* Posts by Cynical user

35 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Jan 2011

BT confirms it's switching off 3G in UK from Jan next year

Cynical user

Re: Coverage

Sorry to say, but you're confusing a radio technology (2G GSM, 3G UMTS, 4G LTE or 5G-NR) with frequencies which do indeed have coverage characteristics.

4G on 800Mhz has a much different coverage footprint to 4G on 2600Mhz from the same location.

Equally a 3G900 footprint would broadly match 4G800 and 3G2100 be similar to 4G2100.

Cynical user

Anywhere that 3G2100 is available, 2G1800 should be also - as a bare minimum.

4G1800 and/or 4G800 would usually overlap except in some rare cases.

Cynical user

Re: 2/3G going the way of the Dodo...

Not a frequency matter, just that 3G radio technology is old and has some downfalls compared with 2G & 4G.

The same radio spectrum is far more efficiently used on 4G or 5G.

Cynical user

Re: Not just 3G phones

2G1800 coverage would exceed that of 3G2100 by design - part of the reason for 3G switch-off is the cell-breathing "feature" that neither 2G nor 4G suffer from.

Cynical user

It's not the tech, it's the frequency

Many comments bemoaning the loss of 3G coverage as if it's 3G tech that causes this. As a radio technology, 3G is woefully inefficient compared with 4G - but coverage is massively dictated by the frequency band, EE operated 3G on 2100Mhz and the coverage pattern from 2G1800/4G1800 should at least match that if not exceed.

Low-band 4G800 deployment should easily exceed it.

UK emergency services take DIY approach amid 12-year wait for comms upgrade

Cynical user

Re: 5G though?

5G coverage on 700Mhz is no more difficult to rollout than 4G on 800Mhz - which ESN is heavily reliant on. The same antennas, radioheads & feeder lines are used - just different radio modules.

Cynical user

Re: Record incompetence

The 3G rollout was largely adding new radio kit & antenna swaps onto existing sites. EE's rural 4G rollout is a lot more than that - between SRN, S4GI & ESN rollouts, it's building a raft of new sites in remote areas where there's previously been no coverage. Totally different scale, and you're trying to compare apples with oranges.

Commecial customers (you & I) are massively benefitting from a 4G rollout that - as I understand - is meeting all the contractual obligations of ESN.

O2 UK overcharged exiting customers by £40.7m over 7+ years: Ofcom slams senior managers, fines it £10.5m

Cynical user

Re: O2 Engineers

Not all radio site faults require engineers physically onsite. Not by a country mile.

Obvious example - software issues which may be resolved by remote reinstall.

Some Brits reckon broadband got worse after lockdown – but that's just what happens when you're online 12 hours straight

Cynical user

Re: Unfortunately

and the first place to look for an outage is to ask on Facebook... "is ne1 else having problems?"

Brit MP demands answers from Fujitsu about Horizon IT system after Post Office staff jailed over accounting errors

Cynical user

Re: WTF?

The Private Eye was also covering this story for many months/years before the mainstream media showed any interest - and did an in-depth blow-by-blow special on it a couple of months back now.

Amazon warehouse workers sue over safety concerns as several contract COVID-19

Cynical user

Re: "Nobody saw it coming"

Many years ago (10+) we had a problem with a pair of branded hair straighteners from Amazon, which turned out to be fake. Amazon couldn't have cared less, and only woke up when we got Trading Standards involved.

To this day, we've not bought anything else from Amazon. They must have lost the cost of the straighteners hundreds of times over in lost sales. It's sometimes quite hard to find alternative sellers for items, but we've not failed yet - sometimes it may cost a few ££ more, but I'm quite happy to do that as long as the extra cost isn't excessive.

BoJo buckles: UK govt to cut Huawei 5G kit use 'to zero by 2023' after pressure from Tory MPs, Uncle Sam

Cynical user

Re: Is it wrong to be in favour of this?

Huawei's radio kit is actually quite good. Are we now to spend the next few years ripping out perfectly good Huawei kit from our thousands of radio sites, and installing inferior Nokia/Ericsson kit instead? Sounds like it.

Facebook iOS app silently turns on your phone camera. Ah, relax – it's just a bug, lol!?

Cynical user

Re: WhatsApp too?

WhatsApp has uses for group-based text messages and also photo/video messaging, although the "free WiFi" generation seem content to use it for all messaging too. Aye, we have this amazing invention called text messages....

On Android at least, you can nail down the permissions to gallery and keyboard only. Deny call and camera permissions and hey presto. But you're right, wherever FB are involved.....

Virgin Media dumps BT's mobile network to hop into bed with Vodafone

Cynical user

Re: Well that's me looking for a new provider...

I sympathise, I truly do. But anyone who wants to be on a particular network really is best off choosing a deal with that particular network. Virtual operators good for being cheap&cheerful, and not a great deal else.

Without knowing where you are specifically, it's quite possible that EE would give you even better 4G coverage if there's 800Mhz in your area.....

Cynical user

Re: I am sooooo looking forward to this ...... NOT!!!!

Absolutely - there's consistent reports on the VM Forums of provisioning-level issues with SIMs dropping to "No service", roaming not working, and number porting especially.

Of course customer forums will always have the bad examples rather than "it's working great" but still.

Mobile operators to be stung for 10% of annual turnover if coverage falls short, digital sec warns

Cynical user

Networks, you must do this. Networks, you must do that.

And in the next breath... networks, we're going to impose price restrictions on this. Networks, we're going to stop you charging for that.

Three UK slammed for 'ripping off' loyal mobile customers by £32.4m per year

Cynical user

Re: Best choice here

Others have partly picked this up, but...

O2 used to have an app called TuGo which supported SMS over WiFi but obviously wasn't native. That app was canned a few years back. O2 & Voda's WiFi calling now is native but is calling only and doesn't support text.

EE & 3 WiFi is native and supports text. In other words, "it just works", and on EE at least also has seamless handover to & from 4G coverage.

Two years ago, 123-Reg and NamesCo decided to register millions of .uk domains for customers without asking them. They just got the renewal reminders...

Cynical user

Also in the case of 123-reg (who I registered my .co.uk with but migrated away a couple of years back), remove your saved card details. Or if you're fortunate enough to have one that's expiring before the renewal date....

Vodafone urges UK.gov to get on with it and conclude review into Huawei

Cynical user

Quite possibly - Huawei RAN in urban areas, Nokia RAN in rural areas.

UK industry calls for delay of IR35 off-payroll tax rules to private sector

Cynical user

Re: which the government says will cost some £1.3bn by 2023-24.

Some contract roles I've come across in the public sector are already increasing the daily rate by 25-30% to compensate for IR35. I'd imagine this is pretty common.

Still, as long as the "tax received" inbox claims a bonus, then they're not worried about the "cost of projects" inbox expanding.

EE switches on 5G: Oi, where are your Mates? Yes, we mean the Huawei phones

Cynical user

The coverage obligations that come with EE's ESN contract aren't far short ;-)

Cynical user

@Martin - the only problem with that argument is that until the whole country has 100% geographic coverage, technology stalls.

Oh 4G, I'm speechless: EE network outage smacks rare breed of customer that talks into their mobile phone

Cynical user

Re: Coming to UK soon and will need a prepaid SIM

Well I'm not so sure. Thinking of the Highlands & Islands as a case-in-point, Voda & O2 historically shared their rollout and were first to cover many routes and areas. O2 went a bit further in some parts of the far north and for many years their geographic coverage was a few % more than VF. All based on 2G.

More recently EE have started to utilise their 800Mhz spectrum along with their 4G-ESN coverage obligations, and this gap has closed in most, if not all, areas. I'd speculate the coverage figures are pretty close now between VO2-2G & EE-4G, I suspect EE 4G has a marginal edge - providing you have a device & account capable of accessing the 800Mhz band.

It's 2019 and a WhatsApp call can hack a phone: Zero-day exploit infects mobes with spyware

Cynical user

Re: Needs to be on a phone to function? WTF???

Much sympathy with this.. WhatsApp is great for two things..

1: Exchanging texts with international contacts, avoiding international charges for both parties.

2: Exhchanging photos and videos - mobile plans include unlimited texts, but charge per message for anything else.

But for everything else... there's this great thing called "text messages" and "phone calls"

TalkTalk, UK2 sitting in a tree, not T-A-L-K-I-N-G: Hosting biz cut off after ISP broadband upgrade

Cynical user

Re: Disbelief

Relatives of mine have TT, and hardly seem to go a few months without having some problem with either TT or BTO. Some episodes have gone on for weeks. They live in a cabled area and Virgin didn't work out at that much more over the year, but it's cheaper innit

UK mobile operator Three launches Superdrug Mobile MVNO

Cynical user

Re: Rubbish Coverage

You don't NEED a VoLTE handset on 3, they do use coverage layers other than 800Mhz. But that is a layer that EE & 3 both use for extended coverage for sure.

BT thinks EE customers will FLEE from enlarged four-play mobe biz

Cynical user

Re: MVNO to NO

I don't see that 2 competing "brands" using the same underlying infrastructure will be a major problem... what I'm more intrigued by is how BT/EE and 3/O2 are going to unscramble the CTIL/MBNL network-share conundrum.

EE squashes Orange UK: France Telecom's been 'destroying it for years'

Cynical user

Re: Orange might have many customers..

It does seem that EE are slowly removing all the "value-added" freebie add-ons. Business customers recently lost Everyphone & Single Number services. Enterprise and big corporates are getting more comvergence-type stuff setup, but that aside for Joe Public...it's slowly becoming all about the network and "being the best" in that one department.

Whether that fits for you, is a whole debate.

Then there were 3: Another UK mobile network borged ...

Cynical user

Absolutely right... except for a couple of small details.

WIthin the "CTIL" setup, the install and operation of the actual network kit is done through the shared "single grid". In the west, Vodafone are responsible for the "joint" network, in the east it's O2. (Except London).

Within MBNL, the 3G is completely shared, 2G & 4G done separately by 3/EE. So unravelling this little conundrum could be one of the more interesting parts of any 3/O2 merger.

Cynical user

Re: Range v Capacity

Those issues genuinely shouldn't happen anymore, where they do - they can be as much todo with the device as the network. I used to have chronic "handover" problems like you describe on an old-2G only phone..they would only ever have been solved when the ex-Orange network code was switched off completely.

On a modern 3G-device, none of the above - totally seamless and the only clues to the two network codes actually in use are geeky ones!

Mind, if an Orange-2G cell currently covers the whole building, then you'll eventually get full 2G/3G/4G inside once the site is migrated into MBNL-proper.

Three offers free US roaming, confirms stealth 4G rollout

Cynical user


Slightly amused by the whole "3 have signal where no-one else does", "only EE works here" etc comments..

3's RAN (radio network) is MBNL, co-operated with EE. As part of the EE network-integration, quite a few thousand ex-Orange sites are being integrated into MBNL. So in the short term, EE users have access to the MBNL network plus the ex-Orange estate. Once the integration is complete (last target was end-2014?), EE/Orange/T-M/3 will be using the same 3G network.

On 3G speeds, HSPA is being rolled out across MBNL, but in any given area there is a chance that there are ex-Orange sites not MBNL'd yet. They can drag 3G speeds down for EE users, until those sites are migrated. 3 users simply won't be accessing them for now.

EE extends network: Soon, 1 million users will pay us for 4G

Cynical user

Re: Maybe Not..

It's probably only to be expected that disconnections said what they did... they're not exactly going to get people calling up because they're happy with Orange/EE coverage. Disconnections agents tend to speak to people not happy with the operator's service for some reason..

As for the mobile coverage going down the pan, in the first year or so of "two networks running as one", there were always going to be teething problems as the whole roaming/inter-network handover technology was rolled out, and then became seamless. Oh, and the customer-facing staff are far removed from those actually involved in the network. There were some big problems in Northern Ireland too, but those are now almost resolved.

In other words, network service did get worse for a while before it got better - omelette and eggs theory applies. Oh, and I'm not an EE 4G user... 4G is definitely priced for early-adopters which I'm not. But I am seriously impressed with EE's network rollout on 3G & 4G, and a VERY satisfied Orange user on 2G & 3G... having first-hand experience of one of the Cornerstone networks and being very aware of how far behind they are.

Mind, that's one of the other problems - EE (the 4G brand) is competing with Orange & T-Mobile who have excellent 2G & 3G. (cue people with coverage problems on those networks to reply....). Having said all that... competition is a great thing, and the UK telecoms market would not be where it is now if it wasn't for EE very seriously "upping the game".

Rant over!

Long-suffering Virgin Media victims see no end to vid PURGATORY

Cynical user

Virgin TV OnDemand

Remember of course, Virgin have two different versions of iPlayer/OnDemand

TiVo connects to the standard online iPlayer and streams the same content as at bbc.co.uk/iplayer/tv via a dedicated 10Mb line

V/V+ content is specially encoded by the broadcasters for VM and stored on the local headend.. then delivered to your box as a conventional TV channel.

(One of many reasons I'm quite happy with V+ and specifically don't want TiVo)

Virgin close to releasing long-delayed TiVo app

Cynical user

Re: Too much TiVo

Except the HD variants don't carry regional opt-outs... ok that's probably the only difference, but still.

As for the unsubscribed channels, they're greyed out in the full-screen TV guide, just showing in the mini-guide.

BBC kills off WML site

Cynical user

Not just older phones

The BBC WML site was also very good for the "cheap and cheerful" low graphics content, especially useful if roaming abroad or you just wanted the information quickly without fuss.

Don't get me wrong, mobile web is a fantastic thing and times do move on - but the BBC's wasn't the only decent WML site that remained damn useful. There are times when "big and fancy" is a good thing, there are times that "cheap and cheerful" - or at least the choice - is also a good thing.

I'm only glad several other equally useful "WAP" sites remain functional, useful, alive and kicking. Ok you don't get the full and fancy functionality of the "mobile web", but just like some older phone models - you get "the basics", delivered quickly and without fuss.

If the development costs have already been spent, well... mine's the one with the "luddite" cap in the corner who believes in change for the sake of improvement but not for the sake of it.