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Speed and coverage

Pipefish
Level 1: Joiner
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I’ve just switched back to O2, I was with them for years, a good 10 or 15 years back. Since then I’ve been with Three, who despite the reputation were very very good. Constant, consistent 4G signal and 5G at home (which is in a semi-rural location). Reliable data speeds pretty much everywhere I went. Speeds on the mobile network were always 50Meg+ on 4G and 5G and I’d regularly see 150meg odd or more. I’m used to streaming music in my car or work truck whilst driving around the countryside and having no interruptions.

I changed network because Three don’t support the Apple Watch. Vodafone were out because they’re overpriced and have weird speed tiers. EE were out because they’re incredibly expensive. I don’t want an MVNO, so that left O2 who were very good 15 years ago.

I’ve been with O2 for just over a week. Speeds are terrible, sub 3meg on 4G usually and where I’ve seen 5G it’s been 20meg max. Streaming in my car and work truck constantly pauses, buffers and stops.

There is constant switching between 3G and 4G when travelling, which causes interruptions because a lot of the time when I see the 3G symbol I might as well give up hope.

Is this just bad luck? Location dependent? Or is this the norm?

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gmarkj
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I tend to find that o2 offer good coverage but are not the fastest. It tends to be a little better than 3Mbps, but nothing compared to 3/EE.
Speeds will always vary depending on time, location and number of users so it will always be a little bit of a lottery.
We tend to recommend getting PAYG sims for all of the networks to see who offers the best balance of coverage and speed.
I suppose ultimately it comes down to what your preference is - download speed or the Apple watch...

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Pipefish
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I’m not after high speeds, I think that’s kind of pointless in a mobile device unless you’re tethering a lot.

I’m just after enough to be able to stream music, radio and the occasional YouTube or Netflix video reliably. Which don’t require that much in the way of speed.

I’m going to stick with it for now, I still have 7 days left to get out! I’m very surprised though as O2 were really good when I was on them originally.

I’m assuming it’s mostly congestion and hoping it’ll get better.

My only options are high prices with Vodafone or EE or trading my cellular watch for the Bluetooth only model and going back to Three.

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