Tag Archives: 3G

EE sticks the knife into Sky carrier, O2. Meanwhile Three wants more fairness

EE sticks the knife into Sky carrier, O2. Meanwhile Three wants more fairness
EE have a big and powerful network. They’re also owned by a big and powerful telecoms provider – BT. Both EE and BT are involved and heavily invested in quad-play, which basically means supplying TV, home broadband, home phone and mobile.

So, with a strong competitor like Sky pushing hard into the mobile arena, EE are keen to “highlight the differences” between their service and the Sky mobile offering. The Sky service will run atop the O2 network, and EE have let us know more about why you should choose them instead.

Sky have somewhat surprisingly opted not to restrict their offering to bundled TV, fixed-line and broadband plans. However, if you are a Sky TV customer, you will be getting a discount in the form of unlimited call or texts when you switch to one of their data plans.

EE sticks the knife into Sky carrier, O2. Meanwhile Three wants more fairness

Their deals also include a roll over at the end of each month. It goes into a “piggybank” and you can then use it when you like – it’s stored for up to 3 years. You can create your own plan and change it to suit your usage. Currently they’re offering only a 12-month contract, but you can bolt-on options like 1GB of data for £10 a month, 3GB for £15, 5GB for £20 plus unlimited calls and texts for £10 per month. These will all become available mid-December for existing and pre-registered customers. For everyone else it’ll be 2017, with smartphones from Apple and Samsung coming later.

EE sticks the knife into Sky carrier, O2. Meanwhile Three wants more fairness

Wait though, let’s circle back to EE, who – under BT ownership – are getting a bit more feisty and robust when discussing their competitors. Regarding O2, they mention how the network has..

..slow speeds and overall poor performance, particularly in the case of streaming video.

Referring to tests by OpenSignal, Rootmetrics, P3 and Ofcom, they say that ..

..customers on O2/Sky will suffer more network failures when watching anything from sport to film on the go than on any other network.
 
Sky Mobile customers clearly won’t be getting the best experience, and O2 customers will likely see their service slow down even more as Sky customers use O2’s network.

I’ll admit, there’s no doubting that EE have got a very strong network. It’s one which is a combination of the best T-Mobile and Orange sites, and one which received a massive head-start on 4G after getting Ofcom approval to use surplus capacity in 2012. Other networks, though, are now starting complain that BT / EE have a little too much power. Some commentators are worried that the virtual monopoly which BT has enjoyed over landlines, plus the rumoured preferential treatment given to BT Broadband by the BT Openreach broadband division, will continue into mobile – whether the companies are legally separate or not.

EE sticks the knife into Sky carrier, O2. Meanwhile Three wants more fairness

Indeed, Dave Dyson, chief executive of Three, has pointed out that BT / EE have a 45% slice of the UK mobile spectrum, leaving just 55% for the remaining three networks.

Vodafone also have a very large allocation and, when added to the BT / EE allocation, it’s a combined 73% chunk. This leaves just 27% for O2 and Three.

Three argues that it carries 39% of the mobile data traffic here in the UK. Mr Dyson said that the situation is nowhere near good enough. He states..

In the context of Brexit, where we need to be the best in class, we’re not even mediocre. I’m embarrassed by it actually.

Ofcom have banned BT from bidding in an upcoming mobile spectrum sale and EE will be reducing their spectrum share to 42%. However, Three have begun a campaign called “MakeTheAirFair”, and state that an increased dominance of one or two networks will cause prices to rise as competition shrinks.

Your thoughts?

The post EE sticks the knife into Sky carrier, O2. Meanwhile Three wants more fairness is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

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  • One in three get no signal or a rubbish reception at home

    One in three get no signal or a rubbish reception at home

    For me it’s not too surprising. While networks concentrate on pushing out 4G networks, they do so from existing masts, so the actual coverage doesn’t really change a great deal.

    Sure, you could argue that the different frequencies used by some networks for their 4G signals has improved coverage a bit (O2, Voda and Three all have 800MHz signals in some areas), but it could still be better. Just a few weeks ago I got a little wound up after losing all signal just a few metres outside a network store. Major towns have no signal in certain areas, and if you live in certain housing estates, you simply can’t get a phone signal in your own home.

    One in three get no signal or a rubbish reception at home

    If you live in the sprawling Darwin Park (above), which is not far from me, you have no 2G, 3G or 4G coverage when you go in your house on Vodafone…

    One in three get no signal or a rubbish reception at home

    Now, after a survey of more than 2,000 people by uSwitch.com, it’s become apparent that the problem is quite widespread. They found that 62% of mobile users have patchy call quality and half experience calls cutting out while indoors. Strangely, although it’s our capital city and undoubtedly has the best coverage, Londoners suffer the worst indoor mobile reception – 42% reporting poor or no coverage at home.

    One in three get no signal or a rubbish reception at home

    As a get-around, most are resorting to their landlines (39%), whilst 30% go outside and 27% head to Sjype, Whatsapp or Facetime over WiFi.

    Strangely, when switching, it seems that people just aren’t doing their research – 64% didn’t check the coverage map before signing up and, unbelievably, 18% were unaware this is possible.

    The figures also show that not much is changing to improve coverage – 57% of respondents state that the poor coverage has always been that way, with 19% saying that the problem only started when they switched network.

    Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com, says..

    Decent mobile signal at home isn’t a nice-to-have, it’s absolutely essential for the growing numbers who choose not to have landline phones and rely on mobiles to avoid isolation, or vulnerability in emergencies.

    In a bid to avoid the plague of poor signal, mobile users should check coverage maps, which you can find online, for where they live, work and socialise before joining a network. And, if you find call reception gets worse over time, double check it’s not your handset or a faulty SIM card that’s the problem before you look to change networks.

    It’s worth letting your provider know right away if you’re experiencing issues as it might be something that can be fixed with a signal booster. Failing that, you might want to look at switching networks but do keep a log of any call reception issues, and note the dates you contact your network to report them, so you can build a watertight case to switching away mid-contract if needs be.

    Signal-boosters are something that a lot of our readers will be familiar with, and many networks offer apps and WiFi-calling functionality as a way around these in-home issues, but I’m still doubtful that coverage will ever improve quickly enough to satisfy our ever-increasing demand for blanket mobile connectivity. The planning legislation and cost tends to hold things back.

    Full details below..

    The post One in three get no signal or a rubbish reception at home is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

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  • How to use less cellular data in the Instagram app

    If you’re an Instagram user, then you probably understand how all the photos and videos you view in the app can be a serious cellular data hog whenever you’re not connected to a Wi-Fi network. For the most part, the nature of the app is to load a feed of photos and videos, so there’s […]

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    Hey mobile networks. I’m in a city. It’s 2016. I can’t get a signal.

    Recently I switched network. I moved to Vodafone after spotting this deal that got me a SIM-only plan with 10GB of data for just £11.59 per month.

    I’m a bit of a mobile geek, as you’ll know, and like many of you I become aware of the “not spots” in my local area. I knew, for example, that Lichfield isn’t a great coverage area for Vodafone. I switched knowing that, and although it’s just a few miles from my house it’s not a deal-breaker.

    Now, I know that the PR people will be reading this. I know that people from Vodafone will be reading this too. This isn’t a “dig” at Vodafone. They’ve got a hard job and I’ve previously questioned the Vodafone network guru – Dr Rob – about this. Honestly, give this article a read, it’s really very interesting and it’s a problem a lot of networks have got. I’m sure they’d love to put transmitters up everywhere, but it’s just not that easy for them.

    All networks have some similar issues. Lichfield is a very old Cathedral City, and getting masts into the right places is a world of pain planning and approval wise. There’s lots of low-rise buildings and 230 listed buildings in winding, historic streets. You can’t put masts on the top of these buildings easily.

    I actually did a history project at school about the city, which was once a Saxon village. Here’s one of the older streets..

    Hey mobile networks. Im in a city. Its 2016. I cant get a signal.

    Now again, I must say that I’m not targeting Vodafone here. If you head to the Ofcom coverage checker and click “Voice calls” in Lichfield and then choose “Indoor coverage” you’ll see the problem. O2 seems to have great coverage, while Voda and EE are poor. Three is very poor indeed. It’s one of those things – I know other cities and towns where it’s the reverse. It depends on so many variables – frequencies, transmitter locations, the thickness of the walls and the age of the buildings etc etc..

    Up until now it’s been my wife who’s had the signal issues in Lichfield – she’s been on Vodafone for a while now – but she’s only really noticed it in the big Tesco. This is positioned on stilts on the outskirts of Lichfield. A big metal box? On stilts? It’s the worst thing you can do to a mobile signal. However, the free Tesco WiFi and WiFi calling on her Samsung Galaxy S7 edge has fixed that problem.

    However, when we came out of Tesco we had to pop into the middle of town. I happened to park up about 100 yards away from the Vodafone store, which is under the marker below..

    Hey mobile networks. Im in a city. Its 2016. I cant get a signal.

    It’s on Bakers Lane, which is a pedestrianised area and it’s opposite Greggs. If you’re not aware of Greggs, it’s an bakery / cake shop serving lots of healthy snacks. I wanted to pop into because, well… who doesn’t like a Greggs sausage roll eh? Come on…

    Hey mobile networks. Im in a city. Its 2016. I cant get a signal.

    If you look carefully you can see Greggs in the reflection. See? See it? Yum.

    Trouble is, my wife had gone to Boots a couple of doors down and so I tried to call her to ask whether she wanted to take part in my posh lunchtime grub, but .. I couldn’t get through. Now, if you have a look at that network coverage image up top you’ll noticed something. Take a look at the zoomed-in version below. This is direct from the Vodafone coverage checker and I’ve selected “2G coverage”. It should be noted that 4G coverage has recently been deployed in the area, but this is equally spotty. I’m interested in 2G coverage for good ‘ole fashioned voice calls..

    Hey mobile networks. Im in a city. Its 2016. I cant get a signal.

    Look. Look at that. The grey section, according to their checker, means “Outdoor coverage only“.

    Now, I know about all the reasons. I know about the historic buildings, the nightmare planning restrictions and the various other problems that networks have, but this is 2016. My wife is 20 metres from the front door of a Vodafone shop and .. there’s no signal in Boots. I’ve just about got a signal but, when I get back to my car (again, just about 100 yards away from a store) and try to get on the internet, this happens…

    Hey mobile networks. Im in a city. Its 2016. I cant get a signal.

    No internet and pretty much “0 bars” of 3G. The car is parked in Wade Street, which is right next to the Garrick Theatre. They’ve got Sleeping Beauty on this Christmas y’know. Book your tickets people. The Vodafone shop is through a small walkway, on the other side of the large tree.

    Hey mobile networks. Im in a city. Its 2016. I cant get a signal.

    Here’s the exact location of my car..

    Hey mobile networks. Im in a city. Its 2016. I cant get a signal.

    That’s another grey square and I got “1 bar” when I stood outside the car but, with my wife still looking at stuff in Boots, I couldn’t call her or anyone else because the signal was so low.

    I told Vodafone about this on Twitter and they’ve asked me to submit a report. I’ve done this before with other networks and they’ve done a similar thing.. “Yeah, file a report and we’ll look into it”. However, what gets me is that this is a major city / town. I’m not in the middle of a field. I’m not on a boat. I don’t think I’m asking for something that’s unreasonable. I just reckon that it’d be logical and understandable for networks to look at their own coverage maps and then drill-down into towns and cities where 2G coverage is poor like this. Prioritise those patches of rubbish coverage. Get some signal boosters out there. Fix the little spots of nothingness.

    For their own vanity, they should at least ensure that their branded stores don’t have a big fat patch of “nothing” around the front door. It’s just not cricket and it’s embarrassing for a new customer to walk across the road, only to see their signal vanish off the dial.

    There’s a secret of course, and it’s something that mobile phone stores have used for years. Boosters. Vodafone will use a Sure Signal. Other networks will use similar technology. It just means that customers will get a lovely full signal when they’re in the store. However, when they leave that store it’s another matter.

    So yes, although I know that Vodafone (and other networks) are working on fixing not-spots in remote villages and hamlets (check out our earlier coverage on that), they should also concentrate on areas where a reliable 2G signal can’t be provided inside towns and cities – just metres from their own shops.

    This needs to be addressed. It’s 2016. Let me talk to the orange-faced lady at the Boots counter and ask her to put one of those outdoor “Sure Signal” boxes up. In fact, set me up on commission. I’ll look at all the grey “squares” on coverage maps where the 2G signal is low, and you can pay me £5 for each Sure Signal I install. Go on. Do it.

    The post Hey mobile networks. I’m in a city. It’s 2016. I can’t get a signal. is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

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  • LIFE Mobile Spring sale

    LIFE Mobile Spring sale

    If 4G isn’t a massive “want” then you might want to take a look at LIFE Mobile. They’re an MVNO using the EE network and offer SIM only deals. There’s a UK call centre, no credit checks and right now they’re offering some discounts on their plans. You can get 1GB of data for £7.45 per month, 2GB for £9.95 and plenty of calls and texts to suit your needs. The offer makes them the best value 3G SIM Only provider in the UK at the moment.

    Their Spring sale gives you double minutes on all plans which are purchased between now and April 30th. Full details can be found below. They have a “Smart Cap” system which means you won’t be surprised with additional charges from tethering or other data-hogging applications. Get full details below or head to LIFE Mobile.

    Phones4U launched LIFE Mobile back in March 2013 as an own-brand network sold exclusively through all its stores, but it got taken over by EE when Phones4U vanished.

    Tariff UK Minutes UK Texts UK 3G Data Monthly Cost
    Mini 300 600 5000 500MB £4.95
    Value 500 1000 5000 1GB £7.45
    Everyday 1000 2000 5000 2GB £9.95
    Maxi 2000 4000 5000 4GB £13.95

     

    The post LIFE Mobile Spring sale is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

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  • How to disable cellular data for specific iPhone apps

    Cellular data is a great thing; it lets you access data from the internet in your favorite apps even when you’re not in range of a Wi-Fi network. Unfortunately, many carriers impose caps on your data. For this reason, iOS includes a feature that lets you limit what apps are allowed to access the internet […]

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    How to see how much data your iPhone apps are using

    The use of cellular data when you’re using your iPhone or iPad while out and about is to be expected, but do you know exactly how much of your data each individual app or service on your device is using? With the imposing caps cellular carriers like to put on their users, it’s important to be […]

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    Samsung’s Gear S2 smartwatch with 3G will cost you $50 more

    If you've been itchin' to get your hands on the cellular version of Samsung's Tizen smartwatch and its fancy rotating bezel, you'll soon be in luck. Both T-Mobile and Verizon announced pricing and availability for the Gear S2 with 3G today. On T-Mobile, you can add the wearable to your plan for $5/month while the watch itself will set you back $360 or $15 on a monthly payment plan. There isn't a pre-order option, but it'll hit the Big Magenta's stores and website on November 15th. Verizon will also require you to pay an extra $5 a month to add the Gear S2 to your account, but it's offering the gadget for $350 or $300 if you opt for a two-year contract. You're able to pre-order from Verizon, starting today, before it goes on sale November 6th. T-Mobile and Verizon will both carry dark grey and silver models, so you'll have two color options to choose from should you decide to splurge for one. AT&T is expected to announce availability for the Gear S2 as well, but hasn't revealed those details just yet.

    Via: The Verge

    Source: Verizon, T-Mobile

    Kogan arrive in the UK

    Good old Kogan eh? Kogan, Kogan, Kogan. 
    Kogan arrive in the UK

    So yes, you’ve probably never heard of them, but what I can tell you is that they make a handset called the Kogan Agora 3G Lite for £69. It doesn’t quite have the specs as the upcoming £65 Meizu m2 but for your money you’ll be getting a dual-SIM handset with a 5″ 854 x 480 screen powered by Android 5.0 (Lollipop). It has a 5 megapixel rear camera, 2 megapixel front one and a quad-core 1.3GHz Mediatek CPU. It’s got 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage and a microSD slot for more. All the usual WiFi, GPS and sensors are on there but you won’t get 4G.

    Kogan arrive in the UK

    If you DO want 4G, Kogan (you know them by now, I’ve written a whole paragraph) have announced the Kogan Agora 4G Pro. Apart from the questionable name it’ll deliver the following for a mere £149 SIM free..

    – Octacore 1.5GHz CPU from Qualcomm (Snapdragon 615)
    – 5.2″ 1080×1920 pixel HD screen
    – 2GB RAM
    – 16GB on-board storage (plus up to another 64GB via microSD)
    – Android 5.0 Lollipop
    – 13 megapixel rear camera, 8 megapixel front
    – WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0 and 2500 mAh battery.

    Joking aside, Kogan have been doing well in Australia and the company is actually named after the founder and CEO, Ruslan Kogan. At the UK launch of the company he told us..

    We’ve built these smartphone to provide outstanding user experience through hardware and software that is beautiful, strong and powerful.

    Unlike Australia’s cricketers, our Agora range of smartphones are second to none when comparing the specs and features to value for money.

    We’re thrilled to be able to share these great value devices with you, and can’t wait to hear what you think of them. We love being able to get you the latest technology at a fraction of the price.

    If you want one, head to their UK site, where you can buy the Kogan Agora 3G Lite or the Kogan Agora 4G Pro plus a range of other smartphones and tablets.

    Full details below.

    The post Kogan arrive in the UK is original content from Coolsmartphone.

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