back to article TalkTalk plans to bail on mobile in major shake-up for beleaguered biz

Beleaguered UK comms provider TalkTalk is set to go against the received "wisdom" of having multiple services to flog as it plans to pull out of the mobile market entirely. The move is a fairly significant change of tack given that not so long ago it had targeted four million mobile customers. TalkTalk now has just 913,000 SIM …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmmm Three, the worst coverage of all. They already have a deal with CPW under their iD brand so that looks the favourite in my book.

    1. lybad
      Meh

      Worst Coverage?

      Three don't have the worst coverage. That would be EE or Vodafone. :-)

      But all in my/your opinion of course. Just because your experience might not be good, doesn't mean other people agree.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Worst Coverage?

        >Three don't have the worst coverage. That would be EE or Vodafone. :-)

        Want to bet on that ? Voice call coverage is crap as they don't have a 2G fall back, solely 3G & 4G

        https://checker.ofcom.org.uk/mobile-coverage

        A bit of history for you:

        3 starts killing off 2G coverage

        https://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/11/08/3uk_orange_roaming/

        You need to get out of central London a bit more, don't rely on Three for mountain rescue as you're very unlikely to be able to make that call.

        1. lybad

          Re: Worst Coverage?

          Can't remember the last time I was within a couple of hundred miles of London - probably about 12 years ago, when I did a day trip from Glasgow to Southampton.

          I actually live north of Dundee, and Three and O2 (with relevant MVNOs) are the only really decent networks up here.

          So, I'm probably nearer those mountains than you.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Worst Coverage?

            >So, I'm probably nearer those mountains than you.

            I live in Derbyshire, by the way Dundee is Scotland's "tech city" I know it very well and used have several customers there but that's by the by. Let's do and actual comparison shall we using reliable OFCOM data and not the networks:

            Three 3G indoor coverage

            Vodaphone 3G indoor coverage

            As you can see Vodaphone's coverage for indoor 3G is roughly 100% more. I don't want to have to walk around in the snow outside in the vain effort of trying to get a Three signal when I'm much more likely to get one from a network with better coverage, I'd much rather be toasty indoors along with my cat warming in front of the log burner. Three is cheap for a reason.

            Source:

            https://checker.ofcom.org.uk/mobile-coverage

            1. lybad

              Re: Worst Coverage?

              It's debatable to Dundee's status as tech city. Virgin may have used it as a bit of a proving ground, but in terms of mobile it is still quite patchy.

              I also didn't say I lived in Dundee, I said north of Dundee. :-)

              Amongst my friends and family, the majority are on O2 or 3 based networks as our experience (not OFCOM or network statistics) have taken us to those networks.

              Come to it, the last couple of years we have been to a really remote part of Orkney and not had any issues with 3.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Worst Coverage?

                >Come to it, the last couple of years we have been to a really remote part of Orkney and not had any issues with 3.

                Come to Derbyshire, if you need to call home I'll lend you my Vodaphone or my wife's O2 mobile. By the way I travel extensively around the country for my job, I've used three and it's the worst. I'll take my own national experiences thanks.

        2. Timmy B Silver badge

          Re: Worst Coverage?

          " don't rely on Three for mountain rescue as you're very unlikely to be able to make that call."

          My experience differs. I live in rural Somerset and also spend much of my time well away from any towns or even main roads. I've also just made the mistake of moving away from 3 who I always found to be good but their prices went up a whack and EE (via BT) had a good offer. The EE coverage here is terrible particularly for data. Call quality is dire when I do get a connection and I get dropped calls - something I never had with 3. The only plus is I get the fastest data connection with EE when I get a good 4G connection.

          I'll be moving back in 6 months.

          1. Franco Silver badge

            Re: Worst Coverage?

            Very similar for me too, I live near Glasgow and work on the other side of Glasgow at the moment but also with a fair bit of travelling. I get pretty good coverage almost everywhere with 3. Previously I had a business phone from O2 and the coverage was not as good, nor was the customer service. As much as comparing customer service from mobile providers is like comparing having rabies to botulism, 3 are about the best IME (Been with Vodafone and Orange around the time it became EE before moving to 3).

            Never dealt with TalkTalk for anything other than business broadband and their service is, in a word, shite. Everytime I called them it was either my fault for not using their router, or Openreach's fault.

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Worst Coverage?

        >Three don't have the worst coverage. That would be EE or Vodafone. :-)

        Well, earlier this year I visited Cornwall, taking phones from both Three and EE. During the entire weeks holiday, the phones on Three consistently got better reception and data rates.

        The biggest laugh was standing outside the EE shop in Falmouth and being unable to load a web page on the EE phone, but having no difficulty doing the same on the Three phone. My daughter was embarrassed at the idea of going into the shop and querying the coverage and speed claims being made on the posters in their window...

        1. Timmy B Silver badge

          Re: Worst Coverage?

          "Well, earlier this year I visited Cornwall, taking phones from both Three and EE."

          Three were once terrible in Cornwall and spent some serious money there at about the time they dropped 2G.

    2. spudmasterflex

      I stupidly made the decision to move our business phones to EE away from Three based on their supposed coverage,

      With Three, most places I went always has 3G as a minimum and patchy 4G coverage, consistent speeds 8-10Mbps and for an overseas call centre pretty good.

      With EE I find I'm dropping back to edge 2G quite frequently, business Supoport staff are total garbage, the 4G coverage is better agreed but the speeds are some times non existent.

      My commute along the A1 every morning I could stream Spotify with Three, with EE I lose signal completely for a five mile stretch and this is a fairly busy stretch around Cambridgeshire.

      Massively regretting the decision now.

  2. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

    Bollocks

    TalkTalk is naff in every way imaginable. Pull it.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Triple play/quad play bullshit aroma recognised at last?

    I've never understood why it's been such an article of faith that consumers are just begging to obtain every kind of vaguely telecoms-related service imaginable from one supplier. Apart from the terminally lazy, overpaid and clueless (who admittedly may be a sizeable market segment), surely everybody is going to realise at some point that their oh-so-convenient quad-play supplier is actually astonishingly bad at up to three of those services, and want to bail? Perhaps I'm not cynical enough, though...

    1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      Re: Triple play/quad play bullshit aroma recognised at last?

      The idea is to have discounts only if you have several products.. so you cant leave, and then increase the price again.

      1. Andy Non Silver badge

        Re: Triple play/quad play bullshit aroma recognised at last?

        @ Aitor 1 That's what BT did. I had phone, broadband and mobile from them which got me £5 off per month on my mobile. However, after several price rises, the land line one being the last straw, I ditched the lot and went elsewhere. I'm now saving £25 per month.

        1. paulf Silver badge
          Holmes

          Re: Triple play/quad play bullshit aroma recognised at last?

          This is the point. Quad play is pushed by the marketers, not by significant demand from the public, and they love it for this very reason - it gets people locked in with a trivial initial discount then makes it significantly harder to switch to other services when (if?) they start cranking up the price until the pips squeak. The ability to move each service separately to find the best deal is valuable but doesn't have that headline "Saving for taking multiple services" that quad play has.

  4. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

    I miss ntl:

    We were the future once :'(

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: I miss ntl:

      I thought that was Orange? "The futures bright. The futures Orange." Or has that been superceded by a certain US President?

  5. Sam Liddicott

    This explains why TalkTalk recently increased their Mobile rates; perhaps they wish to make the business look more attractive with higher projected Revenue.

    I used it as an excuse to bail out of the contract and move to ID.

  6. Simon Rockman

    Four months

    That's all they have.

    The mobile networks signed an undertaking in Dec 2014 that by 2017 there would be 90% *landmass* coverage in the UK.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-secures-landmark-deal-for-uk-mobile-phone-users

    Further investigation by El Reg revealed "by 2017" meant "by the end of 2017" but that gave them three years.

    Now we are 16 weeks from that deadline does it look like the networks will meet that promise?

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Four months

      Now we are 16 weeks from that deadline does it look like the networks will meet that promise?

      Probably if not so they can probably expect a strongly worded letter from OfCom and some soundbites from the minister before going back to business as usual.

      If, god forbid, they are held to account then we can start on the list of excuses as to why:

      • the dog ate the plans
      • Brexit
      • the wrong kind leaves on the trees

  7. Joe Harrison

    A few random comments

    • I have a dual SIM phone with Three and EE. I do a lot of mainline train journeys between South East and North of England and mostly lose Three but retain EE signal. So maybe go for EE if you travel by train a lot.
    • A friend's experience of Talk Talk involved being expensively billed for four SIMs they didn't know they had, and finding it hard to get anything resolved
    • A phone which supports Band 20 could get you better indoor coverage, also some cell sites report themselves as Band 20 only so I am guessing this means without it you will have no signal at all.
    • The correct spelling is "supersede", just sayin

  8. B*stardTintedGlasses

    Three can bugger off. Just reading this article, bring up my phone to send it to someone...

    "Could not activate mobile data network". Full 3G. Hmmm....

    http://downdetector.co.uk/problems/3/map/

    Oh! Look! Mobile Internet has been down for Three for the last hour and counting!

    F*ck em. they sure as hell shouldn't take on more when this happens regularly.

    Contract is nearly up, must.... grit teeth and finish last two weeks....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Contract is nearly up, must.... grit teeth and finish last two weeks....

      So you'll do the right thing, and buy your own handset, and then get a rolling one month SIM only contract with an MVNO?

      1. Roland6 Silver badge
        Pint

        and buy your own handset?

        B*stardTintedGlasses is with Three, if current handset is on contract (with Three), it will be theirs' on completion of the contract and currently unlocked and so they wanted to they could have installed a third-party SIM already!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Because of course none of the other networks ever have issues...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Because of course none of the other networks ever have issues...

        They certainly do. But if you're on a one month sim-only contract, and service is unacceptable, coverage (or your location) change for the worse, you don't have the sunk costs and remaining commitment of a two year contract, you just change to somebody who is less unacceptable.

        Incidentally, I'm with ID Mobile (CPW), and everything has worked hunky-dory. No billing snafus, a breeze to get set up, reasonable value. The 3 network that ID use has proved (for me) to be significantly better than all the larger MNOs in terms of reliability and signal quality (I've experience at my home of all of the MNO networks). Seems a bit odd to be praising anything to do with Dixons-CPW, but I'm planning to move all of the household's small fleet of mobiles to ID as the contracts finish.

  9. PeterM42
    FAIL

    Good descision getting out of mobile

    Especially when you provide a CRAP CRAP service.

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