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Why is the O2 network so bad?

BearHug
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So a few months ago I joined O2 to take advantage of the free EU roaming and also the Virgin Media free upgrade. I'm paying £10 a month for 30GB of data, which is now double to 60GB thanks to the Volt deal. While I am pretty happy with the price and the amount of data I am getting, I am not at all happy with the data speeds I am getting, at all! It's basically unusable.

 

I recently took a visit to North Wales and visited many different towns over a 3 days weekend but the internet was pretty much completely unusable. Despite having full 4G signal in most places, some speed tests were completely failing, eventually got some speed tests work and got between 0.01 Mbps and 0.8 Mbps down.

 

In Liverpool, standing outside central station, a speed test was 0.06 Mbps down on full 4G signal. Outside M&S arena, on half 4G signal, speed tests completely fail. I tried for an hour, couldn't get on the internet at all. Even throughout the city where there was 5G, the speed tests didn't really get any better than 5 Mbps.

 

In Manchester, standing in St Peters Square, again on full signal, speed test are typically under 1 Mbps down. Moving around the city the speed tests can improve to 10 Mbps, but for 4G in 2022 even that's very poor.

 

In Warrington, again the best download was 3.3 Mbps, with an upload of 0.16 Mbps upload.

 

The train line between Liverpool and Manchester, while there is always coverage, the internet is completely unusable for most of the journey.

 

I was almost starting to believe my phone was broken, but having taken two trips to Europe since joining O2, I don't believe it is. Having spent a time in four European countries, I haven't seen a speed test less than 64 Mbps, with speeds up to 155 Mbps 

 

So why is O2 so terrible in the UK?

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MI5
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@BearHug 

Simple answer is an oversubscribed network.

Try dropping to 3g and you may find it faster.

I have no affiliation whatsoever with O2 or any subsidiary companies. Comments posted are entirely of my own opinion. This is not Customer Service so we are unable to help with account specific issues.
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BearHug
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I totally agreed with that.

 

That doesn't happen overnight though.

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MI5
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For sure.

More investment is required and fast.

It's pretty much the same all over the country at the moment.

I have no affiliation whatsoever with O2 or any subsidiary companies. Comments posted are entirely of my own opinion. This is not Customer Service so we are unable to help with account specific issues.
Please select the post that helped you best and mark as the solution. This helps other members in resolving their issues faster. Thank you.
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Enlli
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They need to do what Vodafone have done. Taken their 2100Mhz 3G allocation and reputposed it for 4G

This is not O2 and we are all customers here similar to yourself and cannot answer account type queries.
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notdodgy
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Just joined O2 and also find the capacity / coverage means it is not worth staying.

Unfortunately it's part of a Virgin deal.

 

I used to work on the UKs first broadband network so have first hand experience of network congestion issues.

 

When congested, networks drop packets. 

The problem is a packet is part of a message so the request gets repeated. Like pressing reload on a partly downloaded web page.

The repeat requests make the congestion worse.

 

This simply tells me that O2 are not managing network capacity. 

 

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Enlli
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Over 3 million Virgin subscribers have come on board this month. That's not going to help 

This is not O2 and we are all customers here similar to yourself and cannot answer account type queries.
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madasaf1sh
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To be fair it isn't only o2, its all the networks, as they are trying to build out coverage, but are been hampered by lack of backhaul availability in some areas, as well as the lack of upgrades to the physical network due to lack of chips and infrastructure to actually put in place.. 


And to be fair over in the proper side of the pennines aka Yorkshire tongue , in the centre of Leeds yesterday, I was getting 200Mbps+ on 5G, and same when I got to Sheffield although at home I have gigabit BB so dont use mobile data, but I also live in a stone built terrace house, with thick walls... but in a speedtest using OpenSignal, I am still get 10Mbps so still within tolerances... and when BT can only provide 35Mbps if I was to use them as my ISP, then its not too shabby 

--
iPhone 15 Pro Max - o2 and Spusu
Xperia 1V - Spusu

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This is not customer services and we dont have access to your account
I do not work for o2 or any VMo2 /Telefonica/Liberty Global Company
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RedWeasel
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This is really interesting to read as I have noticed appalling coverage recently, in comparison to others in the family on other providers who have excellent coverage.

Currently have no mobile data due a non working local mast (two days now), cannot send texts or make calls away from the house.

Oh, and they've just stopped doubling my data via Volt even though benefits are enabled.

Had enough of the shoddy service to be honest.

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pgn
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See the answer to your other query re Volt, @RedWeasel - hopefully it's only temporary, unlike your nearby mast - took about 5 weeks to fix one near me, and the My Network app does a sterling job of keeping me updated about it, once I had registered and set it up to watch over O2 for me! 

https://www.o2.co.uk/apps/my-network

 

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