a perfect view of such a complex environment. We've all seen the Hollywood movies whereby the good guys can can track a mobile to a specific GPS co-ordinate all in 20 seconds from anywhere in the world haven't we? :)

The question is : "Why do they not make this information visible to the public?"

The answer to that question is evident in the 9 out of 10 responses to this story : "the checker says I have good coverage, but I only get a signal if I hang out of my bathroom window..." I suggest that the Marketing Dept won this argument with technical...

It's so much easier in powerpoint isn't it? :)

Oh, and Paris, because it looks simple on the outside, but is much more complicated on the inside.....

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