back to article The Register Monopoly Pubcrawl Mobile Map: VODAFONE VICTOR in LONDON

Get a load of our fabtabulous interactive mobile Monopoly map - now complete with 3G/4G data results - right here If you think “data” is what you do with your girlfriend then move on, probably to another website: there is nothing to see here. But if you think mobile data in London is interesting you need to read this. Jasper …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Epic work..

    Thank you for doing this - any chance you can expand to other cities? Or maybe start a group where people can contribute, provided they use the same measuring facilities and methodology?

    By way of illustration why this was interesting for me: we're working on a project which requires more data than voice access, so knowing whose coverage is best pretty much determines who will get the corporate accounts (although we re-assess this annually).

    1. Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen
      Coat

      Re: Epic work..

      I for one welcome our Anorak-wearing data overlords.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Reliability" percentage

    ... what exactly is it measuring? Something IP level (e.g. packet loss, TCP retransmissions), something radio-level, something else?

  3. Dave Bell

    I was in London last weekend, and the O2 Network worked well, But I wasn't anywhere near the places you picked. There's a lot of London where stuff happens that isn't on the Monopoly Board. There's not of the Docklands tested, for one.

    1. MrWibble

      One of the failings of the "Monopoly Board" model - it doesn't actually cover London, mainly a lot of West London. So, whilst it makes a good headline, and topic of conversation, I think it's bit useless in telling us the best in "London".

      On that note, if this were done covering London, what should be defined as "London"? Central/Greater/M25/etc?

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Stacy

    Whilst I admire the effort that went into this

    Monopoly Board Pub Crawl and no mention of either Dave Lister, Emily Berkenstein or Red Dwarf...

    Or did I just miss it :)

  6. Jon Green
    Flame

    Sadly, the survey's only in central London!

    I just spent a week in North Norfolk: my HTC One (4G-capable) phone on O2, my wife's 3G Sony on Orange (yes, effectively EE), and my daughter's 3G HTC on EE.

    Result:

    About half the time, I couldn't get a signal at all on O2. On the occasions when I could, GPRS was the best I could hope for: no good for anything but occasional mail polls. I did once see 3G, but it lasted about a second, and did find HSDPA once, in one medium-sized town. A truly lousy performance.

    On the other hand, the two EE phones had a voice signal almost all the time, and often could get HSDPA when I couldn't even see a signal.

    This reflects my experiences in other (out of London) areas too. And this nicely demonstrates how different the mobile operators' strategies are, for coverage. There's population coverage, and there's area coverage. Try to use Waze, for example (a GPS app that requires online data access), and you find out the difference pretty quickly: O2 is not exactly the ideal network, even if they do manage good(ish) coverage in town and on major routes. I've an EE MiFi-style data hotspot (which I forgot to take to Norfolk, natch*). When I'm travelling off the main routes, I use that to provide wi-fi data to my O2-limited mobile, if I want to navigate. Or NavFree, which doesn't need online access. It shouldn't have to be this way.

    Suffice to say: when the current contract's up, early next year, I'm sacking O2, and porting my number to EE. And I can't imagine even looking back afterwards.

    (* Yes, I know I could have used one of the other phones as a wi-fi hotspot, but they're both on low-data tariffs.)

  7. AceRimmer

    Google

    This is exactly the sort of thing that Google could be testing as it drives its street cars round the country

  8. Reading Your E-mail

    No Fenchurch Station, tsk tsk :)

    1. Simon Rockman

      We tested Fenchurch but when we looked at the data it was suspect and so in the interests of rigour it was disregarded. I'll as Dr Carter to expand on this in his live chat.

      Simon

  9. Tim Russell

    Like.. but....

    If you wanted to give me a true indication of the best UK network (London is all about Underground WiFi IMHO) I'd like to know which of the nations train routes has the best coverage....

    I can drive to meetings and use my mobile to find the route, but when it really counts is when I'm on a train travelling across the country preparing for my meetings or other similar 'internet connection required' activity.

    I'm not alone I am sure in finding that some intercity routes may boost excellent occasional coverage, usually around larger population centres, but in-between stations it(the signal) seems to drop into an abyss.

    So once again, well done, fun to read, but can we expand this?

    1. fixit_f

      Re: Like.. but....

      It's just a real challenge to deliver a mobile data connection to a train. You're inside a big metal box thing, running directly over or under high voltage wires which cause interference, and you're often down in dug out railway cuttings or other lower bits of land. Patchy coverage is IMHO probably reasonable under those circumstances.

  10. Metrognome

    Why oh why etc.

    Can some of the enlightened commentards or even any of the contributors explain to me how come Swisscom has reliable 4g to the tune of 40+/20+ over a good 90% percent of the population and falling back to full 3g elsewhere?

    Swisscom faces way less competition by way fewer rivals. The terrain is way more challenging than in London or the UK, regulations about masts equally stringent and yet they deliver.

    Could this, God forbid, be down to the fact it's nationalised? Any ideas or pointers, welcome.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. harmjschoonhoven

      Re: Why oh why etc.

      Because the Swiss are prepared to pay for their telecom infrastructure, 1395 CHF (1524 USD) per person per year (figures 2012).

      1. Metrognome

        Re: Why oh why etc.

        Thanks for that. I have been living there for 10 years and never realised;given the ridiculously low taxes the state charges.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mobile Scenarios

    I wish there was an interactive route planner, location to location, using X data, Y calls.

    One of my problems with mobile phone service providers is guessing what coverage will be like in the UK while at the same time avoiding punitive tariffs while overseas.

    I know the phone companies have “send us your phone bill and we'll calculate the saving” but they are happy to leave out any awkward facts like lack of coverage.

    Having a reduced call charge is meaningless if you can't make the call or having a decent data link but charged at £6/MB.

  12. fixit_f

    I find this result very, very surprising

    Your test methodology looks very comprehensive, my experience is obviously completely anecdotal and unscientific. I live in outer SE London, work in the city and generally "get around a bit" and unless Vodafone have significantly upped their game in the six months or so since I ditched them for 3 those results are the exact opposite of what I found with Voda - I found their 3G data and voice coverage to be truly AWFUL, on a variety of different handsets.

  13. MotorcyclesFish

    So is it 3 FTW when outside of The Smoke?

    So we think 3 for 3G/4G coverage then? Mulling ditching O2 for 3 in the next few weeks and would like to know if the grass is greener.

    Are, I ask the jury, the 3 customer service gripes still valid? (Hard-selling, grumpy)

    I am sorely tempted by their unlimited data (25GB(!) cap when roaming), 600 minute tariff for a promotional £18/month on a 12 month contract.

    Assuming my iPhone 5 doesn't magically decide it's obsolescent and slow down 30ms after Apple releases the iPhone 6 or iPhone Air or iPhone 5SS or whatever next week.

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