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Old 10-12-2012, 00:49
tfl
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Just wondering if anyone else is finding Vodafone's 3G coverage in central London to be particularly poor? My 3G signal will regularly drop especially inside buildings. Where's all their 3G 900!!!
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Old 10-12-2012, 17:50
tfl
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anyone?
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Old 10-12-2012, 18:00
The Lord Lucan
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Due to capacity issues.. i've found at peak most of the networks struggle in London, the coverage starts to reduce and first to go is indoor coverage. I've not found the 3G 900 helps at all in London as it's so limited in it's spectrum capacity (2G 900 still has most of the spectrum) that it's constantly strained in central London, to the point its raining in coverage and having no benefit coverage wise at all, in fact 3G 2100 probably fairs better seeing that there is far more spectrum capacity.

Just for reference i was testing coverage there earlier this week. I agree with this testing in London.
http://www.rootmetrics.com/uk/compar...-october-2012/
Three came out tops however i found the combined force of EE not far behind.
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Old 10-12-2012, 20:14
Thine Wonk
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Yeah according to Root Metrics the Three network have the best coverage and performance overall in London and scored 81, the next best was O2 at 75.

To evaluate the London area (as defined by Eurostatís London Large Urban Zone) we performed 70,846 call, mobile internet, and text tests, covering all hours of the day and night. Tests were conducted using our RootScout app running from off-the-shelf, Android-based smartphones purchased from mobile phone company stores. The phones were used as a typical consumer would use them and were not modified with any external antennas or other non-standard equipment.

To measure call performance, RootMetrics places a call from each operatorís phone and, if it is successful, attempts to hold that call open for two minutes. Both blocked and dropped call rates are determined from this test. To analyse texting, RootMetrics measures the amount of time it takes each operator to send a text to or receive a text from: 1) a phone within its own network; and 2) phones within the other operatorsí networks. During the text test, each phone in a kit sends an SMS message to a randomly selected phone in another kit.

During mobile internet performance tests, RootMetrics opens an HTTP connection, then measures the mobile internet transfer rate to determine average and maximum speeds. Because we remain committed to evaluating service from the perspective of consumers, we analyse goodput rather than throughput during our tests.
They drove 2,292 miles and tested 102 indoor locations. Some will try to spread a myth about 900 Mhz this and that, but the truth will out!
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Old 10-12-2012, 20:33
tfl
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This is very interesting. I took out my contract with Vodafone based on the promise that 3G 900 would give me much better in building coverage etc. I assumed 3 or EE would not be as reliable due to their higher frequency range when indoors... How wrong i was
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Old 10-12-2012, 20:43
Thine Wonk
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Thee also came top in Hull and Newcastle, which are the other 2 cities that Root Metrics has been performing analysis. They are currently working in Leicester, Coventry, Sheffield with results due to be announced soon.
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Old 10-12-2012, 20:50
The Lord Lucan
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This is very interesting. I took out my contract with Vodafone based on the promise that 3G 900 would give me much better in building coverage etc. I assumed 3 or EE would not be as reliable due to their higher frequency range when indoors... How wrong i was
In a very busy data and even to some extent voice area like inner London the key to good speeds and successful calls is more transmitters covering a smaller area, rather than fewer covering a larger area. EE & Three tend to have more transmitters in urban areas than O2/Voda currently which works out better as they are less overloaded. So at peak times coverage stays the same or reduces only slightly and data speeds stay high.
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Old 10-12-2012, 21:12
Thine Wonk
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The in building penetration, coverage and the frequencies in use are all taken into consideration when the networks carry out an area coverage plan. They will have a percentage in building plan and a percentage outdoor plan for every area, as well as knowing down to a lot of detail what the coverage in the cell area will be like and what deployments they make to achieve this.

It is true that technically 900Mhz has better in building penetration at the same distance and cell deployment pattern as 2100Mhz, but of course this is taken into consideration when the planning is carried out and mitigated by the 2100Mhz plan requiring more cells to do the same thing, this also has the bonus of adding much more capacity, but at greater cost, however MBNL deliberately trimmed down costs as much as possible and EE / 3 RAN share to reduce costs further.
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Old 10-12-2012, 21:47
tfl
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The in building penetration, coverage and the frequencies in use are all taken into consideration when the networks carry out an area coverage plan. They will have a percentage in building plan and a percentage outdoor plan for every area, as well as knowing down to a lot of detail what the coverage in the cell area will be like and what deployments they make to achieve this.

It is true that technically 900Mhz has better in building penetration at the same distance and cell deployment pattern as 2100Mhz, but of course this is taken into consideration when the planning is carried out and mitigated by the 2100Mhz plan requiring more cells to do the same thing, this also has the bonus of adding much more capacity, but at greater cost, however MBNL deliberately trimmed down costs as much as possible and EE / 3 RAN share to reduce costs further.
So say a 3G 900 cell is over loaded, will the device switch to another cell? Say a normal 2100 3G mast? I find my 3G signal fluctuating very rapidly between 5 bars to 1-2 bars most of the time. When I have full signal I check field test mode and I'm in 3G 900 but when I have very low signal I'm on standard 3G. But the majority of the time I'm in standard 2100 3G
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Old 10-12-2012, 21:53
Thine Wonk
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So say a 3G 900 cell is over loaded, will the device switch to another cell? Say a normal 2100 3G mast? I find my 3G signal fluctuating very rapidly between 5 bars to 1-2 bars most of the time. When I have full signal I check field test mode and I'm in 3G 900 but when I have very low signal I'm on standard 3G. But the majority of the time I'm in standard 2100 3G
It'll cell breathe

http://searchmobilecomputing.techtar...cell-breathing
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Old 10-12-2012, 22:19
tfl
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Very interesting link. My local 3G 900 cell must be really overloaded
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:05
The Lord Lucan
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Very interesting link. My local 3G 900 cell must be really overloaded
3G 900 has less spectrum right now than the normal 3G 2100 that Voda and the other networks use as it has to share the same frequency with 2G (which still has the priority on 900)

So it doesn't take much to overload the cell thats in 900 mode..
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:31
tfl
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But why is it that O2 has managed to improve their 3G coverage so much by using the 900mhz frequency, surely it would be totally overloaded all the time?
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Old 11-12-2012, 19:16
Thine Wonk
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But why is it that O2 has managed to improve their 3G coverage so much by using the 900mhz frequency, surely it would be totally overloaded all the time?
Not in less populated areas no, it only becomes a capacity issue in urban areas where a lot of transmitters are required at lower power. They can extent geographical coverage over wider areas and more cheaply with 900Mhz.
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Old 11-12-2012, 23:03
daclick
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Went to London Wednesday to Saturday mainly had HSDPA or HSDPA+ wherever I was on vodafone. Only capacity problem I had was in wembley arena on Saturday night, no data.
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Old 11-12-2012, 23:16
worldlad909
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http://www.rootmetrics.com/uk/compar...-october-2012/

This site is useless many areas across West London currently have no 3G network or shows 4 bars yet you are unable to access any internet services etc. Yet the site above shows a fine signal.

A lot of the these issues started in September / October, I've given up complaining to Vodafone now. I live in a nice area just 15 mins from Central London and the only time I can use the web on my I Phone 5 is when I log into my own Wi Fi.
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Old 11-12-2012, 23:21
The Lord Lucan
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It's based on real users phones reporting back signal and data speeds. Although it doesn't show the difference between 2G & 3G (+ 4G) coverage... it's a feature that will be coming soon.

Right now i'd say it shows Voda & o2 too well... As for example O2 switches down to 2G well before it loses 3G/has a poor signal i've found. So it looks as if they have great coverage.
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Old 11-12-2012, 23:23
ramzez
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Yeah it is very congested, it feels like most people have vodafone here, probably because of the number of businesses.

everyday going to work i find that reception is great, but data is slow and sometimes it just very fast. even Edge is always slow for me on voda.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:12
tfl
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Maybe 4G is the solution? Congestion at peak times makes using mobile data impossible
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:03
ajh94
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Yeah 3G in London isn't great, I have seen 7mbps with full signal in London a few times but not often!
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