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What happened to the orange tmobile 3G share?


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Old 24-04-2011, 21:32
farmer giles2
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I was just looking on sitefinder and there is a bit about how upto date it is and it is usually updated every 3 months or so
it says that T-mobile has not updated it since 2005 obviously due to there share agreement with 3 and Orange haven't since 2010 obviously due to the current share agreement with T-mobile,

It's obviously going to be a long time until it is next updated by Everything Everywhere as this Network share is going to be on going for a long time if you look at T-mobile who haven't updated for say 6 years well we could be looking at a few years until Everything Everywhere updates sitefinger.
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Old 24-04-2011, 22:34
DevonBloke
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It seems to me that there is an awful lot of confusion about what's going on and how all this is going to work.
Read Thine's Post about a shared RAN because this is the correct information.

3 are NOT going to be any worse off "with a few million Orange customers joining MBNL".

A shared RAN (Radio Access Network) means the networks are sharing the Masts, antenna arrays (in most cases) and equipment cabinets but NOTHING else.

All networks still use their own Ofcom allocated frequencys as they always have done and once the connection gets to a base station controller (BSC), it is routed through that particular network's backhaul.

A UMTS cell is capable of transmitting more than 1 network through the same physical mast and antenna.

There will be NO loss of capacity as each network is still separate.

If anything 3 will actually gain (as will T-Mobile) because Orange are adding 3000 3G transmitters to the agreement. These will be sites where ONLY Orange currently have a 3G transmitter, so filling in some gaps in the MBNL network. (These sites will then start transmitting Orange/T-Mobile/3 frequencys). Most current stand alone Orange 3G transmitters that are on the same site as an existing MBNL transmitter will be decommissioned.

IMPORTANT: Site finder is NOT acurate for Orange and T-Mobile (Everything Everywhere) 3G information. This is because Everything Everywhere are in dispute with Ofcom about who should get 850/900Mhz spectrum for 3G services and until it's resolved EE are not submitting site updates.
In fact they haven't done since 2005/2006. So any new EE 3G sites will not show up on the map.
This is clearly stated on sitefinder.
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Old 24-04-2011, 22:52
Thine Wonk
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Thanks for that Devon, so the shared equipment at cell site can't be hit by capacity then when 3 networks are using it? that was one of my concerns and my thinking behind why Three may be at a slight disadvantage when Orange joins MBNL.
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Old 24-04-2011, 23:10
beecart
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Also 3G doesn't want to be at 32 meters really for other technical reasons, although they could use a lower part of the structure I grant you.
Why doesn't 3g want to be a tall mast ?

What's the technical reason ?

Thanks
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Old 24-04-2011, 23:15
beecart
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That post is really hard to read farmer. Sitefinder is voluntarily updated by the networks and may not be up to date.

You say "if i do a network search it shows up T-mobile 3g and 3 3g" and then "It seem odd that 3 havent jumped on to the T-mobile mast" that contradicts each other.

They may put 3G on the big tower, although 3G doesn't carry as far as 2G and the idea of a cell pattern is that you don't have gaps before the next cell.

2G carries twice as far as 3G and so that's why it usually sits on bigger towers, 3G usually sits on smaller masts or poles.

Think of the cells like a honeycomb if you just threw up 3G cells on 2G structures you'd just leave gaps everywhere and need fill in sites anyway, so it's not always the best thing to use existing structures for a different technology. This is why you see an O2 3G mast and then a few hundred meters away an O2 2G mast sometimes.

Also 3G doesn't want to be at 32 meters really for other technical reasons, although they could use a lower part of the structure I grant you.
Some interesting info, thanks.

Which network offers the most resilient 2G and 3G coverage and why ?

What are your thoughts on 3G 900 utilised by O2- will this just mean capacity gets reached quicker or not ?

Why doesn't 3g want to be a tall mast ?

What's the technical reason ?

Thanks
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Old 24-04-2011, 23:50
farmer giles2
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yep well said Devonbloke, just to clarify you said orange are going to be adding 3000 3g sites where there is only 3g sites or did u mean where there is only 2g sites and upgrade them to 3g ?
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Old 25-04-2011, 00:06
x_malibubabe
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I didn't want to start a new thread so thought I'd ask in here. When my phone picks up an Orange T Mobile network, I can't connect to the data at all, is this because the merge hasn't happened yet or should I still be able to connect to Orange's data? It's fine when it's just Orange.
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Old 25-04-2011, 00:22
IslandNiles
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I didn't want to start a new thread so thought I'd ask in here. When my phone picks up an Orange T Mobile network, I can't connect to the data at all, is this because the merge hasn't happened yet or should I still be able to connect to Orange's data? It's fine when it's just Orange.
You should still be able to use data when on T-Mobile, I think, but only 2G. You won't get a 3G signal (yet) when using T-Mobile's signal.
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Old 25-04-2011, 03:41
mjdj1689
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What about the data speeds thou ? as Orange is slower then 3s, also where 3 always show an H , what about Orange as they only show 3g unless you get hspda and then it reverts back to the 3g symbol ?
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Old 25-04-2011, 11:21
farmer giles2
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@ Thine wonk, Ive just come across a mast on site finder at another local town that has T-mobile gsm at 29 meter/ Airwave at 20 meters and 3 umts at 28.6 meters so it seems 3g can be hi on a mast, i know alot of masts around are only 15-16 meters tall intresting.
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Old 25-04-2011, 12:18
DevonBloke
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yep well said Devonbloke, just to clarify you said orange are going to be adding 3000 3g sites where there is only 3g sites or did u mean where there is only 2g sites and upgrade them to 3g ?
Where orange currentlly have a 3G transmitter on it's own (there are no other T-Mobile or 3 transmitters (MBNL) on the same site), then this transmitter will in all likelyhood be one of the "3000" quoted sites to be added. This will benefit T-Mobile and 3 users in this area.
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Old 25-04-2011, 12:20
DevonBloke
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I didn't want to start a new thread so thought I'd ask in here. When my phone picks up an Orange T Mobile network, I can't connect to the data at all, is this because the merge hasn't happened yet or should I still be able to connect to Orange's data? It's fine when it's just Orange.
Make sure you have roaming set in your phones settings.
If you don't then you wont always get data on T-Mobile.
Ignore any warnings about extra charges (except if you are abroad) as you will be charged the same as on Orange.
Hope this helps.
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Old 25-04-2011, 13:15
DevonBloke
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Where orange currentlly have a 3G transmitter on it's own (there are no other T-Mobile or 3 transmitters (MBNL) on the same site), then this transmitter will in all likelyhood be one of the "3000" quoted sites to be added. This will benefit T-Mobile and 3 users in this area.
To add to this, I'm sure Orange will continue to upgrade GPRS sites to UMTS but that's a separate issue. As a side note, any cells with Edge will be the last to be done generaly. Cells (particularily new ones) that are plain GPRS will be upgraded first in all likelyhood.
I've had some good results with Edge. Stationary with a 4-5 bar signal will normally yield 180Kbps which is pretty good for a 2G network.
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Old 25-04-2011, 18:48
farmer giles2
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To add to this, I'm sure Orange will continue to upgrade GPRS sites to UMTS but that's a separate issue. As a side note, any cells with Edge will be the last to be done generaly. Cells (particularily new ones) that are plain GPRS will be upgraded first in all likelyhood.
I've had some good results with Edge. Stationary with a 4-5 bar signal will normally yield 180Kbps which is pretty good for a 2G network.
That will be nice then im on Edge signal that is,

it's fine when it works me and others i know of have had problems for 2 months now and not just around 1 mast but both Edge signal from the masts Its fine 1 minute then it disapears (ie) no connection and loose data symbol no E just wine glass shaped symbol still get full bar signal this could happen anytime of the day even early hours at time could be without internet connection most of day or sometimes just a short period,

Orange know about this they have for nearly 2 months but can't seem to sort it out
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Old 25-04-2011, 19:11
Thine Wonk
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Hi Beecart, i'll try and answer as best I can although I'm not an expert. I am technical, but I don't work as a transmission engineer.

Which network offers the most resilient 2G and 3G coverage and why ?
This is difficult to answer as it varies across the country and really the best network is the best network for an individuals circumstances.

Vodafone and O2 are both extremely strong for 2G. Three is very good for 3G, but when you don't have it you may not get any 2G, also you may notice more dropped calls on Three, It's a much better data network, but a slightly weaker call and text network. Value wise it's a good choice and so is Giffgaff but for different reasons, for example giffgaff if you just want calls and texts and good 2G coverage and aren't too bothered about high speed reliable data outside of towns and cities.

What are your thoughts on 3G 900 utilised by O2- will this just mean capacity gets reached quicker or not ?
I think it's a good thing, it will mean that they have a much grater 3G coverage area without having to put in a lot of new cell sites. They need a lot less masts than Three to achieve the same result.

As for the capacity, it may be the case that they have less capacity if they have less cells per area as each cell has a microwave dish or a fibre connection, that will be a congestion point and if the cell is serving an area potentially twice as large as Three then there could be a capacity issue. However the benefit is much greater 3G coverage even in rural areas if they invest. If they put extra cells in just for capacity then it could be a brilliant solution. 900Mhz 3G meaning brilliant 3G coverage, lower capex and then add extra sites in cities for capacity (they probably have these anyway).

At those frequencies it also cuts in to buildings much better. If O2 do it right it could be a rock solid 3G network, same with Vodafone.

Why doesn't 3g want to be a tall mast ? What's the technical reason ?

Thanks
Because 3G on Three / T-mobile etc always uses 1800 - 2100 Mhz and around 32 dBW or less, it will only cover a few mile radius at best. So you want only want it to be just over roof height because there will be other cells in each direction within a few miles to cover the neighbouring areas.

If you put it too high then potentially it could interfere with cells further away that are high up and actually reduce coverage due to frequency clashes. The whole 3G design is based upon re-using frequencies over and over in a honeycomb cell structure, and you only want to cover things within a certain locality, the plan isn't to put it as high as possible, it's to only cover a specific zone and then you get handed off to your cell neighbours as you move from one to the next.

Frequencies are re-used over and over throughout the network and need to be as clear as possible. Very high cells are more likely to interfere.

Cell handoff works by your phone constantly monitoring what cells it can receive and measuring the signal of each cell it can see, it reports this to your active cell. When the netowrk MSCs see a cell that you would be better suited to it will organise a cut over to the new cell, all this is done with no call interruption.

If lots of 3G cells were all on high structures the reception as you move around would be all over the place, signal levels with be max one second and then gone the next and the result would be more dropped calls. 3G is more about lower cells and more localised coverage areas.

However in rural flat areas there are cases for putting 3G on higher structures and I think that makes a lot less difference.

If there are any network engineers that read this forum feel free to confirm or correct, but that's the way I understand it.
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Old 25-04-2011, 19:50
DevonBloke
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I think that makes perfect sense. If a tower was too high it would overlap a cell maybe 3 or 4 cells away. This cell may well be reusing the frequencies from the first tower and so there would be awful interference. In most cases each cell should only overlap an adjacent cell which would be on a different set of frequencies.
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Old 25-04-2011, 20:15
Thine Wonk
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Cheers Devon, here's maybe a better description than I gave.

Very maths heavy cell reuse PDF

Cell reuse

The practice of cell planning

Reuse Distance

The closest distance between the centres of two cells using the same frequency (in different clusters) is determined by the choice of the cluster size C and the lay-out of the cell cluster. This distance is called the frequency 're-use' distance. It can be shown that the reuse distance ru, normalised to the size of each hexagon, is
ru = SQRT{3 C}
For hexagonal cells, i.e., with 'honeycomb' cell lay-outs commonly used in mobile radio, possible cluster sizes are C = i2 + ij + j2, with integer i and j (C = 1, 3, 4, 7, 9, ...). Integers i and j determine the relative location of co-channel cells.

It's all about spectrum efficiency, unnecessarily high 3G cells causes your reuse distance to increase and reduces spectrum efficiency and can cause frequency clashes and unnecessary over switching on the MSC and increased chance of dropped calls.

Terrain irregularities may shield radio signals, and can thus be exploited to ensure little interference among cells, so what works for one area may not work for another.

Those are the technical reasons Beecart
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Old 25-04-2011, 20:55
DevonBloke
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Crikey, I'm gonna have to go and open that bottle of red I have somewhere and then attempt to understand all that!
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Old 25-04-2011, 23:27
farmer giles2
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I think that makes perfect sense. If a tower was too high it would overlap a cell maybe 3 or 4 cells away. This cell may well be reusing the frequencies from the first tower and so there would be awful interference. In most cases each cell should only overlap an adjacent cell which would be on a different set of frequencies.
i guess some like the mast near me are taller to deal with the lie of the land i guess this is only 2g Edge,

I had heard that a masts signal will travel about 4 miles thats what i had seen somewhere obviously that is going to depend on the lie of the land aswell not sure if this was based on 2g or 3g unsure on that.
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Old 25-04-2011, 23:33
No-One
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Here's the local T-Mobile mast I was referring to.

http://maps.google.co.uk/?ie=UTF8&ll...82.89,,0,-1.85

The new 3 mast has gone up on the opposite side of the road. It's about half the height and only seems to have 1 panel on it. Sitefinder shows the T-Mobile mast to only be a 2G mast, but if that information is several years out of date it could very well now be 3G. I know they advertise 3G service here. I had assumed that this was roaming onto 3 before I found that their agreement doesn't stretch that far. Still curious why 3 didn't just add their transmitters to the T-mobile mast though. I guess we could never know why they didn't
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Old 26-04-2011, 00:40
DevonBloke
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i guess some like the mast near me are taller to deal with the lie of the land i guess this is only 2g Edge,

I had heard that a masts signal will travel about 4 miles thats what i had seen somewhere obviously that is going to depend on the lie of the land aswell not sure if this was based on 2g or 3g unsure on that.
I'm afraid you heard wrong. Not sure about UMTS but GSM is limited to 35Km or 22 miles. This is because any more than this then the TDMA (Time division multiple Access) system used by GSM would cease to function correctly. The round trip time 35km + 35km = 70km (Handset to base and back) at 300 million kilometres per second (speed of light / radio waves) would be too long and the data would miss it's slot.

If you look at most masts closely you will see that the antenna arrays are tilted slightly downwards. Range is controlled by both this tilting and power output. Think of microwaves as invisible light (as this is essentially what they are). The radio waves can be directed (shone) downwards to limit range.

A lot of costal transmitters are set for maximum range out to sea. I was on the South Devon coast the other weekend and a network scan picked up 4 French networks. Not strong enough to connect but they were there.
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Old 26-04-2011, 01:13
mjdj1689
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Here's the local T-Mobile mast I was referring to.

http://maps.google.co.uk/?ie=UTF8&ll...82.89,,0,-1.85

The new 3 mast has gone up on the opposite side of the road. It's about half the height and only seems to have 1 panel on it. Sitefinder shows the T-Mobile mast to only be a 2G mast, but if that information is several years out of date it could very well now be 3G. I know they advertise 3G service here. I had assumed that this was roaming onto 3 before I found that their agreement doesn't stretch that far. Still curious why 3 didn't just add their transmitters to the T-mobile mast though. I guess we could never know why they didn't
What is coverage like in Oakham, as a mate of mine works in the High Street and he is saying that Oranges coverage is patchy,with no 3g , but on their website it says its full ?
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Old 26-04-2011, 01:55
beecart
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Hi Beecart, i'll try and answer as best I can although I'm not an expert. I am technical, but I don't work as a transmission engineer.

...
Thank you, that is a GREAT post

Can I ask you a couple of questions

1) How come this site is so small... and how far roughly should it give coverage ?

Name of Operator O2
Operator Site Ref. 12308
Station Type Macrocell
Height of Antenna 5.00 Metres
Frequency Range 2100 MHz
Transmitter Power 27.9 dBW
Maximum licensed power 32 dBW
Type of Transmission UMTS



2) How come this is so big and how much (distance) should this give coverage wise ?

Name of Operator O2
Operator Site Ref. 434
Station Type Macrocell
Height of Antenna 35.6 Metres
Frequency Range 900 MHz
Transmitter Power 24.3 dBW
Maximum licensed power 32 dBW
Type of Transmission GSM



I understand now why the 3G sites aren't as big... What type of distance do they typically cover ?

Also, the Maximum licensed power is 32 dBW so why only use say, for example, 24.3 dBW.... Doesn't it mean the higher the power the better and further the signal goes ?

Best regards
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Old 26-04-2011, 08:49
DevonBloke
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I understand now why the 3G sites aren't as big... What type of distance do they typically cover ?

Also, the Maximum licensed power is 32 dBW so why only use say, for example, 24.3 dBW.... Doesn't it mean the higher the power the better and further the signal goes ?

Best regards
Hi beecart

Really difficult questions to answer. It depends on the lay of the land and how far they actually want it to go. Read my other post above. The 35 metre tower being GSM theoretically can go 35 miles but in reality I would be surprised if it went more than 10. Networks often put up a BIG tower to give basic blanket coverage and then fill in (within it's coverage area) with smaller capacity boosting cells. (Cells within the main cell if you like). This is very simplified but if for example the big cell covered a 10 mile radius and used half the network's radio spectrum, then there could be say, 5 other smaller cells (that don't overlap each other) WITHIN this 10 mile radius that each use the other half of the spectrum. In this way the main tower would provide good basic outdoor coverage over the entire area and the smaller (lower) cells would provide good indoor coverage in localised areas and because they don't transmit into each otherís space the amount of calls possible at any one time is increased 5 fold.
The power output is also used to limit range. Because this tower is so high, just tilting the antenna arrays (see my other post also) is probably not enough to stop the coverage reaching too far so they are also employing a power restriction.

Hope this makes sense.
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Old 26-04-2011, 09:59
DevonBloke
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I guess we ought to be keeping this thread on track.....
Anyone know anymore about when the full 3g share is going to happen? Read on the Money Saving Expert website forum that it was postponed until May or possibly July.
I would really love it if Orange could be open about what's going on. I have Plusnet for my ISP and they are brilliant. Always telling us about future plans and dates. No such luck with Mobile operators.
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