Thursday, 04 July 2013
Are our mobile phone networks falling apart?

Vodafone no signal

I've been with Vodafone my current network provider for more than 12 years as a business customer. My reason for choosing Vodafone has been that they have always been one of the most reliable mobile phone networks. I say this because I was one of the first to subscribe to 3's network when it first launched and had next to no signal. I still have a 3 phone which I use as a backup.

But recently I've discovered a sudden loss of signal with Vodafone, it started to happen gradually and then all of a sudden I had no service where I live in Kent. I also started to notice that getting a data connection near any of the main London stations in the early morning or in the evening was next to impossible even though I had a full 3G signal. Complain to @VodafoneUK via twitter and they ask you to enter your issues on their online forum where you have to enter your postcode and then go through the process of telling them you have no signal on 2G or 3G and that even if you walk 5 miles down the road you still don't have much signal. Eventually a member of the tech team will look at the issue and tell you what your site number is and then confirm "oh yes there is an issue with that particular cell". What annoys me about this approach is that if there was a problem with that particular cell tower why on Earth didn't they have some computer system monitoring those towers which could flag it up before customers complained? Its called being proactive guys?

Anyway more people started to complain and the tech team informed us that they are investigating the issue. The only problem is this has now been going on for 2 weeks and they still have no progress to report on the issue. Not surprisingly customers are getting angry. You can see the forum thread here .

Do a search for "vodafone signal" on twitter and you start seeing something like this

 

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Now while any network will have a fair amount of people complaining about signal strength I also found updates of people moving to Vodafone from EE and other networks because of a lack of signal.

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But then looking at various news sites we start to see the following.

http://www.thisiskent.co.uk/Signal-blackout-leaves-Vodafone-users-furious/story-18746042-detail/story.html#axzz2XmQzDuJU

http://sotontab.co.uk/2013/04/11/vodafone-no-signal-southampton/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2013/feb/16/vodafone-wrong-signals-reception-mast

http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/news/problems_on_vodafone_mobile_phone_network_for_thousands_in_norfolk_1_1999735

 

EE (also has it bad)

Start looking at the other networks such as EE (T-Mobile and Orange combined) and you start seeing some similar trends taking place. If not more complaints.

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http://onthewight.com/2012/11/09/everything-everywhere-mobile-signal-more-like-nothing-nowhere-from-orange/

Someone has even started a Facebook group complaining about the poor service on EE.

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Another site has also been setup for people complaining about EE and how to leave.

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O2

There are some complains about O2 but there don't appear to be as many as the two above probably because they are not as big as those two?

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So what's happening?

Dig a bit deeper and you'll find this article, basically O2 and Vodafone agreed back at the end of 2012 to start sharing phone masts. It makes you wonder if the process of doing this may have lead to poor coverage while it is underway?

Take a look at the AV Forums and you'll find a post where an EE customer recons they're doing exactly the same with Orange and T-Mobile mast infrastructure

OR

Or could it be that the networks are focusing on 4G at the expense of their existing  3G customers? What ever it is the lack of visibility of what is happening especially with Vodafone is frustrating. At least tell people what's happening guys, when you don't people start too become suspicious and frustrated.

posted on Thursday, 04 July 2013 18:11:54 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]