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back to article The O2 4G Lottery: Are YOU in one of the three LUCKY cities?

O2's 4G network will go live in London, Leeds and Bradford this month - followed by ten more cities by the end of the year. The rollout will end EE's virtual monopoly on high-speed mobile internet connectivity. O2 customers will need a new SIM and a handset compatible with the 800MHz radio band that O2 bought in the last …

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£26 a month. Does anyone really want to pay this for their phone service? I pay less than half that, and I can't think of what rubbish extras I'd need.

Also, what does this magical (NOT 4G as originally defined) service give you? A way to blow through a cap quicker than you ever could before?

I'm all for faster connections, but if you have an unreasonably low cap, I can't see any possible use for it.

It's like having a Ferrari with the top speed limited to 50. You can get to the limit faster than ever before, but now you're left feeling like you haven't experienced the full treatment.

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Anonymous Coward

Two things about 4G.

1. It can fit more data into the same frequency spectrum as 3G. Therefore consumers get more speed and the operators don't need more frequency ranges. It saves them money and makes the customer happy.

2. Lower latency, it performs more comparably with Wifi. 3G isn't slow, it's just a bit laggy which is a pain when using the mobile web.

I'd say it is more like having a much faster car but not being able to travel as far, but you'd enjoy the journey more :)

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18? More like 11

Have you looked at the list of 18 supported smartphones?

They include diverse options such as:

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini Black Mist

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini White Frost

Samsung Galaxy S4 White Frost

Samsung Galaxy S4 White Frost Refurb

et c.

I count 11 different models, and a lot of those are only slight model variations!

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I'm not buying the hype this time round.

UK 4G. The service for which the word "Meh" was invented.

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Not quite!

I've used EE's 4G in London using Huawei's latest 4G Mi-Fi lump...ohhh, and it's nice! Data comes steaming down those invisible pipes like (searches for non-scatalogical simile...fails...) - um - like fast-moving data. For once, this is a cell data service that actually delivers on the hype.

Declaration of interests: none. Just a very happy user!

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Yawn

No imagination, any of them. Nodlon, Deels, Fradbord?

Just imagine the publicity if they had chosen Narwich, Tynesideside, and Aberdeeeen. And probably the same customer demand.

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Anonymous Coward

No real sense ?

The people that would be the greatest users of 4G are probably also the sort of people who have wifi at home, work, and can access any number of free wifi/coffee shop (maybe there's a neologism there ... "wi-fee", "cof-fi" ?) and therefore won't *need* 4G.

I've turned off the data service on my phone. and haven't been unable to surf when I wanted to, wherever I've been.

And with the teaming up of ISPs and civic bodies (the recent Virgin/Birmingham deal springs to mind) 4G seems rather more pointless. They should have covered rural areas first - they're the ones who'll need it most.

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What about improving existing services?

Signal reception on O2 is pretty flaky, even in central London - perhaps they should concentrate on making what they have work properly first!

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Re: What about improving existing services?

The main reason reception is flaky in central London is that that they have more demand than their existing bandwidth allocation can cope with. 4G will actually help here if enough people sign up for it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What about improving existing services?

My work recently moved to O2. Boy are we regretting it. I hear they're thinking of calling the lawyers and claim breach of contract by O2 for failing to provide a service.

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Re: What about improving existing services?

good luck with that

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Re: What about improving existing services?

$MEGACORP gives us O2 phones. Complete disaster, but they have not been dumped. The number of dropped calls, particularly on the continent, is astonishing.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What about improving existing services?

That's why 4G is being rolled out, more data in the same space.

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Just glad I'm on three

With its one plan I have been able to give up my home phone line and broadband and use the mobile phone connection instead, on top of that as my phone is LTE and does 800MHz I will get the upgrade fr no more cost and still have all you can eat data.

Reading the BBC story O2 look like they may even be worst than EE on value for money unless you want extras like free music for a year.....

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Windows

Re: Just glad I'm on three

I'm beginning to wonder why we pay £260 a year for a phone line we make about two calls a month on and £12.99 a month on top for broadband over copper. I spend most of the working day in places with fast public wifi. Free (and fast*) wifi in local arts centre/libraries/other public buildings is available over the weekend. I'm coming round to the view that a mobile broadband dongle for emergencies (where you have to fill in that form/send that email/check that fact right now) at home might work.

The thing that puts me off the monthly contract mobile broadband packages are the 'out of contract' charges. £100+ per extra Gigabyte is sort of outrageous really isn't it. If that came down to £10 per extra Gig I might consider a contract.

(*) I'm talking 800 kbytes/s to 1 mbyte/s or so which is probably close to the limit of the wifi card in my old thinkpad.

The tramp: for obvious reasons.

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Wifi at coffee shops is ropey at best, seldom free, so bring it on. I just wish they'd either line the major railway lines with masts, or introduce wifi on trains- would be really great for longer commutes.

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Facepalm

You know East Coast, Cross Country and Transpennine all offer wifi on board (you do have to pay for these, although East Coast offer 15mins free). I'm pretty sure all the other train companies offer the same.

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FAIL

you've obviously not tried to use it.

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He was talking about introducing wifi on trains, he never mentioned it working.

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98% of nothing

O2's 4G licence requires them to cover 98 per cent of the UK population

So they cover the population centres but travel outside of them is patchy. These things are called mobiles aren't they?

When is it going to be 98% area coverage rather than the rather liquid population? Is it 98% population all the time as the population moves around? I doubt it.

Split the mobile companies up. Have the mast infrastructure companies rent to the mobile companies and make them need 98% area coverage. Mobile companies must choose companies that supply them with a certain area coverage. This may be more than 1 company.

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Re: 98% of nothing

Totally agree that the present model is flawed & will never satisfy the government/peoples' aims for digital inclusion. I've thought that pairing sparser populate areas with denser populated areas for which the operators would have to provide cover should be model that's workable. After all, it's mobile coverage that's being provided & often those living in urban areas have to travel to the boonies (& the pairing would have to protect against pairing urban areas with the rural area through which the motorway/mainline rail line runs).

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Re: 98% of nothing

I went into an O2 shop a while back to buy a PAYG 3G modem. They wanted to run a postcode check on my home to see if the modem would work there.

Hello, my home is the one place I won't be using your 3G modem, because I have your ADSL service here. Yes it would be nice to be able to set it up on my laptop at home, so I know it is working when I go out on the road with it, but if I have to go somewhere else to do it, it isn't the end of the world.

As it happens, I get roughly the same speeds on 3G at home as I do on ADSL. I can see the O2 mast from my window, and it is attached to the same street cabinet that my ADSL connection is wired up to.

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Re: 98% of nothing

That would require the companies to place masts and backhaul in areas where they will barely be used, meaning spending millions to connect areas that will never pay their way.

Who is going to pay for it?

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Re: 98% of nothing

Remember, O2 had to be *forced* to honour their 3G coverage agreement. Even after several years frantically upgrading to keep the licence their service is still shite in large areas and they've done little to deal with congestion. So more coverage but it's still not actually usable in my local city centre.

So you're gambling the regulator will proactively coerce O2 into reaching those targets. That's not a bet I'd take.

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Re: 98% of nothing

Chad, I said in my post the mast system needs removing from the operators. I also never said that a mast has to have a large capacity.

Yes it will cost a little more initially but that money will be made back. Imagine (although I don't recommend this) that it ends up as one mast operator being paid by all the mobile companies to host their calls. 1 mast network rather than the multiple networks we have could easily be paid for by all the mobile companies , seeing as they have their own ATM each with their own operating costs.

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Anonymous Coward

how much data allowance that will cover

a little more data than with EE, to attract punters, but as little more, as possible, to "maximize the profit". Or, HUGE AMOUNT OF DATA with a teeny-tiny * that takes you to their terms and conditions, which most people will not read (some, because they have a panic attack when they see more than 2 lines of text, others, because they will fail to notice text printed in font-size-1. Either will find out, that i pays to read, quite literally. When the first bills knocks on the door.

Yeah, I know I'm a bit optimistic, but... it's a bright day outthere.

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Still waiting for 3G where I live

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Or even G. Hey, a signal would be something.

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Here's a thought...

Let those that want 4G have their insane stepped data charges, and pay through the nozzle for the privilege, as long as the rest of us can have unmetered 3G on cheaper contracts. For instance, 1 Gig of 4G = £30, 5 Gigs of 4G = £40, 10 Gigs of 4G, and so on, while unmetered 3G = £20 or less per month, to include tethering at no extra cost. Only problem is the networks are highly unlikely to even consider this. Oh well, one can live in hope ;-)

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Re: Here's a thought...

Already there

http://store.three.co.uk/view/searchTariff?deviceType=SIM_ONLY&priceplan=PAY_MONTHLY

•All-you-can-eat data

•2000 minutes

•5000 texts

•5000 Three-to-Three minutes & 5000 texts

£15 on 12 month contract or £18 on rolling 30 day contract......

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Re: Here's a thought...

thanks for the tip about the 30 day now being £18 - i was paying £25 as this is what it used to cost...

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Coverage

So, the West Country in 3412, as usual?

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£26 per month is Sim only tarrif

The from £26 per month applies to a Sim only deal. EE's cheapest is £21 per month. But until we get tariff details its hard to tell if its a good or bad deal. Probably bad since its a premium tarrif.

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Tarrifs...

Well, it's all up in the air until every network gets 4G up and running anyhow, so until then, my fingers will be crossed that I can get the phone, tablet, or phablet I eventually decide on in October (when my current Vodafone contract expires), before they start to charge through the nozzle, or remove the AYCE data packages over at 3. I suspect I'm not the only one thinking this either.

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1. Is anyone naive enought to think that 4G coverage will be any better than 3G, which is pretty appaling.

2. The problem with 3G, when you get a signal, isn't the bandwidth of 3G, its the hideously underspec'd uplinks. And a 4G final mile will not improve that at all.

So basically, meh.

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Stop

Wrong

Currently O2 uses 2.1ghz for 3G with some cells using 900mhz but very few.

Signal propagation on 4g at 800mhz will be far better at building penetration and far far less absorption by rain and atmospheric changes.

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'4G' is to 3G what Blu-Ray is to DVD - more and bigger of the same when something better and different looms.

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