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Three in Central London and 2G fall back?


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Old 14-09-2013, 08:07
justjax
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Okay so I'm pretty much decided to switch to Three from Vodafone once my contract is up at the end of the month .. However I still have a few niggling worries. What are people's experience of a Three in a Central London? what's Three like indoors for most people?

I understand they no longer have 2G fall back? Or just limited fall back? That kind of worries me, my experience of 3G in London with Vodafone is shockingly bad at times. I can be in the west end or parts of the City and have no 3G. Is Three's 3G in London considered better than Vodafone?

Finally I've read if people have bad reception at home Three have given people signal boasters for free? Is that correct and do this dish them out quite freely or do you have to really push for it?
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Old 14-09-2013, 08:29
Mark in Essex
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I tried a SIM out a couple of weeks back (currently on Vodafone) and although their coverage outdoors was good and they had great speeds as soon as I got to where I live (Harlow which is not exactly a rural area) I had no coverage at-all inside or sitting on the road outside my house.

I'll be sticking to O2 and Vodafone still as the most important thing to me is coverage (as tried T-Mobile and they were much the same as Three).

I know you can get booster boxes for home, but not much use to me as I travel a lot for work (Monday I'm in Cromer in Norfolk).

It seems to me that Vodafone and O2 have the edge on reception indoors due to the lower frequency they use?
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Old 14-09-2013, 09:16
psionic
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There are pockets of London where some networks struggle with decent indoor coverage. For example, we have 3 MiFi which really struggles in Hampstead but works brilliantly in Harrow.

Best to experiment with a PAYG SIM before committing to a contract. Especially if indoor coverage at one particular location is essential to you.
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Old 14-09-2013, 11:02
dslrocks
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I find Three are hit and miss in Central London. Most of the time it's OK but if you have too many people in the same area, the internet is shot to pieces. Was in Soho a few days ago in the evening and the internet crawled.

Indoor coverage varies, depending on the make-up of the building so I would suggest what the earlier poster has said and to buy a PAYG 3 sim, sticking it in a phone and taking this with you to see what the coverage is like.

There is little/no 2G fallback in the London area, and when there is it's voice and texts only, no data.
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Old 14-09-2013, 14:15
Zee_Bukhari
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from my experience Three are miles better than Vodafone in London, my experience from a Talk Mobile sim which uses Vodafone.

You could get a pay as you go for a month just to test it out.

By the way is your handset 4G compatible as this will improve coverage further from December

I find Three are hit and miss in Central London. Most of the time it's OK but if you have too many people in the same area, the internet is shot to pieces. Was in Soho a few days ago in the evening and the internet crawled.

Indoor coverage varies, depending on the make-up of the building so I would suggest what the earlier poster has said and to buy a PAYG 3 sim, sticking it in a phone and taking this with you to see what the coverage is like.

There is little/no 2G fallback in the London area, and when there is it's voice and texts only, no data.
All networks suffer poor internet speeds in central London, not just Three
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Old 14-09-2013, 16:51
springy
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I joined 3 and had to leave after a week because at my work place I just could not get a signal inside the building, and I am sitting on level 2. Outdoor coverage is just fine.
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Old 14-09-2013, 16:54
reclusive46
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I joined 3 and had to leave after a week because at my work place I just could not get a signal inside the building, and I am sitting on level 2. Outdoor coverage is just fine.
I had a similar experience here in Norwich. Three coverage is great everywhere in Norwich, other than where I live and work lol
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Old 14-09-2013, 17:03
enapace
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I joined 3 and had to leave after a week because at my work place I just could not get a signal inside the building, and I am sitting on level 2. Outdoor coverage is just fine.
This is an annoyance for me with Three. I am hoping over the next year when LTE launches on 1800MHz and 800MHz that the indoor coverage increases in buildings.
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Old 14-09-2013, 17:57
SkyPlatinum
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Indoor coverage in The City of London is terrible
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Old 14-09-2013, 18:08
reclusive46
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To be fair to Three though, other than O2 with their full roll out of 3G 900, 3g coverage on all the networks is pretty awful indoors in central London.
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Old 14-09-2013, 18:24
heidtheba
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I joined 3 and had to leave after a week because at my work place I just could not get a signal inside the building, and I am sitting on level 2. Outdoor coverage is just fine.


Out of interest...what do you work as? Most companies don't allow mobiles so what does it matter .
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Old 14-09-2013, 18:52
Mark in Essex
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To be fair to Three though, other than O2 with their full roll out of 3G 900, 3g coverage on all the networks is pretty awful indoors in central London.
Does Vodafone use the same frequency as O2 (lower than T-Mobile, Orange and Three)?
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Old 14-09-2013, 19:07
enapace
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Does Vodafone use the same frequency as O2 (lower than T-Mobile, Orange and Three)?
For 3G

O2 use 900MHz and 2100MHz
Vodafone use 900MHz and 2100MHz
EE [Orange + T-Mobile] 2100MHz
Three 2100MHz

For 2G

O2 use 900MHz and 1800MHz
Vodafone use 900MHz and 1800MHz
EE [Orange + T-Mobile] 1800MHz
Three where they have 2G backhaul use EE 2G
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Old 14-09-2013, 23:15
justjax
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thanks all, I have a PAYG sim, just need to wait until the end of the month to unlock my handset to try it.
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Old 15-09-2013, 01:50
Zee_Bukhari
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thanks all, I have a PAYG sim, just need to wait until the end of the month to unlock my handset to try it.
for the time being you can top up on pay as you go 15 and get 300 mins, 5000 texts and all-you-can-eat data which will allow you to make your decision whether or not to take a contract

let us know how it goes
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Old 15-09-2013, 09:21
Thine Wonk
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Out of interest...what do you work as? Most companies don't allow mobiles so what does it matter .
Eh Where do you get that idea from, that most companies don't allow phones.

I'm not sure what you do, but every job I've worked in has allowed employees to use their phones. Most go out to a communal area or landing to take a call though.
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Old 15-09-2013, 12:43
heidtheba
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Eh Where do you get that idea from, that most companies don't allow phones.

I'm not sure what you do, but every job I've worked in has allowed employees to use their phones. Most go out to a communal area or landing to take a call though.
I must have worked in the wrong fields , usually its use them on your breaks.
Ignored, but still the rule.
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Old 15-09-2013, 13:26
xreyuk123
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I even get a work phone to go with my normal phone!
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Old 15-09-2013, 19:05
springy
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Office jobs, which is what I do allows phones.

But yea the main issue for me is that I was not able to receive calls and text. Data not really an issue as my company provides free wifi but it is a pain when someone calls you and you have no idea they called until you come out of the building and notice you have a voicemail.

I think three runs on the 2100Mhz only. I am hoping with the new 1800Mhz and the small 800Mhz that they now have that they can improve the signal. I do think that 800 Mhz should be used for 3G (Can it be used for 3g???) instead of 4G as most people will not have 4G phones and I guess if they just use the small 800Mhz for for voice calls and text with little data should be fine. 2x5Mhz is pretty small portion for that spectrum...
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Old 15-09-2013, 19:57
wavejockglw
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I think three runs on the 2100Mhz only. I am hoping with the new 1800Mhz and the small 800Mhz that they now have that they can improve the signal. I do think that 800 Mhz should be used for 3G (Can it be used for 3g???) instead of 4G as most people will not have 4G phones and I guess if they just use the small 800Mhz for for voice calls and text with little data should be fine. 2x5Mhz is pretty small portion for that spectrum...
3 only uses 2100MHz UMTS for voice, text and data currently. They have some 1800MHZ gifted by EE and won some 800MHz in the 4G auction. They will use both for data only and 4G. There is no 3G on 1800MHz and 800MHz is not a common European standard for 3G either so they won't offer that.
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Old 15-09-2013, 20:12
enapace
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Office jobs, which is what I do allows phones.

But yea the main issue for me is that I was not able to receive calls and text. Data not really an issue as my company provides free wifi but it is a pain when someone calls you and you have no idea they called until you come out of the building and notice you have a voicemail.

I think three runs on the 2100Mhz only. I am hoping with the new 1800Mhz and the small 800Mhz that they now have that they can improve the signal. I do think that 800 Mhz should be used for 3G (Can it be used for 3g???) instead of 4G as most people will not have 4G phones and I guess if they just use the small 800Mhz for for voice calls and text with little data should be fine. 2x5Mhz is pretty small portion for that spectrum...
1800MHz and 800MHz will be 4G bands no question about that it is the way forward. Agreed 2x5MHz is not a massive amount of spectrum but as it is not there main 4G spectrum. So I expect they will be fine until 700MHz auction happens, and hopefully they can get a further 2x5MHz or even 2x10MHz for capacity issues in rural areas. First it will be used in rural areas where obviously there is less people. Then it will be used in cities to give capacity to there customers. There main spectrum will be the 2x10MHz of 1800MHz which in two years time will be 2x15MHz. Hopefully they gain 2x10MHz of 2300MHz in upcoming auction it will certainly help in urban areas with capacity.
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Old 15-09-2013, 20:39
japaul
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Hopefully they gain 2x10MHz of 2300MHz in upcoming auction it will certainly help in urban areas with capacity.
2300 will be TDD so won't be paired.
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Old 15-09-2013, 20:42
enapace
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2300 will be TDD so won't be paired.
Ah interesting I wasn't sure if it would be TDD or FDD hadn't heard one way or another. Means it is much easier for Three to get a good amount of it. I can't see Vodafone or EE being to bothered with there massive chunks of 2600MHz. Imagine 3.4GHz is TDD as well and likely buyers will be Virgin or BT to launched fixed 4G services.
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Old 15-09-2013, 21:10
japaul
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There isn't going to be much 2300 available. Plenty more 3500 which could be FDD or TDD or both. TDD should grow though as it's a far more efficient way of using spectrum. FDD is a bit like living in past. Not sure we've got any timetables for auctions yet though.
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Old 15-09-2013, 21:38
Zee_Bukhari
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1800MHz and 800MHz will be 4G bands no question about that it is the way forward. Agreed 2x5MHz is not a massive amount of spectrum but as it is not there main 4G spectrum. So I expect they will be fine until 700MHz auction happens, and hopefully they can get a further 2x5MHz or even 2x10MHz for capacity issues in rural areas. First it will be used in rural areas where obviously there is less people. Then it will be used in cities to give capacity to there customers. There main spectrum will be the 2x10MHz of 1800MHz which in two years time will be 2x15MHz. Hopefully they gain 2x10MHz of 2300MHz in upcoming auction it will certainly help in urban areas with capacity.
as far as 2300MHz, how much will it actually help?
no phones support this band so far and how many really will begin supporting it in the future?
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