back to article Cheer up, pal: UK mobe networks are now 8% less crap, tests show

Real-world mobile network performance monitor RootMetrics reckons the reliability of the UK’s mobile networks improved eight per cent in the last six months of 2016. RootMetrics tests network performance on roads and some 1,000 indoor locations, and the data is based on over 800,000 data samples. Vodafone was the most …

  1. the-it-slayer
    Joke

    Maybe it's my electrical field...

    I've always had the different experience with the said results in the tests. EE always dropped out on data and calls all the time in London. Especially when going into hotspot mode. Vodafone has been pretty rock solid since I switched a couple years ago.

    Can we really trust these results as "real world"? I can't see anywhere any technical details of what equipment they used to get these results. Only a brief summary of how they do it. My world alternative world view (and possibly electrical field interference) has the opposite results.

  2. Dan White

    Customer satisfaction measurements?

    What isn't measured here is the terrible customer service experience that the "leading" networks provide.

    I was with Orange throughout the 90's and most of the 00's, as they had a great reputation for good customer service. Then in the space of a couple of years they seemed to stop giving a crap, and that was when I jumped ship.

    Been with O2 for nearly ten years now, and in that time I've had three handsets replaced free of charge, loyalty discounts to my account and unsolicited data upgrades applied. I'm surprised that their network performance is so (relatively) poor, but I'll take that hit as long as I can depend on them not to mess me around when I have a problem.

  3. Chris King Silver badge

    Re: Customer satisfaction measurements?

    I was with Orange throughout the 90's and most of the 00's, as they had a great reputation for good customer service. Then in the space of a couple of years they seemed to stop giving a crap, and that was when I jumped ship."

    Ditto. Customer Service pretty much went to crap soon after France Telecom got their claws into the company, and they ceased to innovate on the technology - but hey, we got the "Animal" plans and 2-for-1 cinema tickets and pizzas instead, yay for mediocrity !

  4. flokie

    Re: Customer satisfaction measurements?

    I stuck with them then.. The 2-for-1 cinema tickets were good! Customer service became good again after a while, they went back to UK call centers. I had a Deezer mobile sub with my contract, which was good value (esp. as usage didn't eat into my data allowance.). I always managed to get the phone I wanted + a decent deal when renewing contracts by talking to the cancellation department.

    Then EE came. No more 2-for-1 cinema tickets. 4G appeared and prices were extortionate and I stayed on 3G even with a 4G phone. Then suddenly my contract no longer included any Extras such as Deezer. That's when I said bye.

  5. paulf Silver badge
    Meh

    Re: Customer satisfaction measurements?

    @ Dan White "I was with Orange throughout the 90's and most of the 00's, as they had a great reputation for good customer service. Then in the space of a couple of years they seemed to stop giving a crap, and that was when I jumped ship. Been with O2 for nearly ten years now,"

    Same here with Orange - with them from 1997 and the CS was excellent until things took a tangible dive when FT moved in. I put up with it until early 2007 when I'd had enough of their repeated shitty CS efforts* and moved to Vodafone (one month off 10 years).

    I've been with Voda for 10 years now and found them to be generally ok - not always but the network is pretty good (YMMV) and they always give me a good deal with its SIM only plan renewal time.

    That said TOH had a miserable time with O2 - their response to an iPhone charging issue was to offer a replacement for £100 while still under contract. The simple to resolve problem was sorted for free at an Apple store in 15 minutes. TOH left O2 shortly after.

    This is the problem with four networks each having many millions of customers - you'll usually be able to find someone who's had a great experience and a miserable experience and the latter usually shout louder than the former. These fine discussion boards attract many comments about Voda being crap but my experience with them is generally good. There has been one stinker in 10 years which got me a fat goodwill payment, but I've usually found the CS to be pretty good (one techie called me back as promised around Christmas when I had problems enabling Wifi calling). On the other hand I know people who love EE but I'd never touch them again especially under the dead hand of BT.

    *The most bizarre Orange CS experience had to be the time when the CS agent picked up and told me, "I've been a very naughty boy". In response to my somewhat baffled reply he repeated it and hung up.

  6. s. pam
    Mushroom

    All I want is a fucking reliable signal O2

    Who gives a damn about all the graphs?

    I just want a reliable signal daily on the A4 between Reading and Maidenhead.

    Is is too much to ask to achieve this?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: All I want is a fucking reliable signal O2

    Yes - cos of all the NIMBY's who have made planning laws for new masts so complicated that they can't put up the masts needed to cover that section

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: All I want is a fucking reliable signal O2

    How about we have no signal available on any A road or motorway? Then idiots will not risk people's lives with your oh so urgent call.

  9. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    Re: All I want is a fucking reliable signal O2

    How about we have no signal available on any A road or motorway? Then idiots will not risk people's lives with your oh so urgent call.

    Because passengers.

  10. John H Woods Silver badge

    Re: All I want is a fucking reliable signal O2

    and because mobile signal on A roads and motorways also saves lives

  11. Zmodem

    Re: All I want is a fucking reliable signal O2

    try giffgaff, i actually have a signal in the bowels of hell called work, just don't use 4G, its twice as slow as 3G most of the time, 3G and peak at 6MBps and quickly drop to 4 or 3, i never saw 6 on EE, the fasest i ever saw was 5.4MBps

    so im probably in 6 -> 8 feet of bath stone

  12. Zmodem

    its a shame all the test have'nt been done over the past month, EE are the slowest network by far, it makes them more of a joke capping downloads at 10KB/s for the best part of a month after you go over the 3GB fair use limit

    BT have made them bankrupt

  13. Steve Todd

    Odd

    I'm looking at an EE Speedtest result at this moment. Signal strength of 3 bars (not great) but I'm still getting 53.61Mbps down, 10.09Mbps up. I can't say I've seen a difference with them lately.

  14. Zmodem

    Re: Odd

    you can't get 50MBps on 4G

    mobile data, and test for mobile masts that are relays, until your connection get near the main mobile exchange, then your connection switches to fibre ground lines and wholesale from EE, which BT put the price up and stopped all other mobile networks having unlimited addons, except for giffgaff and t-mobile, but t-mobile is and was the main network EE are based on, orange was crap from day 1

    BT have made EE worthless, without the data speed or unlimted data being usable, the call charges are just retarded and not worth paying, EE speed on 3G has dropped 3MBps over the past 2 months, after being 5+ MBps for the past 4 years, and was able to keep a constant speed, now EE/t-mobile are just pure crap and not worth bothering with

  15. Zmodem

    Re: Odd

    its not worth a thumbs down, other networks have the same speed as EE and alot cheaper phonecalls to landlines, more so three who's phone calls are the same as BT landline to landline prices

    PAYG user's won't stick around for to long either, giffgaff is alot better and the next t-mobile for all the clubs and night life with the £20 unlimited everything addon they have

  16. Zmodem

    Re: Odd

    giffgaff reached 7MBps on 3G https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mx9Q8zHgMzQ

  17. EddieD

    Sod the surveys

    O2 coverage is Scotland outside the cities sucks. I know Bonnie Jockland is a wee bit rural, but I'm fed up of being on top of a hill wanting to share my joy* of being out in the fresh air** with my friends, but getting absolutely bugger all in the way of signal when my friends on EE or whatever are blathering away.

    I should vote with my feet, but all my family are on O2, so when I'm in town it's useful.

    *Okay, I want to brag.

    ** We have lots of that. It makes up for not having gigs, industry, life expectancy...

  18. Ledswinger Silver badge

    First law of thermodynamics also applies to telecomms

    I have a hypothesis that there's a fixed amount of reliability and speed to go round. So if your service gets better, somebody else's gets worse. This isn't anything technological or backhaul related, it is just some cosmological constant, with the reliability doled out from a fixed pot by Nepalese monks on a remote mountainside.

    And due to convergence, the reported 8% improvement in mobile reliability has been offset by a 30% worsening in reliability inflicted solely on Virginmedia's cable customers.

  19. darklord

    EE not round here thanks

    Were on EE with work, And it don't work where I live so fail. as I work from home a lot its next to useless. still they are better than o2 who we had before, which was dire ill stick with Vodafone for now.

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