back to article 3 to start shaping traffic on Monday

3UK is to start limiting mobile broadband traffic from Monday, throttling P2P application and restricting video streaming on overloaded cells. From Monday morning a congested cell will automatically limit peer-to-peer traffic and reduce video streaming to 400Kb/sec per customer, in an attempt to share out the available …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There was a time...

    ...when I was forced to use a 3 data dongle. It was patchy at best. Vodafone in the same location proved much more reliable.

    Still, if 3 start down that road, I dare say the rest will follow. I understand the mechanisms they can use to enforce this, but I do hope they'll make their tariffs reasonably clear, otherwise, Neelie Kroes will have to get involved again....that should put a stop to traffic shaping for good. :)



  2. AndrueC Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Mobile - the fixed line killer

    ..or maybe not. None of this comes as a surprise to anyone who knows the slightest thing about the technology. Only marketing departments and idiots believe that it can ever supplant a decent fixed line service.

  3. Reading Your E-mail


    Glad I got out when I did...although how long till they all start :(

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    change in terms of service?

    A way to end my contract 6 months early with no penalty fee?

    oi scamps, get on msn. I need to talk to you about stu [-]

  5. Andy 70

    oh well, lost another customer

    i was going to go for one of their "Mifi" packages when my current voda contract expired. never mind 3. thats what you get for offering 15GB for 15quid i guess.

    @AndrueC absolutely. they can take my home's copper wire from my cold dead hands.

  6. SynnerCal

    Not sure it'll really hit me

    I'm one of these wierdo's who just wanted a smartphone to make phonecalls - rather than as some FaceTwitTube 'experience' - and I only picked 3 as a provider because they did the cheapest deal for those two-three days a year when I actually would like a mobile internet service, and the PAYG prices were actually pretty reasonable.

    I presume that when the article mentions caps on the 'video streaming' it's talking about YouTube type services, not a limit being placed on the speed of the native (ie phone to phone) video calling? If so, then this seems very, very strange since wasn't video calling supposed to be one of the big pluses for 3G over 2G?

    I'm also a little curious how this is going to work with 3's free Skype and IM use - since these are data services are they now going to be regarded as 'premium' cost ones?

  7. gautam

    Bastards All!

    Victims of their own success? 3 is the one who populairsed mobile BB. Now its payback time eh?

    Need I say more?? This whole "customer experience" malarchy is hogwash and humbug. Bandwidth challeneged ? Such an abused term these days!

    Thats English language for you. Cant win. Even Peter Mandelson cant spin better than these telcos.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ all the comments so far

    @AndrueC - I have been managing on mobile broadband for 13 months now.

    @Neil Briscoe - Vodafone was terrible for me in most of west london, 3 on the other hand are fast everywhere i need them within my day to day areas (so west london again).

    @Andy 70 - Vodafone charged me 25 quid a month for 5 Gb, then 10 quid a month for every extra GB. 3 however give me 7Gb for 25 quid and i have no contract, i own the mifi device and i no longer have to deal with Vodafone and their very very poorly informed drones.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Now all they need to do is sort out their network so people on 3 can get a signal.

    I am a 3 User live SynnerCal and I sometimes use the Internet access. Bit I went with them mainly because of teh great deals they had.

    My contract ends in June and I will not be renewing it as their signal strength is terrible.

    I barely get over 1bar of signal and calls are always broken up.

    I also have an Orange PAYG phone which is great.

    Funny how 3 have a roaming contract with Orange for when customers have no 3 cover but cant sort out their own network.

    So much for trying to get on with the latest technology.. I'll be moving to a new network unless they sort it out in the next 6 months.. Which i doubt!

  10. Robert Ramsay


    I might not have to wait a million years to get my 10K HTML page now :-)

  11. Was Steve

    Happy to pay for a differentiated experience when it arrives!

    Just bought a MiFi for use with an iPod Touch, only had it a couple of days, but so far so very good. And if they want to differentiate the service then that's fine, but I do reserve the right to unlock and flash my little box and put someone elses SIM in if there offer is better.

    And before anyone starts banging on about irradiated testicles, don't. It live in my back pack, so is nicely warming my kidneys and liver. :)

    @SynnerCal: I'm sure I've read somewhere that the three skype stuff is actually a voice call to/from a gateway, so doesn't impact data. And IM will be very little data anyway, probably bytes rather than kilobytes. Unless you're somekind of champion texter?!

  12. Anonymous Coward

    THey need to invest in bandwith as they are oversupscribed during peak hours

    I've been with 3 for about 6 months now and was alright at the start, nowadays during peakish times (from midafternoon to around about midnight) I get a service thats worse than a oldschool V22bis dialup modem. Heck the pings even when good place me somewere around australia with the latency they have and with the pretty much unusable service during hours I tend not to sleep is pretty shit on there part.

    Indeed around 3am I can get a good service, this means its not my end but there end. Still if they will go fapping about going free internet to any twat monkey on a mobile phone then I can see how they got a mess.

    I pay for internet, I dont pay for a phone service, why should I get shafted along with all the other cock muppets.

    They need to invest in there network and tear there service for what people pay for, not blanket limit those that sale a freebie and those that pay for it. I mean c'mon its already capped and network crippeled. I can only hope it offords some better service from this.


  13. Mage Silver badge


    "Bandwidth is a limited resource and 3 would much prefer to support 200 users on a cell with only a few hundred kilobits each, than 20 users downloading video files while the rest can't get at their email - though the 20 users concerned might not feel the same way."

    In your dreams... A 21Mbps sector has less than 2Mbps average throughput, and there are up to 3 sectors to a cell typically..

    You would be lucky to have 2 sector users able to stream YouTube at once. That's 6 cell users.

    3G/HSDPA is rubbish.

    It uses CDMA, so fully loaded the range shrinks and available total capacity can be 1/4 as much.

    They need to do this and have < 1G caps or it is worse than Dialup. In Ireland due to mad expensive line rental (26 Euro) and poor BB availability they sell this as a fixed solution. Fixed users are online longer than Mobile, so even if many "mobile" are mostly fixed, 3's own assertion that 50% of users are "fixed" makes system 5 times slower than it would be for only mobile users...

    See why 3G is poor and Mobile can't Deliver Broadband. True Fixed Wireless can as it is x16 better in the same spectrum:

    Midband Forum. Clue. What's not Dialup but worse than Broadband?

  14. Robert E A Harvey

    drearlily predicatable

    The mobile networks had spare capacity.

    They decided to sell it, and pitched it as mobile internet. It was too expensive, and no-one bought it.

    Then there was a move to lower prices, similar to ADSL, in an attempt to shift the goods.

    That worked so well that they over-sold the capacity they had, and now they are backtracking on the service.

    It's all distressingly similar to how they sold the phones in the first place.

  15. Mage Silver badge


    It's a phone network.

    Not designed for continuous data.

    It's not Broadband.

  16. Rooster Brooster
    Thumb Up

    God given right to demand infinate bandwidth 24/7!

    Intelligent sharing between customers of available bandwidth will bring speeds down only to 400kbps? O2 customers would love to ever see this rate!

  17. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. troldman
    Thumb Up

    Traffic shaping will always be needed for a contended resource

    That is all

  19. bigfoot780

    Three ok mobile browsers need work

    I switch from o2 to three and I have no problems with the network its the browser that came with the phone thats slow as anything. Video streamimg is best on a fixed broadband connection.

  20. Chaz

    At least they admit they cannot deliver a consistent user experience in the UK

    Whereas in Ireland they are unregulated and would never bother admitting to shaping or to any QOS enfocement .

    That is why one poor customer was driven to this , you had better look at it before it is permanently throttled or worse still nuked outright by their filters :)

  21. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
    Paris Hilton

    Bullshit! Bullshit! Bullshit!

    "The company is branding the steps an attempt to improve the "customer experience", "

    Bullshit! Increasing 3's capacity would improve customer experience.

    "the emphasis is on throttling down those perceived as using an unfair proportion of the available bandwidth."

    Bullshit! If people are using what was advertised and what they are paying for, how is it unfair. Has 3 been using misleading advertising?

    "Bandwidth is a limited resource and 3 would much prefer to support 200 users on a cell with only a few hundred kilobits each, than 20 users downloading video files"

    Bullshit! - 3 would much prefer to support 200 users who have paid for a service and don't use it than 20 users using what was advertised and paid for.

    This is just 3's propaganda, they have advertised a service and now can’t deliver it and are now trying to pass the blame onto mythical users who are somehow abusing 3’s services, Moi, cynical, never.

    Paris, it’s her fault for putting videos on the internet that people watch.

  22. Nick Haslam

    Will be leaving now.....

    threeCustomer --

  23. Etherealmind

    Why doesn't anyone talk abou thte backhaul ?

    Not only is the radio spectrum short on resource, but the backhaul is, relatively, more expensive since phone towers are not in good places to get high speed and low cost backhaul to the core.

    Having slow backhaul saves way more money and makes more bottom line profit. Shaping isn't about radio, it's about backhaul.

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