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EE 4G Coverage improving really quickly!


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Old 27-01-2013, 22:26
Thine Wonk
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Oh no...more anti-02 propoganda from the usual suspects I see.............
You just made me laugh so hard
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Old 27-01-2013, 22:30
mogzyboy
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You just made me laugh so hard
Haha, good. Always pleased to raise a smile on a dull Sunday evening.
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Old 02-02-2013, 22:19
The Lord Lucan
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EE just added 9 more towns. Amersham, Bolton, Chelmsford, Hemel Hempstead, Southend-on-Sea, Stockport, Sunderland, Sutton Coldfield and Wolverhampton all now have 4G coverage.

45% of the population covered after only 90 days. 27 towns and cities to date.

Impressive.
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Old 02-02-2013, 22:39
Thine Wonk
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EE just added 9 more towns. Amersham, Bolton, Chelmsford, Hemel Hempstead, Southend-on-Sea, Stockport, Sunderland, Sutton Coldfield and Wolverhampton all now have 4G coverage.

45% of the population covered after only 90 days. 27 towns and cities to date.

Impressive.
To think it took O2 8 years to get to 80% 3G, and EE have got to 45% in 90 days. I appreciate the higer the percentage, the harder it gets and longer it takes though.
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Old 02-02-2013, 22:50
iangrad
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Just gone from a very variable 3g IE dial up speeds in the evenings to 2mb/s in the middle of the night to a stunning 23 + mb/s on 4G and I Live out in the sticks ( OL3 post code )
This is the proof
http://www.speedtest.net/result/2481889493.png

I can watch iplayer in HD with no buffering = fantastic
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Old 03-02-2013, 00:05
ajh94
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Chelmsford!? Awesome!!
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Old 03-02-2013, 00:43
danielmeah
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I still think the ping is too high on there LTE offering. It should be alot less.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:38
The Lord Lucan
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Wireless anything is going to have a higher ping.. I usually get 28-45.

It's generally better than what folks are getting in the states on LTE...
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:49
Thine Wonk
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You are pinging the speedtest node though, try it on your desktop and you'll get 30ms.
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:20
ajh94
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It's incredible how fast they are rolling out 4G!
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Old 03-02-2013, 14:32
DevonBloke
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It's actually not that incredible if you think about what it involves.
Yes, they are having to replace every 2G cell and in fact I suspect the trickiest part is possibly retuning the 2G TDMA cell structure to take into account the extra power and sensitivity.

After that, bung in an LTE card and switch it on!! Ok, not quite that simple I'm sure but not a lot involved once the 2G is sorted. LTE is to an extent self organising.

The whole thing is governed by how fast they can rip out the old kit and install new antennas and cabs.
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Old 03-02-2013, 14:41
ajh94
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It's actually not that incredible if you think about what it involves.
Yes, they are having to replace every 2G cell and in fact I suspect the trickiest part is possibly retuning the 2G TDMA cell structure to take into account the extra power and sensitivity.

After that, bung in an LTE card and switch it on!! Ok, not quite that simple I'm sure but not a lot involved once the 2G is sorted. LTE is to an extent self organising.

The whole thing is governed by how fast they can rip out the old kit and install new antennas and cabs.
Oh yeah it's far easier than rolling out 3G for obvious reasons but still impressive how it's going at the moment
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Old 03-02-2013, 15:30
legends wear 7
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Has been discussed before, the networks have been rolling out multi technology kit for a while not just EE, in the most part a software upgrade is all thats required to turn on the LTE. But they'll turn on the LTE in a staged rollout to ensure the core network can keep up with demand
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:52
sparky93
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New 4g upgrade in Shirley, Solihull.
bts near highlands road now live, giving me a stonking usable signal in building

Root Test
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:45
The Lord Lucan
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Has been discussed before, the networks have been rolling out multi technology kit for a while not just EE, in the most part a software upgrade is all thats required to turn on the LTE. But they'll turn on the LTE in a staged rollout to ensure the core network can keep up with demand
You'd be surprised how little work and multi tech upgrades have been done by all networks so far. When it comes to EE it is literally being turned on as it is upgraded. Systematically targeting certain cities in waves.
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Old 04-02-2013, 13:27
DevonBloke
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Yeah, down here (South Hams) Vodafone and O2's 2013 rollout plans are non existent. Perhaps 15-18 cells each.
EE are going proper bonkers like men (sorry, people) possessed! The South Hams isn't that big and they have 54 sites planned for upgrades! Anyone know if these antennas can do 700-800Mhz as well as 1800?
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Old 04-02-2013, 14:00
bigpete15
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Anyone know if these antennas can do 700-800Mhz as well as 1800?
They are all dual band antennas so will be running 1800Mhz and 2100Mhz for 2G,3G and LTE, so any further frequency bands would require additional antennas.
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Old 04-02-2013, 14:10
DevonBloke
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They are all dual band antennas so will be running 1800Mhz and 2100Mhz so any further frequency bands would require additional antennas.
Actually the existing ones are physically separate for 1800 and 2100. They have to be since UMTS works in a different way.
For example the new 2G refresh antennas won't affect 3G at all.
What I meant is will the new 2G/LTE antennas be capable of 700-1800Mhz, or will they have to add another antenna for LTE Advanced/5G?
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Old 04-02-2013, 15:15
bigpete15
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Actually the existing ones are physically separate for 1800 and 2100. They have to be since UMTS works in a different way.
For example the new 2G refresh antennas won't affect 3G at all.
What I meant is will the new 2G/LTE antennas be capable of 700-1800Mhz, or will they have to add another antenna for LTE Advanced/5G?
If the antennas for 2g and 3G have to be separate how can the networks provide coverage in all directions on 2g & 3G from one site with only 3 antennas on the head frame?
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Old 04-02-2013, 15:45
DevonBloke
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If the antennas for 2g and 3G have to be separate how can the networks provide coverage in all directions on 2g & 3G from one site with only 3 antennas on the head frame?
I knew you were going to ask that
Found out the other day and I've posted it elsewhere.
The vertical antenna bars you can see are just the outer protective housing. Inside there are two separate antennas.
EE have stated that the better signal from the more sensitive antennas will improve 2G. No mention of 3G.
If 2G and 3G were transmitted from the same physical antenna then the new antennas would affect 3G too.
There would be no point in boosting 3G as it breaths and a mast and all the adjacent masts would reduce power to compensate.
2G and LTE don't breath and run at fixed power outputs and therefore will benefit from better antennas.

To put it another way, if you are on the edge of 3G coverage and the cell comes under heavy load you will lose 3G because the cell breaths in reducing its footprint. Having more sensitive antennas would be pointless as the cell would just breath in more to compensate.
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Old 04-02-2013, 21:14
bigpete15
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I knew you were going to ask that
Found out the other day and I've posted it elsewhere.
The vertical antenna bars you can see are just the outer protective housing. Inside there are two separate antennas.
I don't mean to sound smart but what you see is a sealed unit, yes it does contain two separate antennas, that's why it's called a dual band antenna.
The complete antenna unit is swapped during the upgrade, 3no on some sites, 6no on others and the lamppost type sites have a single trisector antenna unit.
It's well mentioned before that the 2g side is greatly improved but I would imagine there would be some difference to 3G, in some cases 6 to 8 year old equipment is being replaced with the latest.

Your point regarding 2g & LTE at 1800 on one band and 3G at 2100 on the other band of the antenna and how they work regarding breathing etc is my understanding of how it works as well, the following confuses me though!
I know of some local O2 sites which for years have been running 2g at 900mhz and 1800mhz (dual band antennas) and now they have 3G at 900mhz but there doesn't appear to be any additional antenna, I'm not sure how that works!
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Old 04-02-2013, 21:50
Redcoat
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To think it took O2 8 years to get to 80% 3G, and EE have got to 45% in 90 days. I appreciate the higer the percentage, the harder it gets and longer it takes though.
And that itself should not be under-appreciated. The simple law of diminishing returns start to apply as to start rolling out wireless & radio technology to less populated areas. Take a look at the terrestrial TV network - the three commercial multiplexes are broadcast to around 90% of the UK population using 81 transmitter sites. The three PSB multiplexes, including the HD mux, covers 98.5-99% of the UK population from over 1,100 sites! In other words to gain an additional 8-9% population coverage of the UK the commercial multiplex operators would have to broadcast from around another 1000+ sites! In the 405-line TV days, the BBC was able to cover over 80% of the UK population from just five sites! However they did have the advantage of a low frequency around 50MHz to work with.

45% of the population of the UK relates to a figure of around 27.5 million people, and when you think of the populations of the London conurbation, the Midlands, NW England, Central Scotland etc. that have fairly dense populations, getting a figure up to around 40-50% while not piss easy is certainly achievable for a competent team to roll out especially as initial EE 4G coverage looks to try and go for breadth first with depth later. Getting this figure up past 80% is where diminishing returns start to significantly hit. Ironic then that this was the marker that O2 struggled to hit under it was given a kick in the arse by Ofcom - O2 however would argue that at the time, five years ago, that data provisioning was not as high profile as it is now, the 1st gen Apple iPhone was only just announced to be released later in the year and that mobile broadband packages were also still in their infancy. When you consider a large portion of O2's customers still mainly rely on it for calls & texts and hardly use any data, they're the ying to 3's yang where they have had to differentiate itself from the rest by being more focused on Internet based products.

It's clearly in EE's interests for them to ensure their 4G network gets to as many people as possible before the rest are able to jump on the same technology wagon. EE will only get this chance to get a head start ahead of everyone else and by ensuring their service is given enough breath which is good for marketing purposes, they'll have something to hand compared to everyone else at least for the next few months.
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Old 04-02-2013, 21:50
DevonBloke
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I don't mean to sound smart but what you see is a sealed unit, yes it does contain two separate antennas, that's why it's called a dual band antenna.
The complete antenna unit is swapped during the upgrade, 3no on some sites, 6no on others and the lamppost type sites have a single trisector antenna unit.
It's well mentioned before that the 2g side is greatly improved but I would imagine there would be some difference to 3G, in some cases 6 to 8 year old equipment is being replaced with the latest.

Your point regarding 2g & LTE at 1800 on one band and 3G at 2100 on the other band of the antenna and how they work regarding breathing etc is my understanding of how it works as well, the following confuses me though!
I know of some local O2 sites which for years have been running 2g at 900mhz and 1800mhz (dual band antennas) and now they have 3G at 900mhz but there doesn't appear to be any additional antenna, I'm not sure how that works!
Feel free to sound smart I think I misunderstood you. I thought you meant 1800/2100 from the same physical antenna. My bad.
If that is the case with O2 then I'm confused as well. Perhaps someone else knows.

On the MBNL 3G antennas, I have fairly reliable confirmation that they are being replaced like for like. There may be some slight improvement but sensitivity is pretty much the same and power levels will be the same.
With the 2G/LTE antennas the estimate is around a 35% increase in sensitivity and power levels will be around 3-4db higher.
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Old 04-02-2013, 22:34
DevonBloke
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It's clearly in EE's interests for them to ensure their 4G network gets to as many people as possible before the rest are able to jump on the same technology wagon. EE will only get this chance to get a head start ahead of everyone else and by ensuring their service is given enough breath which is good for marketing purposes, they'll have something to hand compared to everyone else at least for the next few months.
Of course all the networks have established 98% or greater 2G coverage which as we are experiencing right now with EEs savage LTE rollout, makes upgrading relatively quick.
What surprises me is the lack of any major rollout plans from both O2 and Vodafone. You would think they would be busy upgrading cells like crazy ahead of the auctions but my local planning site (and apparently most others) show virtually no activity.
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Old 04-02-2013, 22:37
beecart
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Would they need planning permission to add the other operator to their mast ... Eg O2 adding a voda transmitter to an already built O2 mast?
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