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Standard User DanielCoffey67
(regular) Thu 15-Aug-19 13:40:44
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Three - not a good start!


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I have just bought a Three PAYG SIM to test the signal strength in my area prior to trying 4G Broadband and I have to say I am very disappointed both with the signal AND the Three Coverage/Status pages.

After installing the SIM in my iPhone Xs, I got intermittent 4G (zero to 1 bar) indoors, falling back to 3G when performing a speed test and even poor 4G outdoors ranging from 2 bars to zero and falling back to 3G.

Speed tests to TBB reported 2.0/0.5 indoors when they worked at all and 2.5/1.8 outdoors IF it stayed on 4G then entire time. One 3G test did report better at 8.0/1/5 but then it found a bit of 4G and that took over and the speed dropped. No single 4G test ever beat 2.5/1.8, even away from buildings.

Now here is the good bit... I went indoors and looked at the Network Status page and it said this...

"We're really sorry. There's an issue with the network in your area at the moment. We've checked the coverage in this area. Have a look at the map below for details. It looks like you could supercharge your coverage in this area using Wi-Fi Calling. Check out our Wi-Fi Calling page to find out more. Use coverage checker to see the typical signal strength in this area. This information is updated every 30 minutes. (last update 1:15 pm 15 August 2019)"

OK, I filed that away for when I rang Three support.

When looking at the Coverage Checker for my postcode, if I omitted the device name it reported pretty poor coverage (which was the main reason I wanted to test the SIM first before committing to 4G Broadband) but if I put the correct device in (iPhone Xs) it suddenly painted the entire map and said "Excellent. You're all set; you're in a 4G Super-Voice area and your phone is compatible, so you'll soon notice your signal smashing through indoor blackspots."

Hah! Fat chance!

So I rang Three support (Asian call centre of course) and was told there was no fault in my area. I quoted the website "We're really sorry. There's an issue with the network in your area at the moment." and was told there was no fault, merely poor reception on my phone, maybe I would like to try to make a call standing outside?

I then quoted "Excellent. You're all set; you're in a 4G Super-Voice area and your phone is compatible" and was told that the coverage checker was merely an estimate of what was likely.

If you want to see what their estimate is like, go to http://www.three.co.uk/Discover/Network/Coverage and enter Coylton as the town name and pick iPhone Xs from the phone type dropdown. Apparently despite it looking like the page has been given a fresh coat of red paint, all that means is 2.5Mbps outside and 2.0Mbps indoors.

Is there ANY point in me persevering and trying a Category 6 modem with 8dB Omni antenna? It is a lot of cash to lay down when the best they can offer is 2.5Mbps, imaginary faults and made-up coverage checkers. It looks like my 4.8/0.9 landline is going to be staying at this rate!
Standard User aesmith
(newbie) Thu 22-Aug-19 14:20:56
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Re: Three - not a good start!


[re: DanielCoffey67] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by DanielCoffey67:
IWhen looking at the Coverage Checker for my postcode, if I omitted the device name it reported pretty poor coverage (which was the main reason I wanted to test the SIM first before committing to 4G Broadband) but if I put the correct device in (iPhone Xs) it suddenly painted the entire map and said "Excellent. You're all set; you're in a 4G Super-Voice area and your phone is compatible, so you'll soon notice your signal smashing through indoor blackspots."

Hah! Fat chance!

So I rang Three support (Asian call centre of course) and was told there was no fault in my area. I quoted the website "We're really sorry. There's an issue with the network in your area at the moment." and was told there was no fault, merely poor reception on my phone, maybe I would like to try to make a call standing outside?

I then quoted "Excellent. You're all set; you're in a 4G Super-Voice area and your phone is compatible" and was told that the coverage checker was merely an estimate of what was likely.

If you want to see what their estimate is like, go to http://www.three.co.uk/Discover/Network/Coverage and enter Coylton as the town name and pick iPhone Xs from the phone type dropdown. Apparently despite it looking like the page has been given a fresh coat of red paint, all that means is 2.5Mbps outside and 2.0Mbps indoors.

Is there ANY point in me persevering and trying a Category 6 modem with 8dB Omni antenna? It is a lot of cash to lay down when the best they can offer is 2.5Mbps, imaginary faults and made-up coverage checkers. It looks like my 4.8/0.9 landline is going to be staying at this rate!

Three's 4G "Supervoice" is a voice service, not data.

Tony S
Standard User woodmass14
(committed) Thu 22-Aug-19 15:31:21
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Re: Three - not a good start!


[re: DanielCoffey67] [link to this post]
 
Could try Vodafone and see how they perform. Before buying expensive equipment, that is. My three coverage checker says there has been a problem in my area for a year + now. I'm getting 50-100mbps. Some odd problems here and there.

Also, what's up with their support staff? I find them very polite and helpful. More than i can say for some of the UK support staff i've run across over the years smile

Looking at cell mapper, Vodafone have masts all over the shop compared to the very little i see of Three's. Around Coylton, that is.

https://www.cellmapper.net


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Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 22-Aug-19 18:28:21
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Re: Three - not a good start!


[re: aesmith] [link to this post]
 
"SuperVoice" is a marketing term that means you are getting Band 20 LTE (at 800mhz) which can be used for voice using VoLTE. Generally data devices can use it, and only phones that support VoLTE on Three.

They called it "Super" because Three's previous 3G network was at 2100mhz so had less indoor coverage.

plusnet 80/20 (2/jun/14) at 470m - Sync history highest: 64/9 (Sep/17), 54/6 (Jan/19), 51/6 (Mar/19)
20 years of broadband from 1999's ntl:cable modem trial - Live BQM
Standard User baby_frogmella
(knowledge is power) Thu 22-Aug-19 18:56:07
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Re: Three - not a good start!


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
Do Three actually offer “Supervoice” or voice over 4G/LTE (VoLTE) in real life? Where I live Three show 100% supervoice coverage but calls still go over 3G on an iPhone 8 - on the same handset EE VoLTE works flawlessly. Come to think of it I’ve never seen Three calls go over 4G anywhere in Blighty on my iPhone even if their checker suggests otherwise for a particular area.

FluidOne FTTPoD 330/30 Mbps
Linksys EA9500v2
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 22-Aug-19 19:19:56
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Re: Three - not a good start!


[re: baby_frogmella] [link to this post]
 
Yes they do. But if you get band 3 LTE signal then voice calls fall back to 3G as they haven’t enabled VoLTE on band 3. Only on band 20.

plusnet 80/20 (2/jun/14) at 470m - Sync history highest: 64/9 (Sep/17), 54/6 (Jan/19), 51/6 (Mar/19)
20 years of broadband from 1999's ntl:cable modem trial - Live BQM
Standard User DanielCoffey67
(regular) Thu 22-Aug-19 19:34:26
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Re: Three - not a good start!


[re: DanielCoffey67] [link to this post]
 
Just a heads up - my landline is currently banded by DLM after a bout of thunderstorms in the area so I went ahead and bought an outdoor Category 6 modem and omni antenna. The results on my Three test sim are interesting...

On an iPhone Xs I received an unstable 4G signal indoors and a poor one outdoors - pretty much in line with their coverage checker results. Indoor speed tests were sub-2Mbps when available and outdoors peaked at sub-3Mbps.

With the new 8dB omni antenna and modem which arrived today the indoor signal is mostly stable and returns around 5Mbps indoors. A quick wander around outside at ground level showed a stronger signal and speeds of about 8-10Mbps. Without a fairly strong pole I have no way to obtain an elevated vantage point. I will see what I can scrounge from my neighbours.

Tomorrow I have an EE sim arriving and will test it alongside the Three one.
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