back to article Vodafone's spending pays off - but EE hangs on to UK network crown

EE is being strongly challenged by rival networks that have improved their reliability, and in some cases their data performance too. Network performance monitor Rootmetrics' nationwide survey for the first half of 2018 placed EE top in the five main categories - as it always has. But more interestingly – now that network …

  1. djstardust

    Vidafone .....

    Great netwoek ..... poor customer service ..... terrible website ...... expensive prices.

    In a nutshell.

    1. Hoe

      Re: Vidafone .....

      Vodafone, great network?!

      Not in St.Albans it's not, they removed their one antena and shafted everyone in the area, I know many have switched since this mess including my dad who with 20 years with Vodafone has switched so we can once again get reception at home, also vastly overpriced compared to competitors based on recent research for my dad's upgrade!

      Can't complain at EE been very good for me in every aspect, WIFI Calling is a god-send though I believe the other networks are finally getting involved in this.

      Three lost my support with the contact UPGRADE calls I used to get, even when NOT DUE!!!

      O2 who I used to work for are just miles behind.

      Currently there is no real competition in the UK market IMO, EE in a league of their own which is a shame for consumers!!!

      Virgin Media seems to have some great deals these days, also they use EE backbone which is nice, but it concerns me that I could sign up with them then they can switch to another backbone provider at anytime completely changing the offering, same with all the providers who piggy back.

      SIM Only don't be tied down best way to go IMO, pay for a handset up front, if you cant switch SIM only save then buy it, get insurance through Bank (cheaper and easier)!

      Though not sure about anyway else but even as a Techie I can't find reason to upgrade from an S7 Edge it does everything more than well enough, anyone else struggling to find a good reason to upgrade?!

      I can see a slow down in the mobile market coming in the next few years!


    2. Craigie

      Re: Vidafone .....

      Great network, but only if you don't care at all about data. For voice, sure, it's available everywhere. But for data, forget it. You may as well send a letter if you're not in a big town. Pathetic network.

      1. SkippyBing

        Re: Vidafone .....

        'But for data, forget it. You may as well send a letter if you're not in a big town.'

        I'm not saying the plural of anecdote isn't data, but in my small town Vodafone give me such good data I don't always realise I'm not on my home wifi. It was also good enough to stream radio for my commute 50 miles along the A303 when I used to suffer that.

        That's not to say it isn't terrible in some places, my parents village for example, but what network isn't?

    3. Chewi

      Re: Vodafone .....

      I dealt with them for the first time this month. My mobile wi-fi dongle worked a treat in Jersey and was a great deal at just £35 with 6GB data included. No other network came close. However, the whole experience was soured by appalling customer service.

      I ordered at 9pm on a Thursday. They said they offered next day delivery for orders before 10pm but the system claimed the next day was Monday. I chose Saturday delivery at additional expense, as I was departing on the Monday. By Saturday morning, it was not appearing on their tracking system. Support assured me it would surely arrive later that day. Of course it didn't. On Sunday, support assured me it would surely arrive on Monday. Still no sign of it on the tracker or at my front door so I ventured out to the nearest store to buy another one.

      Publishing their store numbers would be far too helpful so I wasn't able to check their stock in advance. The store staff informed me that they didn't have any so I had to drive half an hour in the opposite direction to the next nearest store. Even that took a while as they had to faff about converting a contract unit to PAYG. I made sure the damn thing worked before driving off.

      In Jersey, it all worked fine until it hit 1GB and refused to go any further. I was met with cookie overflow errors when trying to log into the website that could only be resolved by clearing my cookies and starting again. I eventually called them up and they gave no explanation for the issue but gave me a further 6GB to play with.

      The original order did eventually show up... the following Saturday, the day before I returned. :-| On getting back, I called them again to ask for a return envelope. You'd think I'd asked for the moon on a stick. What seemed like a simple request too half an hour and a lot of inexplicable confusion on their side. At the time of writing, I still have not received the envelope. What I did get shortly after that call, was an unexpected email to tell me that they had disabled the adult content filter as I had requested. WTF.

      Suffice to say that I will be requesting an unlock code for the dongle at the first opportunity.

      1. GruntyMcPugh

        Re: Vodafone .....

        @Chewi "Suffice to say that I will be requesting an unlock code for the dongle at the first opportunity."

        So I just left Vodafone and they sent me an email saying I'd need a NUC to unlock my phone after I requested the PAC. They PAC I got within minutes, the NUC, they said, could take from 2 to 10 days. Yeah, so you could be in the situation where you give your new provider the PAC and they initiate the process, only to get the email after you've started that, and have to wait 10 days to get the NUC, so your new provider has swapped your number, but you can't use it until you unlock your phone, and that could take an additional week, so you have no service.

        And after all the calls, and online chats, and emails to their dedicated 'nucresolutions' email address,.... I didn't need the NUC, my phone wasn't locked in the first place.

    4. GruntyMcPugh

      Re: Vidafone .....

      I just left them. Contracts on our phones were up, so I phoned up to get a PAC, they tried retaining me, but failed. I wanted a 30 day rolling contract (So I can buy extra data for when I'm on holiday), about 5Gb of data, and some calls and texts. They offered 5Gb/Unlimited/Unlimited for a tenner on a 12 month contract (Plusnet had already offered me that for £9,...) and to get that same deal on a 30 day rolling contract, instead of 12 months? £25.50. Yeah, an extra £15.50 a month to keep the escape hatch open. I got a PAC.

    5. Oneman2Many

      Re: Vidafone .....

      They are making a big push on prices, especially on contract with handset.

      Regarding service. Recently moved from VM to Vodafone. Got the PAC code from VM no problem. Entered it on a Vodafone website and got a text back saying it will be done by 5pm the following day. 5pm came and went and of course it didn't happen.

      Called them up and said there was a problem with the transfer request via Website but its manually entered and it will be done by 5pm the following day. That didn't happen. Called them against on Friday evening, got told that PAC team don't do weekends and nothing could be done untill Monday. Called Monday and told it would be done by Midnight. That didn't happened, called again on Tuesday and was told 5pm again. This time they managed to do something, outbound calls were back to my old number but inbound calls didn't work to either old or temporary number, just went to voice message. More calls, and finally at lunchtime Wednesday inbound calls started working on my old number.

      So a week to do a number transfer but the real annoying thing, every single time I called they sent a text survey. Not just a single text but a couple texts each time.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Vidafone .....

      Great netwoek because it has no customers due to ..... poor customer service ..... terrible website ...... expensive prices.

  2. GruntyMcPugh


    ... just dropped Vodafone for Plusnet (so EE is the carrier) and the data seems faster where I am.

  3. sclg

    Location, Location, Location...

    The trouble is that if you are not near a major town or city you often have no choice at all. At home - and I work from home - I can usually get 4G from O2 whereas none of the others even manage 3G!

    I can see that if you are travelling a lot then EE might be the best overall but if you are usually only in one or two locations then it's going to be whatever works there.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Location, Location, Location...

      >I can see that if you are travelling a lot then EE might be the best overall

      Within the UK, whilst I have been able to exclusively use Orange and now EE for voice, pretty much since the mid 1990's, I have often found that where EE data fails 3 are good, so have maintained my 3 mobile data contract (running since circa 2007).

      Funnily enough, having had EE 4G data service (since circa 2014) it has often been when I've decided that EE data coverage is good enough that I encounter an EE data not spot with 3 data service...

      So whilst I would agree EE might be the best overall, if you are travelling a lot and need data I suggest you also have device capable of connecting to a different network.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Location, Location, Location...

      "if you are usually only in one or two locations then it's going to be whatever works there."

      It makes you wonder if any of the networks have given thought to the meaning of "mobile".

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Location, Location, Location...

      Yep, different networks are better in different locations.

      Where I grew up, when mobiles became affordable (around 2000 for me), the only network that we could get was Vodafone. These days you can get other networks, but still Voda is the only one that works (a bit) downstairs or at the back of the house.

      Contrarywise I've been to places where all that was true of a different network. It all come down to where you're spending time, and where you need coverage.

      I live in a city now, and the nearest mast is about half a mile away. I get full signal in my basement. There's upsides to living in a city.

  4. iDavid

    Voda loyalty is noted

    Been with them since 1985, never regretted it. Renewed 12 month SIM free contract recently and was passed to a special department as my little company had been with them for over 21 years. Try that with a bank.

  5. Cosmicblue

    Voda have lost it - sadly

    I've just switched to EE after 20 years with Vodafone.

    Last year Voda did some sort of major systems upgrade (Oracle I suspect from the error messages at the time) that resulted in numerous (based on Voda's own forum) customers being orphaned by the billing system. So you are paying on direct debit, receiving a service but you can't get a monthly bill because 'your account isn't set up'. For 9 months I worked with Voda to get the issue resolved - speaking to help desks in Ireland, UK, Egypt and India - escalated to the highest technical authorities and was eventually told it was 'unfixable'. And Voda advised that even if I took a new number the error would still present itself because the database that contains the customer info is screwed. Hard to believe for such a company.

    So with a heavy heart I switched to EE with a new number (Voda were so messed up they couldn't produce a PAC), notifying the contacts is easy - fixing all the sites that use 2 FA, less so. The best bit of EE is that the call centres are in UK and Ireland, sensible people who go out of their way to get it fixed.

  6. Andre Carneiro

    Reflects my personal experience

    Been with Three for years and their data performance has been getting crappier pretty much everywhere I go, which is a shame.

    Tried Vodafone a couple of years ago and the shambles with C/S was such that even if they scored top of the ranking I still wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    EE 4G congestion

    EE's 4G has been unusable in parts of Glasgow city centre for about a year now. Where I regularly saw over 100Mbps a couple of years ago, I now get nothing. 100% signal strength and zero data.

    Most recent (and typical) Speedtest result - Ping 4,950ms, Jitter 1,900ms, Download 1.27Mbps, Upload 0.00Mbps.

    I went through a phase of reporting this to EE, they always replied they'd investigated and nothing was wrong. I went into the nearest EE Store and asked the staff what was wrong. They explained that it's network congestion and they themselves keep 4G turned off on their iPhones so that they can use data in the city centre. I did that and 3G does seem to work OK. Victims of their own success perhaps? So glad I'm paying for "double speed 4G"...

  8. Cuddles Silver badge

    Not quite accurate

    "despite coming bottom for data performance (taking the wooden spoon from O2), Hutchison’s 3"

    "O2 bagged the wooden spoon in every category"

    These two statements don't quite agree with each other. And, as the graphic in the article shows, the former appears to be the incorrect one, with 3 rather appropriately being ranked 3rd for data.

  9. phuzz Silver badge


    Anecdata: EE's SIM only data deals allow IPSec VPNs to work. Vodafone and and O2 don't (without a business subscription).

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Got yourselves to blame.

    Voda were the 1 and 2G kings for sure but have been total shit for what fifteen plus years? If this forum is anything to go by they've obviously been quite happily milking many long standing customers in the UK. Meanwhile the competition such as Three and now EE have cleaned up. Are Voda's customers all baby boomers or something, too much money to care about changing for 20 years and don't really know what a GB is anyway?

  11. Andy Neale
    Thumb Down

    Voda, Worst Customer Service

    Having managed corporate (multi-connection handset ) contracts with O2, Voda and EE, have to say Voda are the worst for customer service, inaccurate billing, failing to send bills at all, taking money by DD without notice, sneaky price rises and deliberate obstruction when trying to leave. Network performance is average but on customer service alone I'd never go near them again.

  12. Zmodem

    BT decided to take away t-mobile unlimited internet and replace it with 500MB maximum for the same £12 a month without telling anyone, and just banning you for going over 500MB for breaching the fair use policy, so I switch to 3 which is alot faster on 3G

    the average is 6Mbps, but can get up to 10Mbps easily when downloading off of steam and can maintain a steady 2.2MB/s download speed for a good hour


    4G is half the speed like always

    3 just needs to include steam downloading from midnight til 8 am if you buy a data passport, for desktop tethering/hot spots, for the 60% of the uk home broadband users which is'nt landline based

    £18 a month on 12 month sim only contract, you get 30GB hotspot, all you can eat netflix, minutes texts, and £5 a day data passports where data policy does'nt apply from the time of purchase until midnight

    3 needs to add password number identification to remove the adult filter on the internet like giff gaff does, being able to use data in 71 countries and has all the easy jet addons, credit cards are for poor people

    EE suck, they are pathetic like BT and not worth caring about, BT entire history is turning every business deal into a joke and walking around leaving the company bankrupt

  13. swansea_karl

    Excellent Network

    I moved from 3 to Vodafone last December after a recommendation from someone in work.

    Best decision ive made. Locally even in town centres 3 was patchy, Vodafone i find much better.

    Even when the local Vodafone mast was down, it was back operational within hours.

    Very impressed with Vodafone.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022