back to article Everything Everywhere activates top-secret erections

Customers of Orange and T-Mobile are now using one network, with handsets switching seamlessly to the nearest cell tower, though the company still refuses to say exactly where those cell towers are. Orange and T-Mobile customers have been roaming between the two networks since 2010, but only when a signal from the home network …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the coverage still sucks though

    1. localzuk

      YMMV - their coverage around here is superb, better than all the competition, including vodafone...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        They may have good COVERAGE (ie your phone indicates a signal), but they don't have the CAPACITY to handle all the users. And that's what they don't tell you - they just go on about the coverage. For the past 2 years my wife has suffered with her phone showing 3/4 bars of 3G, but the data indicator just spinning with no transfer of data or getting a message to tell her she's had missed calls but her phone hasn't rung or text messages taking up to 4 hours to come through from me when I sent them stood next to her (just as a test, that's not how we always communicate; we do speak to each other).

        She called them this week to give her one month notice to end the contract and the call dropped half-way through.

        I used to be with T-Mobile and they were great. Until they started this merging. Now it appears T-Mobile are suffering the same problem as Orange with over-capacity.

        1. Fred M

          I do seem to have better Orange reception today that I usually do. Not exactly a definitive test though.

          > getting a message to tell her she's had missed calls but her phone hasn't rung or text messages taking up to 4 hours to come through

          That sounds like a strangely familiar scenario!

        2. Captain Scarlet

          Same ere

          Always a good signal non existant data traffic (Yes I have got a data package and yes its enabled, use on average 60mb of my 500mb allocation per month)

    2. I Am Spartacus


      For years I thought that the name was a misspelling of 0range, as in zero range.

  2. Gordan

    Tower Locations

    Google's geolocation system probably knows where all the towers are. In the same way they keep their WiFi hotspot location database up to date (GPS + WiFi signal strength cross checked by many millions of devices when they call home) it seems quite likely they also keep track of mobile phone transmitter locations.

  3. TRT Silver badge

    Why EE?

    Why not Orange T? Pekoe?

    1. Brian Morrison

      Re: Why EE?

      I remember the boxes from my childhood, they were stencilled "Broken Orange Pekoe"

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Why EE?

        Their customer service is sh**, that's for sure. I'm about to jump ship.

  4. Malcolm 1

    Seems to work

    Previously reception at my desk was pretty dire (although apparently not weak enough to force my phone to roam to T-Mobile). Today I have 2 bars of HSPDA access. Nice.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Delayed texts...

    Last week on Wednesday at 8.30pm I sent a train-time enquiry text to National Rail regarding travel at about 10pm that evening. The system normally works very well. However I had no reply. I sent again. No reply. At 8am the next morning I got receipts to say the (now two) texts had been received. At 10am I was told when the trains would run. It was too late: I'd travelled long before.

    I don't know whether this was an Orange problem or a National Rail enquiries problem, but I dare say I'll be charged 25p for each text regardless.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More often than not

    I can connect to Orange 3G HSDPA in the evenings, but more often than not still only get 40kbps throughput.

  7. Pinkerton

    Boom tish


    Alice: What's that?

    Bob: A text message from Charlie - he says he's going to kill himself.

    Alice: Aren't you going to do anything?

    Bob: He's on T-Mobile - the funeral was yesterday.

  8. Dan Melluish
    Thumb Up

    Some praise due?

    I know some people are having a few teething issues with the network merge but I think EE are due some praise. An Orange employee posts on digitalspy and had this to say....

    "As far as I know this is the first time ever that two networks have been integrated in this way. It is even more of an achievement seeing that the two networks use different equipment manufacturers who have said previously "You'll never get the network equipment talking to each other. Totally incompatible!!". The team of EE engineers spent untold sums of time and money to make the impossible a reality. Even the equipment vendors were astounded that EE got two totally different networks talking to each other, not only that but to also incorporate Smart Signal and in-call handover through 2 different infrastructures? I think that's a totally amazing feat, and should be commended."

    Personally my Orange 3g coverage has improved and i'm seeing no issues with speed. Then again, I guess YMMV. I'm sure EE are ironing the bugs out.

  9. Vince


    Hmm, in theory this sounds good... but... as a T-Mobile user (which means I have good throughput and service, a good price and good Customer Services unlike if I was on with the fruit), I'd rather have 1 bar of T-Mobile service with its capacity and data routing, than 5 bars of Oranges signal but the dial-up modem speeds you get, so in many ways this is likely to be a downgrade...

  10. AndrueC Silver badge

    Meh. VM have never managed to explain nor fix the 500kb/s cap I seem to have on my account. It's still there after changing phones twice. Last Summer one operator said it was a known limitation of the HTC Desire.

    Uh. Huh.

    Oh well - I hardly ever use the web on the move anyway. Might talk to them about it again in six months when my contract is up for renewal.

  11. Anonymous Coward



    So THAT'S what it was this morning when I woke up...

  12. Harvey Trowell

    It's integration, not intergration.

    Sorry, but it is.

  13. Timbo Bronze badge

    No problems here...

    ...have had a T-Mobile business account for about 7 years now - except in the odd rural area, I've always had good signal coverage, so this news is welcome - coz now, I don't have to manually switch networks if I'm in an area where the signal is weaker than usual.

  14. Steve Evans

    Secret eh?

    I don't agree with that... Time to crank up Wigle again.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    " the company still refuses to say exactly where those cell towers are"

    But open signal maps will show you on a map.

    It will show you which cell towers the handsets can "see" and which it has an active connection with. The cell tower your handset is connected to can be miles away from your location. We assume it will have an active connection to the nearest tower, but that is not always the case.

    Great app, but make sure you have a full battery, your charger and a 13amp outlet nearby.

  16. simon newton
    Thumb Up

    seen an improvement

    i have handsets and dongles across mutliple networks as I move around a lot and want the best chances to be contactable and online.My tmobile dongle and phone have been romaing acorss te two networks for a while now. Both get faster speeds in most places and coverage at home is much improved, which is fantastic. I usually get about 2.5mbps download and about 4mbps upload (weird huh?) from my dongle in good coverage and about 1.5mbps down and 1mbps up from my andriod. Sure, sometimes those figures drop around 6pm until 8 when most people are using things but generally i find it works well. Ive had some frustrating experiences with thier customer service in the past, but recently ive found things to work well.just signed up for another 24 months on android and my loyalty discounts bring the line rental to a paltry £4 a month so for that I cant fault them. One fault I can find though is in areas where orange has those masts that are only 2g - there is one not too far from my mothers house so when im there the phones always seem to favor the 2g orange mast, even though there is near enough line of sight to a tmobile 3g mast a few miles away.

  17. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: p****

      I'm not sure, but I reckon you'll soon get a lot of Viagra salesmen who will answer your question.

      1. Pyers
        Thumb Up

        Re: p****

        Haha, I need all the viagra I can get! Thanks a lot for the tip off! A bit of head scratching and I realised that 1password had filled my address into the title field without me noticing! Nice catch!

        What I originally mused was how this change would affect Three UK customers who roam onto Orange currently when no 3 signal exists.

  18. Andrew Jones 2

    AFAIK Three actually roam on T-Mobile not Orange?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shame the article didn't mention some other things

    There's quite a bit going on at EverythingEverywhere aside from Smart Signal Share - it's a shame the article didn't mention this.

    The other things worthy of mention are:

    - Pilot of femtocells with a view to deployment later this year

    - Upgrade of the combined Orange / T-Mobile networks so that all 2G cell sites have EDGE (by the end of this year I think)

    - Replacement of equipment on all existing 2G sites with kit to boost coverage and capacity - due to be completed by 2013

    - Upgrade of all sites to deliver 99.5% 3G coverage by 2014 - aside from Three, none of the other operators have 3G on every cell site - in fact Vodafone and o2 don't seem to have any plans in place to upgrade their 2G sites to 3G outside of the main cities / roads etc.

    - A massive upgrade of backhaul / bandwidth by Virgin Media ... announced a few months back.

    1. Brian Morrison

      Re: Shame the article didn't mention some other things

      Actually, Voda and O2 are rolling out 3G on 900MHz in lots of areas. That's why they're putting in fewer 3G on 2100MHz cells outside urban areas.

  20. Dave Jones

    Everything Everywhere still have the problem of rubbish indoor coverage, as soon as you step inside you lose 3G, in the likes of shopping centers you lose 2G as well. As part of 'increasing' their coverage they've been turning off tmobile masts in Northern Ireland, myself and numerous other people i know have been contacted my tmobile and told we can leave our contracts early without penalty or take out a new orange contract and use their Signal Boost app (basically a software femcell) for coverage. Everyone i know decided to leave tmobile and switched to o2 or vodafone. I went to giffgaff (o2) and i've now got 3G signal all the time indoors and saved myself 180 quid on my remaining tmobile contract :)

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