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~50% speed decrease on Three.


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Old 14-09-2013, 12:13
xreyuk123
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Hey guys,

Been using my 3 sim in my iPhone 5 and tethering to it whilst my internet is down at home (I have The One Plan).

Up until recently, I would always hit speeds of around 20Mbps during peak times, and around 27-30Mbps during the early hours of the morning (the mast is at the end of my road). I did have a problem where randomly the speeds would suddenly drop to around 2-7Mbps, but recycling airplane mode cleared that. It would do this a couple of times a night.

However, recently, I am unable to get over 11Mbps during anytime of the day, however, it's pretty much running at that speed all day, regardless of time. I know 11Mbps isn't slow, but it is slow compared to what I was getting, and as someone who downloads large files often, it's a massive difference to the amount of time it takes to download.

I was wondering if anyone knew what this could be, and if there was anyway for me to check network issues in my postcode area with Three? The way the speeds are behaving it's almost made me wonder if I'm being capped in some way?

P.S I've only noticed this since I've started using iOS 7 GM real ease, but I've used every previous iOS 7 beta without problem, so it could just be a coincidence.
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Old 14-09-2013, 12:32
TescoJeans
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How are you checking what speeds you are getting? I have an iPhone 5 with Three on The Ultimate Internet 500 Plan. I have also noticed that my Internet speeds have slowed down in the last two weeks at times and I don't know why. I have not been notified of any network maintenance so I'm unsure as to why it is. I also never checked which speed I was getting in the first place so I cannot compare the two to see the difference.
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Old 14-09-2013, 14:01
thebennyboy
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My speeds today have been pretty poor recently too.
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Old 14-09-2013, 14:49
Chris1973
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Perhaps another few people have recently started using '3' for streaming / heavy downloading from the same mast? the recent price drop on the one plan has probably increased the number of subscribers per mast in most areas (or will do eventually as their customer base grows)

I get 10mbps routinely from '3' but it would probably only take a few neighbours using it like me, as a full time internet connection, or a holiday camp opening locally to slow that connection right down at peak times. That's just the variable nature of how the data is allocated and essentially shared from each mast.

I read a post on here recently, where the Author said that tethered connections via '3' take a lower priority over phone data, and will generally be the first to show a speed reduction during peak times where local masts are becoming congested. To test this, have you tried running a speed test from the actual phone APP and then the same speed test from the tethered device to see if the speed reduction you are seeing is a result of a tethered connection?.
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Old 15-09-2013, 13:31
xreyuk123
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Hi Guys, thanks for the replies.

With regards to the speed testing, I have done it on the app on my iPhone 5 running iOS 7, but also tried the app on another iPhone 5 running iOS 6 in case there was a problem with the app, and Ive also tried running it on my PC browser (2 different browsers - Chrome & Safari) and in all cases they've showed consistent results.

I've ruled out a problem with my phone, partly because of the above, but also party because I went to another area of my home town close to a DC-HSDPA mast, and in the middle of a Saturday I pulled 20Mbps.

What's strange is, it's a consistent 11/12Mbps all day long, I wouldn't expect someone else to be using it all day long, every day.

The only thing that we have on here at the minute is the RAF Air Show, but it's a little way away from me, and nobody would be using the mast I'm on, and obviously, they're not here at 1/2am when I'm doing tests and still getting the same speeds.

The fact it's consistent regardless of time, either makes me thing it's a 3 network problem (i.e something on the mast has failed, or some backhaul capacity has gone missing) or makes me think 3 have limited either myself for some reason, or limited everybody else on the mast because of the air show.

I do have another 3 sim card I can try which is PAYG to test if they've limited me.

Anybody else got anymore suggestions? Is there anyway I can check for problems in my area like on the O2 website?

Any help appreciated
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Old 15-09-2013, 13:38
wavejockglw
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This may help answer your question:

http://support.three.co.uk/srvs/cgi-...;trafficsense*'

[...] " for example, between 3pm and 12 midnight, we dedicate a certain amount of bandwidth to file sharing and to tethering, so that all other types of traffic can make the most of the rest of it.

[...] Without TrafficSense™, a small minority of users could take up a large proportion of our network capacity throughout the day. This would inevitably affect a large majority of people trying to do simple things like browsing the web."
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Old 15-09-2013, 13:45
Everything Goes
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Anybody else got anymore suggestions? Is there anyway I can check for problems in my area like on the O2 website?

Any help appreciated
Key your postcode into the coverage checker and it will tell you of any problems or engineering work.


http://www.three.co.uk/Support/Coverage

For example mine says:

Work is planned in (postcode) on 24/09/2013. This may affect your normal network service, but should only last for about 6-8 hours.
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Old 15-09-2013, 20:55
hoppyintheuk
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Poor speeds in the WF4 postcode today (West Yorkshire).
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Old 15-09-2013, 22:28
jaffboy151
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To be fair to three, I was at rockingham race circuit today watching the British touring cars, at certain intervals everyone was on there phone eating data of some sort and while the odd app could take a little longer to download I did a speed test it got to a respectable 3mbps with just under 0.5mbps upload on my iPhone 4S whilst my mate on EE found his phone has ground to a halt and wouldn't load much at all, during races I could use the live timing app just fine whilst he couldn't get past the loading screen..
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Old 15-09-2013, 22:32
uno
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EE is well known locally to offer poor speeds around. Corby,Kettering and Wellinborough. The network struggles with local traffic let alone any further visitors to Rockingham race track.
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Old 15-09-2013, 22:43
Chris1973
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I do have another 3 sim card I can try which is PAYG to test if they've limited me.
I'm not sure what the point of limiting you to 11-12 mbps would achieve, I would imagine that if any network wanted to go to the effort of limiting a customer it would be to a much lower speed than that.

Unfortunately at the end of the day, mobile data is variable in nature and subject to many factors and no network is going to guarantee every individual customer a minimum speed.

I get similar (10mbps) speeds from '3' which I consider excellent, especially when the alternative from any of the other networks won't allow unlimited tethering, and ADSL here is a flaky < 1mbps. There isn't a lot of other options on the table which tick all of the requirements.

I think i'd be thankful for the 11mbps, many customers only get fractions of that.
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Old 15-09-2013, 22:46
enapace
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I'm not sure what the point of limiting you to 11-12 mbps would achieve, I would imagine that if any network wanted to go to the effort of limiting a customer it would be to a much lower speed than that.

Unfortunately at the end of the day, mobile data is variable in nature and subject to many factors and no network is going to guarantee every individual customer a minimum speed.

I get similar (10mbps) speeds from '3' which I consider excellent, especially when the alternative from any of the other networks won't allow unlimited tethering, and ADSL here is a flaky < 1mbps. There isn't a lot of other options on the table which tick all of the requirements.

I think i'd be thankful for the 11mbps, many customers only get fractions of that.
From what I hearing Vodafone are limiting customers on 3G to ten mbs now.
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Old 15-09-2013, 22:48
wavejockglw
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11-12 Mbps is enough to allow 3 devices to display HD video from YouTube or the BBC iPlayer simultaneously.

So what is the gripe all about?

Is it something to do with a bet on how fast my network is compared to yours using SpeedTest?
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Old 15-09-2013, 22:50
jabbamk1
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This may help answer your question:

http://support.three.co.uk/srvs/cgi-...;trafficsense*'

[...] " for example, between 3pm and 12 midnight, we dedicate a certain amount of bandwidth to file sharing and to tethering, so that all other types of traffic can make the most of the rest of it.

[...] Without TrafficSense™, a small minority of users could take up a large proportion of our network capacity throughout the day. This would inevitably affect a large majority of people trying to do simple things like browsing the web."
This doesn't apply here as the OP says he gets 11Mbps "anytime" of the day. If he was being slowed down between 3pm and 12pm then it would be more traffic sense in action.

This looks to be a non issue and is either down to maintenance or congestion or another external factor. Perhaps you should read the OP next time Wavejock. Or do you just like to throw trafficsense around as the reason for everything on every thread or downplay Three's network like you always do?

Enapace: Correct. 10Mbps max download speed
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Old 15-09-2013, 22:50
enapace
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11-12 Mbps is enough to allow 3 devices to display HD video from YouTube or the BBC iPlayer simultaneously.

So what is the gripe all about?

Is it something to do with a bet on how fast my network is compared to yours using SpeedTest?
Think 3 devices would be pushing it honestly 2 devices maybe but I think there would be a fair bit of buffering needed at start. You need about 6-7mbs to stream HD Video.

It quite shocking really that Vodafone need to cap the download speeds. They have the most 3G spectrum of anyone.I think it mainly to make people think 4G speeds are so much faster.
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Old 15-09-2013, 22:52
jabbamk1
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Think 3 devices would be pushing it honestly 2 devices maybe but I think there would be a fair bit of buffering needed at start. You need about 6-7mbs to stream HD Video.
Think Wavejock is referring to 720p here.
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Old 15-09-2013, 22:54
Chris1973
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From what I hearing Vodafone are limiting customers on 3G to ten mbs now
Haven't T-Mobile also limited full monty customers to a maxiumum of 4mbps for ages now?. Yet they still have loads of customers

The same goes for Virgin Mobile who throttle back to 0.384mbps once 3.5gb FUP is reached, yet again they have plenty of customers, and many more talking about signing up, even when the terms are pointed out to them.

So it seems like on the grand scale of things, the majority of customers really don't care about speeds, or the tariffs wouldn't exist as nobody would be signing up for them.
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Old 15-09-2013, 22:54
enapace
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Think Wavejock is referring to 720p here.
Ah I think you would still struggle do 3 devices but he might have a point. I would have to look into that one 4Mbs each still seems a bit low though.

Haven't T-Mobile limited full monty customers to 4mbps for ages now?. Yet they still have loads of customers

The same goes for Virgin Mobile who throttle back to 0.384mbps once 3.5gb FUP is reached, yet again they have plenty of customers, and many more talking about signing up, even when the terms are pointed out to them.

So it seems like on the grand scale of things, most people really don't care about speeds, or the tariffs wouldn't exist as nobody would be signing up for them.
Yeah they have I think that is due to unlimited data more than anything. Not sure why Vodafone need cap though.
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Old 15-09-2013, 22:55
Zee_Bukhari
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I think my speed was very slow earlier too when I checked. i'll have a go in a bit though and see how it goes.
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Old 15-09-2013, 22:59
jabbamk1
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Haven't T-Mobile also limited full monty customers to a maxiumum of 4mbps for ages now?. Yet they still have loads of customers

The same goes for Virgin Mobile who throttle back to 0.384mbps once 3.5gb FUP is reached, yet again they have plenty of customers, and many more talking about signing up, even when the terms are pointed out to them.

So it seems like on the grand scale of things, the majority of customers really don't care about speeds, or the tariffs wouldn't exist as nobody would be signing up for them.
What's funny is Wavejock touted T-Mobile as a better option then Three due to better speeds and coverage, signed up, and then we on the forum had to tell him that internet speeds were limited to 4Mbps and he tried to play it off as being fine and not a disadvantage.

(Tbh 4Mbps is fine imo)
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Old 15-09-2013, 23:02
enapace
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What's funny is Wavejock touted T-Mobile as a better option then Three due to better speeds and coverage, signed up, and then we on the forum had to tell him that internet speeds were limited to 4Mbps and he tried to play it off as being fine and not a disadvantage.

(Tbh 4Mbps is fine imo)
Honestly what I get from Three at the moment in terms of speed is fine me only reason I can't wait for 4G is because of the better indoor coverage I should get.
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Old 15-09-2013, 23:13
Chris1973
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What's funny is Wavejock touted T-Mobile as a better option then Three due to better speeds and coverage, signed up, and then we on the forum had to tell him that internet speeds were limited to 4Mbps and he tried to play it off as being fine and not a disadvantage.

To be honest, although T-mobile didn't point out to me the 4mbps speed cap, they did point out I couldn't tether and that their network wasn't suitable as a substitute for an ADSL connection - when I pointed my intentions out to them (even though I told them that I use less than 10gb a month). Kudos to them for that at least.

I think for most people as long as Facebook loads Ok and they can send 2000 free texts per month to their mates, they are happy and actual data speed comes as a secondary consideration, an area of everyday interest restricted only to a small number of any networks' subscriber base.

Case in point, people are still signing up in droves for expensive EE 4G contracts, some of those tariffs have tiny data allowances. So, as a network they have to separate the individual requirements of a few, with the general requirements of the majority. The fact is, that small data allowances exist because millions of people are still happily using them, regardless of network. If they didn't, then they would have to increase the allowances or lose all of their customers as they voted with their feet.

No network can tailor a service to the demands and expectations of each individual subscriber, although Three at least try and break free from the herd - with their unlimited data and tethering options, although even that doesn't escape complaints.
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Old 15-09-2013, 23:19
wavejockglw
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What I get is a load of silly personalisation but who cares as it says more about the stalkers that persist with it than anything else! I did not state T-Mobile had better 3G speed or coverage than 3 as they use the same shared RAN run by MBNL. They do both have different user policies though and I prefer the one with some open and honest restriction rather than the vague other with unlimited this that and the other but with TrafficSense which can be implemented and changed as required. A solid 4 Mbps (which I get) is better than 10 Mbps one hour and 1 Mbps for the rest of the night!

4 Mbps is absolutely fine for mobile use and for streaming YouTube in HD it has yet to be an issue in my experience. Do I need 20+ Mbps on a handset, not presently as I don't download large files on the move.

Does my phone and tariff meet my needs - yes and I don't need anyone to educate me as I did all the research well in advance of making such a significant commitment for the service for the period I have agreed to.
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Old 15-09-2013, 23:21
japaul
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From what I hearing Vodafone are limiting customers on 3G to ten mbs now.
Yeah, well almost. It's if you don't have a 4G ready price plan that you are limited to 10 Mb/s. If you have a 4G plan then 3G isn't limited. It's more of a stick to get you to sign up for a 4G plan rather than a capacity thing I'd say.
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Old 15-09-2013, 23:23
enapace
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Yeah, well almost. It's if you don't have a 4G ready price plan that you are limited to 10 Mb/s. If you have a 4G plan then 3G isn't limited.
So it has nothing to do with capacity just a way for you to have to pay more for higher speeds which you should already get thanks for the clarification.
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