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Posted by dizzybee
Just wondering what everyones opinions are on UK networks and which they think is the best.

I've been with Vodafone, Orange and O2, and out of them Vodafone is by far the best IMO. Orange customer service is very poor and the branding on their phones is awful. I used to like O2 but their deals are poor and they had no interest in keeping me as a customer when I told them I was being offered a better deal with Vodafone, so I moved. I've had no issues with Vodafone at all. Their deals are good and so is what little I've seen of their customer service, never had to ring them so surely that's a good sign. They actually care about their existing customers and don't want to lose them. If you tell them you're being offered a better deal elsewhere they put you through to someone else who says 'What phone was it you wanted?' and you get it for free. I also get the best signal from Vodafone.

Never been with 3, T-mobile, virgin, tesco etc. 3 do good deals but I heard to many people say the service is poor. T-mobile seems to be a good network but not the best for signal unfortunately.

What's everyone elses opinions?


Posted by julias
Over the years i've been with every major network out there and i can honestly say i haven't been able to find one thats absolutely perfect,they all have their flaws but in the end one that comes closest to being the best all round is 02 and i have now stuck to them as they provide me with the most consistent service and in a recent ofcom report 02 has also come out as being the least complained about network.

This Ofcom chart here will give you a better idea



Posted by masseur
the question I have from that graph is what exactly does it cover? probably total complaints about anything related to the network rather than what I hold to be more important and that is the service/connectivity etc that I get on a daily bases. I can handle the odd billing issue but if I don't have connectivity when/where I need it then thats when I'm not happy.

I was with o2 when the first iphone came out. I went away during that time to tmobile and went back to o2 when the 3g and 3gs came out. Again the service was rubbish and the iphone would often just sit there doing nothing when I try to browse a page or download an email. So I went back to tmobile whose connectivity has alway s been silky smooth.

8 months ago I was tempted into a 12 month sim only plan with o2 only to again find nothing changed.
Today, 4 months early and with early termination (i.e. 4 remaining months) I ported back to tmobile where again, on the same routes/places etc its once again all silky smooth and none of that sitting there with the progress bar laughing in my face!

I suspect I will never return to o2.

Posted by julias
The graph covers all complaints in general so not specific but i am very surprised with the issues you mentioned with 02 almost everyone i know has had some problems with T-Mobile and having also worked in the mobile industry i have also found that customer complaints have almost always been T-mobile related with the 3 network trailing behind.I currently have and use a T-Mobile dongle and the service is terrible for something that advertises itself as mobile broadband i would be lucky to get GPRS coverage. Have complained to T-Mobile numerous times and their customer service are useless and basically say they can't do anything about it,that to me says everything i need to know about T-Mobile.


Posted by masseur
I had no complaints with tmobile before but something has certainly changed as when I called up yesterday to confirm the port was happening and that my account tariff was setup as expected, the operator I spoke to texted me his personal email address as a direct point of contact for any future issues while I was on the call. Apparently its a new service they now provide. He was quite helpful in explaining some of the other recent changes with the merger with Orange (though unfortunately I can't get orange Wednesdays on tmob which I had hoped for!)

Posted by goldenface
I think you get good and bad customer service with all operators', I've had a terrible time with 3UK recently, I've been lied to, mis-sold to, spent hours on the phone passed from pillar to post.

Their network is good because you get to also share t-mobiles / Orange 3G coverage which is fantastic.

They are cheap as well.

Although, if I had a choice I'd probably go back to t-mobile.

Posted by Bonovox
I am with masseur on this. I have had a T Mobile contract now for seven months and I have never had one issue. No network outages unlike O2. Coverage especially 3G is better than expected even in the sticks and combine that with network sharing with Orange and Three and your sorted. I have only called customer services 3 times in seven months only about queries. They were helpful knowledgable and answered the phone fast. The network is reliable and fast. Also I love their data plans the only network who never charge you if you go over your data allowance but I have never come close to that as I get a decent allowance. T Mobile are better than I ever expected and its nice to have a refreshing reliable network and service. All I ever had was network issues on O2.

Posted by dizzybee
Forgot T-mob and Orange teamed together, that must have really improved signal. Never been with T-mobile but definately seems worth a try in the future

Posted by RLP06

On 2011-05-13 00:25:44, dizzybee wrote:
Forgot T-mob and Orange teamed together, that must have really improved signal. Never been with T-mobile but definately seems worth a try in the future



They only share 2G networks, they don't share their 3G networks...

Posted by Bonovox
That will come in time. T Mobile also shares 3G with Three. T Mobile used to be the worst in most peoples experience for coverage. But my experience is excellent and I have had signal on 3g with them in the middle of nowhere.

Posted by goldenface
O2 are investing millions in their network but it could be too little too late as ever since they lost iphone exclusivity their new customer acquisitions have plummeted.

Posted by julias
Someone posted this on twitter which is quite funny

"The fact that bin Laden lived in Pakistan for 6 years without phone service suggests the involvement of T-Mobile"

Posted by fluke9

On 2011-05-14 15:32:36, goldenface wrote:
O2 are investing millions in their network but it could be too little too late as ever since they lost iphone exclusivity their new customer acquisitions have plummeted.



So has their existing customer retentions.



Posted by Bonovox

On 2011-05-14 16:29:42, julias wrote:
Someone posted this on twitter which is quite funny

"The fact that bin Laden lived in Pakistan for 6 years without phone service suggests the involvement of T-Mobile"


I don't get that one

Posted by jcwhite_uk
I have been with O2 for several years and found they have the best coverage in my area. I went to T-Mobile for a while but couldn't get any reception at home or work. I think T-Mobile 3G reception was a bit better than O2 but O2 had a better 2G coverage. I know the tie up with Orange and T-Mobile won't help me as I can't get reception on Orange at home either.

Posted by julias

On 2011-05-14 20:53:58, Bonovox wrote:

On 2011-05-14 16:29:42, julias wrote:
Someone posted this on twitter which is quite funny

"The fact that bin Laden lived in Pakistan for 6 years without phone service suggests the involvement of T-Mobile"


I don't get that one



Basically means that the reason Osama Bin Laden wasn't found for so long was because he was a T-Mobile customer and the network was always down so he couldn't be traced by the intelligence services.



Posted by masseur
@jcwhite_uk, sounds like you need to move!

I've been back at tmobile for a week now and all my o2 frustrations have truly gone

Posted by Rookwise
After being with o2 since they were btcellnet I stopped using my contract sim back in january. Lowered it down to then minimum tarrif I can until the contract is up.
Have been using my giffgaff sim since then. Yes I know they use the o2 network but they have better rates and i'm paying 10 a month for nearly the same as what o2 were charging me 40 a month for.

Not really keen on any of the networks atm as they're all as bad as each other lately.

Posted by Bonovox
That T Mobile joke is only what people presume that they are rubbish. In the seven months i been with T Mobile i have had just a few hours in one day of network downtime. With O2 or Opoo as i now call them it was every week. Need i say more??

Posted by julias

On 2011-05-15 14:43:00, Bonovox wrote:
That T Mobile joke is only what people presume that they are rubbish. In the seven months i been with T Mobile i have had just a few hours in one day of network downtime. With O2 or Opoo as i now call them it was every week. Need i say more??



Can only speak for my own experience with T-Mobile and in all the years i was with them i had nothing but problems and that's everything from bad reception to drop calls to over charging and terrible customer service and i joined T-Mobile when it was first launched as One 2 One many years ago have left them and gone back to them a few times during the years and service has remained to be bad for me and as i mentioned in a previous post i have also worked in the mobile industry for a number of years and the customer feedback i used to get about networks pretty much back up my own experiences as the vast majority of the customer complaints were about T-Mobile.I still use a T-Mobile broadband dongle and service remains to be poor and my complaints to T-Mobile seem to fall on deaf ears and the refuse to aknowledge that any problems exist,keep getting the same old excuses from them that i had all those years ago so nothings changed as far as i'm concerned.

However maybe now with the T-Mobile/Orange merger things may change?but for now i will stick to 02 that has always given me consistent quality service without any fuss.

Posted by Bonovox
Never had a dropped call or network congestion on T Mobile not even in busy city centre.

Posted by julias
O2 just came tops in new Ofcom mobile broadband study Orange fared worst in the research with its average download speeds slower than any other network.T-Mobile also came out slower than Vodafone, 3 and O2.


Posted by Bonovox
Now that is what I don't get cos I had for a short time O2 Mobile Broadband. Not only is the modem software annoyingly non user friendly. The network speeds were pathetic. I had solid signal yet it forever switched to 3G and never HSDPA and I am not joking I was getting 13kb download speed. Plus the fact that O2 also use data image compression which makes websites grainy. Never had any issues or speed problems on Three at all. I would never use it again.

Posted by julias
It must be down to your coverage area then maybe?because we all know every network has black spots here and there.

Posted by Bonovox
Well no cos if you read my last let properly it states I have solid coverage. Where I live I happen to have solid GSM and 3G/HSDPA on every single network except Vodafone. Vodafone do her GSM in my area but no 3G. O2 have solid 3G here yet its so slow its worse than the old dial up

Posted by julias
I have no idea then but personally have never heard of anyone apart from yourself who has had problems with 02 but from my time working in the mobile industry i have met plenty of people who had issues of one kind or another on other networks but who then came over to 02 and their problems were then resolved.

The Ofcom network complaints chart i posted in the previous post and this new ofcom mobile broadband survey speaks for itself.




Posted by Bonovox
now that is very funny. Where have you been all these years?? masseur was one aswell as many other forums on the net with O2 network slow & constantly down all the time. Yes,it may be happening less lately cos they probably got their act together. But if you have read many forums you will know O2 has had ALOT of users moaning. It was even on the news sometimes

Posted by julias
Like i said before i've personally never had an issues with 02 and fact is its given me the best overall service and performance over every other network for many years so its not just a recent thing and believe me i have tried them all over and again and don't take my word for it refer back to the ofcom reports i may be wrong but ofcom can't unless you think ofcom are wrong too?

Posted by Bonovox
Personally I don't think Ofcom's findings are not in the real world. I don't wanna go into a flame war about who is best & who is not just we just get nowhere. But since going with T Mobile/Orange I have found downloading browsing & network performance is a breath of fresh air compared to the issues I had with O2 before which was not just in my area. In busy city centres calls would cut off & internet would just go on a constant loop with no connection. The last two years O2 did go through their worst period of constant network outages especially in London cos they were slow with their network investment. Which I no doubt they are doing ok with now. Ofcom came close to fining them due to their 3G coverage was not enough. I also find O2's call quality sounds a little rustic & distorted at times. I became so tired of the same old SORRY on screen cos the page would not load. I think networks need to not call it mobile broadband as it is mis-leading. It can no way be called anything close to broadband. I also see that speeds vary from when using dongles & mobiles. Mobiles tend to be faster compared to dongles I find which is rather odd I have never had any issues with my Three dongle only once or twice it has been down but never for long. And Three never use the data image compression which O2 uses. On average I get about 1mb download on Three. Three have also almost just finished their HSPA+ network upgrades which will bring upto 21mb speeds. The new dongles are already out & the rollout finishes next month I think. In reality I doubt at the moment ANY UK network will get them high speeds but reviews have stated they get on average speeds of 5mb on the new HSPA+ dongles

Posted by julias
So you disagree with ofcom then have you even read their report?You are only speaking from personal experience whereas my own experiences are from a telecoms background and everyone knows ofcom are a reputable and reliable source and industry body.

"The research involved over 4.2 million tests and measured average speeds as well as the performance of the five mobile operators in areas of good 3G network coverage."

Posted by masseur
the ofcom report is only a comparison of 3g networks in areas where they actually got good 3g coverage, and then it was tested with dongles and pc data cards, not smartphones, though I'm not sure if there would be a difference

What Bonovox and myself are complaining about in regards to O2, and more in line with this topic, is not the service when you can actually get a 3g signal, but the amount of times the 3g signal on O2 is either not there or not strong enough to provide a realiable service... and thats where O2 fail for me. tmobile on the other hand seems to have a much wider usable 3g signal.

Sure, in the middle of London I got great speeds on O2, but my daily commute up and down the main London-Brighton railway line was hopeless on O2.

What is dissapointing in the report is the actual speeds they achieved, which seem to be no where near what the hsdpa is supposed to be.

Posted by Bonovox
Also with the networks upgrading to future 4G they want to get 3G right before they start with 4G But also on O2 in areas of strong 3G I always got the constant loading page with no connection & the word SORRY on screen when the page constantly timed out
[ This Message was edited by: Bonovox on 2011-05-26 18:58 ]


Posted by julias

On 2011-05-26 19:49:03, masseur wrote:
the ofcom report is only a comparison of 3g networks in areas where they actually got good 3g coverage, and then it was tested with dongles and pc data cards, not smartphones, though I'm not sure if there would be a difference

What Bonovox and myself are complaining about in regards to O2, and more in line with this topic, is not the service when you can actually get a 3g signal, but the amount of times the 3g signal on O2 is either not there or not strong enough to provide a realiable service... and thats where O2 fail for me. tmobile on the other hand seems to have a much wider usable 3g signal.

Sure, in the middle of London I got great speeds on O2, but my daily commute up and down the main London-Brighton railway line was hopeless on O2.

What is dissapointing in the report is the actual speeds they achieved, which seem to be no where near what the hsdpa is supposed to be.



That right it would make no difference if it was tested on dongles or data cards etc, its the same network that covers smartphones as well. I'm not saying you and Bonovox haven't had these issues i'm sure many others have too but what i'm saying is that compared to all the other networks out there 02 fares much better than the rest.Ofcom's complaints graph clearly shows which networks have the least complaints which obviously means a better service overall.

Posted by Bonovox
Ofcom's findings change year on year. And they do not take into account the real world of coverage where people live & work imo. Never mind as long as we're all happy

Posted by julias

On 2011-05-26 20:15:07, Bonovox wrote:
Ofcom's findings change year on year. And they do not take into account the real world of coverage where people live & work imo. Never mind as long as we're all happy



How do you know that they don't take into account real world coverage rather defeats the purpose if they had missed that don't you think? I'm sure at least one of Ofcom's 4.2 million tests which they carried out for this survey would have tested for real world coverage.





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