back to article Vodafone does it in two places at once: Carrier aggregation to boost 4G

Vodafone has to followed EE’s lead and launched carrier aggregation – which potentially doubles data bandwidth. One of the clever things about 4G is that it can combine the bandwidth from different bits of spectrum and use them as a single pipe. EE has been selling this for some time and in our testing we found that it made a …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Research justifies the sexy bits, so we'll ignore the bread & butter stuff"

    "Vodafone research shows that customers value a consistent, high-speed 4G service in-building as well as outside "

    If Vodafone's research is any good it should also show that most customers don't give a shit about 4G services targeted at a few urban hipsters with the latest handsets, but would give their left bollock (or their partner's left bollock) for decent near universal H+ 3G.

    1. ukgnome

      Re: "Research justifies the sexy bits, so we'll ignore the bread & butter stuff"

      You are indeed correct. But this isn't just a Voda issue.

      I realise that it's my choice to live in the middle class village near the Norfolk Broads but I shouldn't have to stand on a raised platform waiting for a magic one bar just so I can forward my mobile to the land line.

      I live in one of the flattest parts of the UK but ALL mobile providers services are totally shit.

      1. A Twig

        Re: "Research justifies the sexy bits, so we'll ignore the bread & butter stuff"

        It's almost as depressing has having direct LoS to the Voda mast yet still not getting any reception. Even more frustrating is getting full reception on O2, as in theory - due to Cornerstone - they should have the same coverage as they are sharing sites!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Research justifies the sexy bits, so we'll ignore the bread & butter stuff"

        "I live in one of the flattest parts of the UK but ALL mobile providers services are totally shit."

        It applies everywhere, as far as I can see. Personally I blame OFCOM. They've created a licensing system that (along with capital requirements) means that there's huge barriers to entry in the infrastructure part of the value chain.

        It isn't beyond the wit of man to mandate "common carriage" arrangements where the market can't provide coverage in low population densities (even the French have managed it). But sadly what is not beyond the wit of man is clearly beyond the wit of OFCOM.

        And a question for those who know about such things, is 4G going to be the same pathetic shambles as 3G? All this talk of ludicrous speeds is surely going to depend in the real world on mast capacity and backhaul, and those appear to be the bits the MNOs have thus far refused to invest in beyond the barest minimum, leading to all this 2G fall back and half data rate nonsense (along with the absolute notspots with no coverage of any kind).

    2. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: "Research justifies the sexy bits, so we'll ignore the bread & butter stuff"

      But one of the benefits of 4G is that it does potentially allow for better coverage than 3G does. Obviously not yet, because the 4G roll-out is nowhere near complete.

    3. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: "Research justifies the sexy bits, so we'll ignore the bread & butter stuff"

      Yep. F*** the bandwidth, it's fast enough already.

      Sort out the coverage and the cell capacity because at the moment it SUCKS.

      Priorities.

    4. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: "Research justifies the sexy bits, so we'll ignore the bread & butter stuff"

      I think people subconsciously or consciously post in these phone network articles in the hope that people from the networks are reading and we can get a message across.

      So, are you listening VODA, O2, EE, 3... You suck, do you hear me? SUCK SUCK. You f***ing SUCK big time. Coverage and capacity SUCK and we are getting sick of your BS that doesn't stand up in the real world. Our amazing little portable devices are let down because the networks are so SHYTE.

      Get your f***ing fingers out and sort it.

      Ahhhh cathartic.

  2. RR1

    3 minute warning

    At the maximum theoretical speed I could use all of my 4GB allowance in less than 2.5 minutes (unless I've done my maths wrong). I don't understand why they think people would be impressed by huge speeds if you can't actually use it. This being the reason that my main contract is with Three on an old contract that included unlimited data and unlimited tethering. (In Vodafone's defence though they've got a lot more 4G coverage than Three and are, as they so heavily limit the use of their network, much quicker).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 3 minute warning

      Three do a lot of DPI, never quite figured out how they detect tethering etc, but I've got a suspicion it based upon packet TTLs. Though 1 trick I use is an SSL VPN, good for getting round packet shaping and tethering detection :)

  3. Anna Logg

    Well, meaningless big numbers provide good material for press releases, whereas "our indoor coverage is a bit less shit than the others" doesn't :-/

    Personally the only way I can get reliable indoor coverage is a femtocell, and I'm not particularly out in the sticks (Hampshire coast).

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      The problem with a femtocell as a solution is that your phone is actually a mobile phone and coverage needs to go where you go. OK, it makes sense to have decent coverage where you spend most of your time if you don't have the landline option. But mobile device, immobile coverage.

  4. xpz393

    Stop! Collaborate, and listen...

    I wish the folks repeatedly trolling the line “Sort out 2G/3G rather than focussing on 4G” would shut up for a moment and actually read what Vodafone have been clearly promising all along…

    They aren’t “just” rolling out 4G. They are in fact overhauling each and every transmission site nationally, which includes 2G and 3G, in many cases adding 3G to a location for the first time.

    I can testify to this being the case. Living in a large(ish) East Midlands city where my Vodafone devices previously used to drop to 2G in most indoor locations, Vodafone’s improvements over the last 12 months have been stunning – all but one of these locations now has excellent 3G and 4G indoors and out, in many cases outperforming my EE device which still drops to 2G or has terribly slow 3G.

    If Vodafone do indeed deliver on their stated intentions to replicate this nationally over the next couple of years, they’ll be a cracking network. That will just leave the telephone customer services to sort out, but I guess that’s another story…

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019