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Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Sun 31-Jan-16 23:27:29
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O2 - Three proposed merger?


[link to this post]
 
I didn't know about this.

But Ofcom are trying to get the European Commission to block it. Link.

The indispensable man or woman passes from the scene, and what happens next is more or less the same thing as was happening before.
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Standard User leexgx
(committed) Mon 01-Feb-16 06:24:15
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Re: O2 - Three proposed merger?


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
it would make 4 become 3

if this merger happened, O2 and 3 overall very good coverage, 3 i would assume would get 2G for areas where 3 does not work but O2 does (and also lacks 3G) and it could stop paying EE for 2G access

can't see prices going up any more then they have right now (but then again some of EE prices quite bad especially on sim only, with a Phone not to bad)

it would leave vodafone at a large disadvantage overall (maybe give them an incentive to expand there 3G network

Standard User Michael_Chare
(experienced) Mon 01-Feb-16 19:38:11
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Re: O2 - Three proposed merger?


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
I would have thought that 3 networks would cost less to operate than 4.

The cost of a 4th network has to be passed onto the consumer. Better to have 3 networks and try to get some decent coverage.

Michael Chare


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Standard User BatBoy
(sensei) Mon 01-Feb-16 19:53:19
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Re: O2 - Three proposed merger?


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
It is a poor show that Sharon White, head of communications regulator Ofcom, is reduced to writing columns in the FT to try to block Three’s takeover of 02. The blame lies with European legislation, which dictates that Brussels decides on deals between companies whose parents have big operations in more than one EU country, as both Three and O2 do.
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Mon 01-Feb-16 20:18:22
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Re: O2 - Three proposed merger?


[re: Michael_Chare] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Michael_Chare:
I would have thought that 3 networks would cost less to operate than 4.

The cost of a 4th network has to be passed onto the consumer. Better to have 3 networks and try to get some decent coverage.


Has nothing to do with it. Each network is separately licenced by ofcom and compete with each other for coverage under the licence conditions. Reducing number of networks would have no material impact in coverage.

Also if we closed one network, whom would take down the masts no longer in use?

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Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Mon 01-Feb-16 20:54:40
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Re: O2 - Three proposed merger?


[re: Michael_Chare] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Michael_Chare:
I would have thought that 3 networks would cost less to operate than 4.
The reasoning given in the FT article where I first saw this is:-
Ofcom has carried out research analysing mobile prices over recent years in 25 countries that found that average prices were up to a fifth lower in markets with four operators compared with those with only three established networks.
It's paywalled so I found the link I gave, which isn't.

The indispensable man or woman passes from the scene, and what happens next is more or less the same thing as was happening before.
My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
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Standard User leexgx
(committed) Tue 02-Feb-16 06:46:56
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Re: O2 - Three proposed merger?


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by jchamier:
In reply to a post by Michael_Chare:
I would have thought that 3 networks would cost less to operate than 4.

The cost of a 4th network has to be passed onto the consumer. Better to have 3 networks and try to get some decent coverage.


. Reducing number of networks would have no material impact in coverage.


it would give 3 and O2 customers more coverage as the O2 masts would be merged into 3 network and O2 customers will be able to use 3 masts

like orange did then they bought T-mobile just hopefully not as badly this time and don't take down overlapping masts or masts they Think we don't need, EE have left some villagers with no EE coverage due to that

Standard User ukhardy07
(knowledge is power) Tue 02-Feb-16 10:25:42
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Re: O2 - Three proposed merger?


[re: leexgx] [link to this post]
 
It would give 3 and O2 customers more coverage as the O2 masts would be merged into 3 network and O2 customers will be able to use 3 masts

like orange did then they bought T-mobile just hopefully not as badly this time and don't take down overlapping masts or masts they Think we don't need, EE have left some villagers with no EE coverage due to that


That's very unlikely - when Orange and T-Mobile initially merged, users could roam between T-Mobile and Orange masts. The issue was:
1) I make a call using an orange mast as I am driving
2) I lose orange signal
3) My phone switched to T-Mobile signal
4) Transitioning from an Orange site to a T-Mobile site causes the call to drop.
5) I am a customer, seeing signal all the way, being confused why my call has dropped.

Ultimately EE chose to keep T-Mobile sites and become a T-Mobile broadcasting network only... All Orange sites will be turned off. In areas they really believed the T-Mobile coverage is not adequate, the Orange transmitter gets taken down and replaced with a T-Mobile one. So effectively EE became T-Mobile, and a little bit more.

With O2 and 3, the issue is 3 has an agreement under NBNLto share masts. This goes back years where 3 and T-Mobile agreed to share masts. Hence you have EE and 3 using the same sites.

Meanwhile O2 and Vodafone have an agreement - named Cornerstone to share masts. Hence there are effectively 2 underlying networks in the UK.

When O2 and Three merge, a decision will likely be made to either use the 3 masts under the NBNL agreement or to use the O2 masts under the Cornerstone agreement.

A decision will also be made to either make the network an O2 transmitting network or a 3 transmitting network. Due to the dropped call example earlier, it makes no sense to continue broadcasting both O2 and 3 signal simultaneously as all that creates is dropped calls.

So the reception does not just become the whole of 3s signal and the whole of O2s signal merged together, it turns into a strategic decision to cover each area with just one signal.

They will for sure, and it makes sense to, remove the overlapping masts. It will need to become one network, broadcasting one signal, from one provider, to ensure consistency when users switch between sites.

If O2 choose to drop the Vodafone cornerstone agreement, this will leave Vodafone high and dry, as each provider is covering half of the UK each. That will be messy. Although the data network on 3 is far far superior.

Edited by ukhardy07 (Tue 02-Feb-16 10:27:45)

Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Tue 02-Feb-16 11:36:04
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Re: O2 - Three proposed merger?


[re: ukhardy07] [link to this post]
 
I have an EE 4G contract on my latest phone, and an Orange 3G PAYG on another.

At home the EE one always says EE. I think this is so everywhere I use it - certainly everywhere I look at it, including the hands-free in the car.

The Orange one at home normally displays T-Mobile, as it is doing now. Last night when I turned it off before going to bed, with it having been in the same place since the morning, it was showing EE.

The indispensable man or woman passes from the scene, and what happens next is more or less the same thing as was happening before.
My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - AAISP Home::1 80/20. Sync 59504/15641kbps @ 600m. - BQM
Standard User leexgx
(committed) Tue 02-Feb-16 12:33:59
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Re: O2 - Three proposed merger?


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
old phones some times still show the masts old names

the mast near me is a t-mobile mast on my blackberry if i open tunein radio it says t-mobile or orange

Standard User ukhardy07
(knowledge is power) Tue 02-Feb-16 12:35:10
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Re: O2 - Three proposed merger?


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
T-Mobile sites, are just EE sites. The phone picks up the T-Mobile signal and depending on the carrier settings on the phone, either calls it T-Mobile or EE. That said, it's the same signal.

Your phone probably just got a carrier update applied to it.

All EE sites will be T-Mobile transmitters by the end of the network transformation.

Effectively all Orange transmitters will go, leaving only T-Mobile ones. Then the carrier update renames T-Mobile to EE on the handsets.

Edited by ukhardy07 (Tue 02-Feb-16 12:36:55)

Standard User leexgx
(committed) Tue 02-Feb-16 12:52:56
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Re: O2 - Three proposed merger?


[re: ukhardy07] [link to this post]
 
never seen any benefit in the vodafone and o2 sharing agreement vodafone is still as bad and not getting 3g/4g where O2 does

call dropping is still a thing if i am on t-mobile mast and there is not another one for my phone to move onto the call will drop until it moves onto orange/EE (at a glance if it says EDGE its t-mobile and orange is GPRS as they never upgraded there masts to EDGE, tunein radio also shows the names as well) at some point they move them all to t-mobile ID i guess (as it causes all sorts of problems with 4G and not connecting or connected calls dropping after 1-4 seconds at some locations)

same with (EE)/t-mobile and 3 NBNL masts not all of them are sharing a t-mobile/3 signal (a lot for the t-mobile masts do have 3 on them)

this is why when if i wanted to do a coverage check for 3 i whent to t-mobile website as 3 coverage checker is a lie most of the time (but they removed the page long ago)

can't see why coverage would be less with the merger (t-mobile and orange overall worked but orange was pretty good to begin with any way)

Edited by leexgx (Tue 02-Feb-16 12:55:03)

Standard User ukhardy07
(knowledge is power) Tue 02-Feb-16 13:51:52
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Re: O2 - Three proposed merger?


[re: leexgx] [link to this post]
 
Yes T-Mobile and 3 have an agreement to share masts, nothing more. This pre-dates the EE agreement.

So 3 are by no means on every T-Mobile mast. Also T-Mobile may be 10 metres higher on the same mast as 3, and T-Mobile may transmit at 10dbm higher than 3 from that mast (or vice versa). Hence just because masts are shared does not equate to the same coverage.

We do not know how the 3/O2 merger will go. It could end up that all O2 customers are moved onto the 3 network, and lose 2G entirely. There is no guarantees the coverage will be any better. What is most likely is 3 will choose one network to keep broadcasting and wrap up the other one. Both networks wont keep broadcasting their signals forever.
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Tue 02-Feb-16 15:52:23
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Re: O2 - Three proposed merger?


[re: ukhardy07] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by ukhardy07:
T-Mobile sites, are just EE sites. The phone picks up the T-Mobile signal and depending on the carrier settings on the phone, either calls it T-Mobile or EE. That said, it's the same signal.

Your phone probably just got a carrier update applied to it.
I fully understand why it changed from Orange. Something I didn't notice until a couple of weeks ago. Up until then it had an Orange contract SIM but IIRC was showing EE. (Maybe it was showing Orange. It certainly never showed T-Mobile).

The contract ended and I replaced it with the current Orange PAYG which was sitting in an old Nokia N900, which had been turned on very occasionally to see if the spammy upgrade texts and calls from when it was a business contract number had ceased.

As soon as that SIM was put into the phone it is in now it showed T-Mobile.

What I quoted above from you doesn't hold water, if you re-read this:-
In reply to a post by RobertoS:
The Orange one at home normally displays T-Mobile, as it is doing now. Last night when I turned it off before going to bed, with it having been in the same place since the morning, it was showing EE.
Note, two things happened. I retired the phone that had it showing Orange. and put the SIM card in its current phone. (I still have the old one but the SIM card is getting cardboard-fragile so I don't want to see what it does back in that). It immediately showed T-Mobile, but changed its mind yesterday and back today.

The indispensable man or woman passes from the scene, and what happens next is more or less the same thing as was happening before.
My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - AAISP Home::1 80/20. Sync 59504/15641kbps @ 600m. - BQM
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Tue 02-Feb-16 22:06:28
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Re: O2 - Three proposed merger?


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
The networks actually transmit an ID code, the first three digits are the country code for the UK (234) and the next two are the network code:

234-33 = Orange
234-30 = T-Mobile (formerly one2one)
234-15 = Vodafone
234-10 = O2 (previously cellnet / bt cellnet)

(Many more listed on Wikipedia).

However how the HANDSET interprets this depends on the handset software, and the SIM card. Some older handsets ignore the SIM card and display the name they are programmed with - others let the SIM override the name, but show an old name for a while then replace with a newer name.

EE has a couple of times sent SIM Update messages that reprogramme the SIM to show the 'EE' name for both 234-33 and 234-30 transmissions. But again, not all handsets support this reprogramming of the SIM.

One reason EE went with keeping T-mobile masts was because the majority were now merged into the MBNL 3G network share agreement with Three, and had hence had big upgrades already installed. 100mbps backhaul (or more) and provided fast 3G services. Lots of orange masts were on 2mbps backhaul or worse and so 3G from these sites was very slow.

Mobile Broadband Network Ltd (MBNL) is originally a 3G Radio Access Network share between EE and Three, and also a mast site sharing contract, and backhaul sharing contract. This meant one equipment cabinet for 3G, one set of antennas on the mast, for the two separate networks. For 4G both Three and EE use their own equipment at the mast site, but share the site and backhaul.

Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Ltd (CTIL) is different and is essentially just a site sharing scheme, where Vodafone and O2 are installing their own backhaul network connectivity and their own equipment cabinets, but one set of engineers may install both sets. Then sharing the tower with the transmission panels on.

In areas where CTIL has upgraded both networks generally have good 2G,3G, and 4G - but in areas without upgrades the 3G network on Vodafone is often a joke, and on O2 quite slow. (like legacy orange).

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Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Tue 02-Feb-16 22:53:00
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Re: O2 - Three proposed merger?


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
None of which explains, or even permits, a particular phone showing T-Mobile one day, EE the next day, and T-Mobile again the following day when turned on and left idle in the same room of the same house.

The explanations given by you and others earlier would prevent that happening.

The indispensable man or woman passes from the scene, and what happens next is more or less the same thing as was happening before.
My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - AAISP Home::1 80/20. Sync 59504/15641kbps @ 600m. - BQM
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Tue 02-Feb-16 23:52:49
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Re: O2 - Three proposed merger?


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by RobertoS:
None of which explains, or even permits, a particular phone showing T-Mobile one day, EE the next day, and T-Mobile again the following day when turned on and left idle in the same room of the same house.
The explanations given by you and others earlier would prevent that happening.


Possible the rebranding of the SIM only took for one of the codes, so the phone picks up a close T-mobile (234-30) transmission, shows T-mobile on screen. Following day the mast is under maintenance (maybe by Three) and is turned off for a few hours - so a further away, but former Orange mast is now stronger and the EE name shows for 234-33, and then a day later the closer mast is in use.

If the name change had worked, you'd not have seen anything smile

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Standard User Philce
(committed) Thu 04-Feb-16 21:48:08
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Re: O2 - Three proposed merger?


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
Im sure I read something about the technicalities of the merger of the 2 networks and in-call roaming between Orange and T-Mobile some time ago.

Something about the technical achievement of getting the different radio kit to talk to each other (Ericsson and Nokia I think it was?).

I don't think they just left 1 network working and ripped out the other.

My phone regularly changed between "Orange" "T-Mobile" and "Orange T-Mobile" on the display before I got upgraded to a EE sim. (that was with a Orange and T-Mobile SIM in different phones).

Will be interesting to see what happens if the 3/O2 merger is allowed because I use O2 in a company supplied phone and the coverage is diabolical out of town. 3G is almost non existent.
Vodafone is worse, and as others have said they will have to lots of upgrading to keep up.
Standard User ukhardy07
(knowledge is power) Thu 04-Feb-16 23:05:48
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Re: O2 - Three proposed merger?


[re: Philce] [link to this post]
 
To be honest, the T-Mobile kit overall had much better backhaul and was better kit.
Most areas were already covered by far superior T-Mobile masts, in terms of data etc...

There are still a tonne of Orange sites sitting around, for two reasons:

1) In the rare few areas where Orange were the only available provider to an area
2) The Orange site is much better positioned than the T-Mobile site, e.g. a T-Mobile transmitter that is only 15m high, vs an Orange site 50metres away that is 40 metres high would be a good example.

In time the Orange site should be upgraded to meet the standards of MBNL.

A lot of Orange sites are not even HSDPA standard and top out around 2/3 Mbps, the MBNL T-Mobile sites are typically HSPDA+.

Eventually the idea is to have one network broadcasting only ID: 23430.

In highly populated areas where the network integration is most prevalent e.g. London, you often only see ID 23430 broadcasting. I am sure the rest of the UK is more behind on this.
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 04-Feb-16 23:27:05
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Re: O2 - Three proposed merger?


[re: ukhardy07] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by ukhardy07:
In highly populated areas where the network integration is most prevalent e.g. London, you often only see ID 23430 broadcasting. I am sure the rest of the UK is more behind on this.


Where I live in Hampshire its been all 234-30 (tmobile) for a long time now, and in all the places I've visited.

EE are claiming over 90% population coverage with 4G and its when masts are visited to enable 4G and refresh the 2G hardware that they are changed over to the new backhaul etc.

Some sites in Devon for example have been switched from Orange 2G only, to EE 2G and 4G without any 3G, and the speculation was this was to stop Three getting their hands on the site.

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Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 04-Feb-16 23:29:27
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Re: O2 - Three proposed merger?


[re: Philce] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Philce:
Im sure I read something about the technicalities of the merger of the 2 networks and in-call roaming between Orange and T-Mobile some time ago. Something about the technical achievement of getting the different radio kit to talk to each other (Ericsson and Nokia I think it was?).


Yes I think this was incredibly clever and made the 2G network seem less. Then there was the court case from Arqiva against EE which stopped the 3G integration, and once that was resolved (EE won) the 4G decision from Ofcom had occurred, so EE was permitted to roll out 4G on the existing 1800mhz - so the rebranding started fast.

I don't think they just left 1 network working and ripped out the other.

Except in Northern Ireland, correct.

My phone regularly changed between "Orange" "T-Mobile" and "Orange T-Mobile" on the display before I got upgraded to a EE sim. (that was with a Orange and T-Mobile SIM in different phones).

Likewise.

Will be interesting to see what happens if the 3/O2 merger is allowed because I use O2 in a company supplied phone and the coverage is diabolical out of town. 3G is almost non existent. Vodafone is worse, and as others have said they will have to lots of upgrading to keep up.


Where vodafone have rolled out 4G it is a dramatic improvement, my work is with vodafone and it was awful only 18 months ago, and now its amazingly better (3G and 4G).

O2 and three is one to watch, I think it won't be allowed to be honest.

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Standard User ukhardy07
(knowledge is power) Fri 05-Feb-16 13:05:43
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Re: O2 - Three proposed merger?


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
Lots of EE sites are 2G and 4G only.

VOLTE should being rolled out soon I imagine... In London - in many areas, if you start a call on WiFi calling and then leave your home, your call already falls back onto 4G and works just fine over LTE (assuming you have 4G set to both Voice and Data).

A standard call made still goes back to 3G though. Outside of London this same behaviour I did not observe.
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Fri 05-Feb-16 18:05:41
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Re: O2 - Three proposed merger?


[re: ukhardy07] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by ukhardy07:
Lots of EE sites are 2G and 4G only.

VOLTE should being rolled out soon I imagine... In London - in many areas, if you start a call on WiFi calling and then leave your home, your call already falls back onto 4G and works just fine over LTE (assuming you have 4G set to both Voice and Data).

A standard call made still goes back to 3G though. Outside of London this same behaviour I did not observe.


That is interesting, and could be just your account. I've seen posts elsewhere that said that VoLTE is only actually active currently in parts of Hatfield and Bristol (obviously where there are EE offices!) on the 1800 freq (and maybe 2600).

The big change will be VoLTE on 800mhz; when that launches the amount of fallback to 3G should reduce.

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