Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

O2 EU Roaming versus, Vodafone, Three, Asda, BT and Tesco. Dublin 13th July 2017

Level 28: Ingenious
  • 2080 Posts
  • 60 Topics
  • 48 Solutions

As you know one of my bug bearers with O2 is currently there Roaming in the EU which we all know that they throttle.

On the 15th June 2017, EU made changes that all the EU networks had to offer cross roaming free of charge, so you can use your own allowance in one of the Roaming EU countries.


Now I wanted to give it a Month to settle in before I did any testing to ensure that every network was complaint and that all the issues were sorted out.


So, on the 13th July, I went on a day visit to Dublin with 2 of my friends and a few Devices / Sim cards from different UK networks to do some testing and obviously a bit of eating and drinking too.


Now the test was not totally about speed, but about what was on offer from each network and how they all compared.


I took the following with me

O2 Contract                        iPhone 7+ Cat 9 Device Capable of 450Mbps DL

O2 PAYG                            iPhone 6+ Cat 6 Device Capable of 300Mbps DL

Three Contract                    iPhone 6 Cat 4 Device Capable of 150Mbps DL

Vodafone Contract             WileyFox Swift 2 Cat 4 Capable of 150Mpbs DL (Dual Sim Phone)

Tesco PAYG                      Wileyfox Swift 2 Cat 4 Capable of 150Mbps DL (Dual Sim Phone)

BT Mobile Contract            Wileyfox Swift 1 Cat 4 Capable of 150Mbps DL (Dual Sim Phone)

Asda PAYG                       Wileyfox Swift 1 Cat 4 Capable of 150Mbps DL (Dual Sim Phone)



1st Test Manchester Airport Terminal 3 (7AM) (Main networks only tested)

O2 Contract        4G Signal              8.52Mbps Down, 7.19Mbps Up

Three Contact     3G Signal              Data did not work for 2 Hours being in airport

Vodafone            4G Signal              15.96Mbps Down, 10.44Mbps up

BT Mobile           4G Signal              4.81Mbps Down, 8.54Mbps up

Winner at Airport:                           Vodafone,           2nd O2 Contract



2nd Test Dublin Airport Terminal 1 (9AM) (Only had time to run Main Network Tests)

O2 Contract        3G Only                0.25Mbps Down, 0.30Mbps Up

Three                  3G Only                7.46Mbps Down, 1.07Mbps Up

Vodafone            3G                        6.07Mbps Down, 3.93Mbps Up

BT Mobile           3G                        3.16Mbps Down, 1.64 Up

Winner at Dublin Airport:                Three,                   2nd Vodafone



3rd Test Centre of Dublin O’Connell Street (10.30AM)

O2 Contract        3G Only                 0.49Mbps Down, 0.58Mbps Up

O2 PAYG            3G Only                1.84Mbps Down, 0.44Mbps Up

Three                  3G Only                7.46Mbps Down, 1.07Mbps Up

Vodafone            4G                        26.30Mbps Down, 11.01Mbps Up

Tesco PAYG      3G Only                 2.09Mbps Down, 1.12Mbps Up

BT Mobile           3G                         4.59Mbps Down, 1.21Mbps Up

Asda Mobile       3G                         3.89Mbps Down, 0.46Mbps Up

Winner on O’Connell Street:           Vodafone,          2nd Three



4Th Test was done in the ILAC Shopping Centre in Dublin Centre (12 Noon)

O2 Contract        3G Only                0.50Mbps Down, 0.49Mbps Up

O2 PAYG            3G Only                4.44Mbps Down, 1.43Mbps Up

Three                  3G Only                0.86Mbps Down, 0.41Mbps Up

Vodafone            4G                         43.73Mbps Down, 26.74Mbps Up

Tesco PAYG       3G Only                2.25Mbps Down, 0.83Mbps Up

BT Mobile           4G                         13.56Mbps Down, 23.91Mbps Up

Asda Mobile       4G                          26.68Mbps Down, 21.70Mbps Up

Winner in ILAN Centre:                   Vodafone,          2nd Place Asda



5th Test was done in Burger King Centre of Dublin (2.40PM)

O2 Contract        3G Only                0.51Mbps Down, 1.04Mbps Up

O2 PAYG            3G Only                0.91Mbps Down, 0.18Mbps Up

Three                  3G Only                7.41Mbps Down, 0.35Mbps Up

Vodafone            4G                        16.66Mbps Down, 14.45Mbps Up

Tesco PAYG      3G Only                5.65Mbps Down, 0.64Mbps Up

BT Mobile           3G                        19.05Mbps Down, 3.53Mbps Up

Asda Mobile       3G                         9.16Mbps Down, 0.27Mbps Up

Winner in ILAN Centre:                  BT Mobile (3G), 2nd Place Vodafone (4G)



6th Test was done on the River Bank in Dublin Centre. Only 3 Tests ran (4.20PM)

O2 Contract        3G Only                0.57Mbps Down, 0.42Mbps Up

Three                  3G Only                0.52Mbps Down, 0.29Mbps Up

Vodafone            4G                        121.07 Down, 26.95 Up

Winner:                Vodafone, I’m not even awarding a 2nd Place as no network deserved it.



7th Place Was done at International Banking Centre Dublin (5.40PM)

O2 Contract          3G Only                 0.58Mbps Down, 1.01Mbps Up

O2 PAYG              3G Only                6.76Mbps Down, 1.10Mbps Up

Three                    3G Only                0.30Mbps Down, 0.35Mbps Up

Vodafone              3G                         2.70Mbps Down, 3.03Mbps Up

Tesco PAYG        3G Only                 1.46Mbps Down, 0.96Mbps Up

BT Mobile             4G                         1.16Mbps Down, 10.40Mbps Up

Asda Mobile         3G                         1.82Mbps Down, 0.23Mbps Up

Winner Int Bank Centre:                      O2 PAYG,            2nd Place Vodafone



8th and Final Test Dublin Airport at Gate waiting to Board Aircraft (8PM)

O2 Contract         3G Only                0.57Mbps Down, 0.56Mbps Up

O2 PAYG             3G Only                3.90Mbps Down, 1.12Mbps Up

Three                    3G Only                0.42Mbps Down, 0.35Mbps Up

Vodafone              4G                         26.22Mbps Down, 2.95Mbps Up

Tesco PAYG        3G Only                 0.08Mbps Down, 0.54Mbps Up

BT Mobile             3G                         1.72Mbps Down, 0.34Mbps Up

Asda Mobile         3G                          0.23Mbps Down, 00.07Mbps Up

Winner in ILAN Centre:                      Vodafone,          2nd Place O2 PAYG Just





O2 Contract is throttled beyond believe. You could see the phone trying its hardest and on many occasions starting the speed test I was getting 10+ Mbps, however throttling kicked in and it went straight to 0.50 mostly. I’m appalled that it’s still throttled badly and its shocking that 4G is still not available. What I can tell you though is that 4G is trying to Activate on O2, but it forces your phone back to 3G. before it would say Network Failure, now it says Network Registered, but would revert to 3G. so O2 need to just put a tick in a box, unlock 4G please and also remove the blasting throttling that your killing us with. Also, O2 Contract is throttled, but not PAYG, what is wrong with O2.


O2 PAYG was not throttled as I could see and speeds varied over Dublin. The main problem is that it would not clamp onto 4G no matter how hard I tried, I was able to connect to Metor and Three, however there wasn’t much difference in them both, the phone would always revert back to Three as its preferred network.


Three Contract, Wow this was all over the place, no data in Manchester and although it didn’t look throttled in Dublin itself, speeds were very hit and miss. The main problem is that Three latches onto its home Three IE network and just doesn’t really let go, Three IE seems somewhat hit and miss and I think that most of the masts are just congested.


BT Mobile, put in a good performance but couldn’t clamp onto 4G much, which was the same as Asda Mobile. The main reason is there network of choice which again is Three IE. Data rates were all over the place. Lots of places were just congested, but no data restrictions were in place for what I could see


Asda Mobile were the same as BT Mobile. No restrictions but struggled on the preferred network which again was Three IE. Shame really as was impressed that a Supermarket PAYG got 4G overseas.


Tesco’s was just hampered with the lack of no 4G. It was never no clear winner, but there wasn’t a restriction in place which is good for a Supermarket Network.


Clear Winner has to be Vodafone. No matter how you look at it, it just won from the word go. It was pretty solid all over on 4G, just reverted to 3G in shops etc, but the 121Mbps download on 4G just shows that they have truly meant what they said and no restrictions at all. The choice of network was Vodafone IE which clearly showed that they have spent money in the network in the city and I’ve no doubt that If the sim card was in my iPhone 7+, the data would have been much higher


Position                UK Network           3G/4G in EU        EU Network used 

1st Place               Vodafone          (4G and 3G)     (Vodafone IE)

2nd Place              BT Mobile           (4G and 3G)      (Three IE and Metor)

3rd Place               Asda                   (4G and 3G)      (Three IE and Metor)

4th Place               O2 PAYG            (3G Only)          (Three IE and Metor)

5th Place               Three                  (3G Only)           (Three IE) (No Data in MCR Airport Data all over place)

6th Place               O2 Contract        (3G Only)           (Three IE and Metor) (Throttled)


I really do hope you enjoyed reading this. O2 Please please please, enable 4G roaming and stop Throttling, its making you look like cheap skates and bad as a network for over seas.

And what are you throttling only O2 Contract customers?

Need Help, Just ask. We are one big Family here in the o2 Forum.
Use iPhone XS Max dual sim, SE, Honor 10, IPad Pro 11, Apple Watch 4 LTE, 100+ Mpbs Barrier and a Record Player.

Message 1 of 843
842 REPLIES 842

Level 94: Supreme
  • 147499 Posts
  • 638 Topics
  • 28333 Solutions
Good job mate slight_smile
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.
Message 2 of 843

Level 28: Ingenious
  • 2080 Posts
  • 60 Topics
  • 48 Solutions

Thanks @MI5 I wanted to be fair and gave O2 every chance, I ran speed tests more but always got no more than 0.50Mbps really.  They have uped it since 15th June 2017 which before then was 0.30Mbps.  So O2 clearly know what they are doing.


Never had any restrictions on Tescos and O2 PAYG was the one that confused me a little as its clearly not throttled.


The ones that pay more on contract are severaly penalised big time and O2 dont seem to care to me.


Vodafone was the most impressive,  just solid perfomance all day and I was able to use over 2.5GB of data in one day no issues.  o2 I manage a whopping 88.3mb is all i could achieve.



Need Help, Just ask. We are one big Family here in the o2 Forum.
Use iPhone XS Max dual sim, SE, Honor 10, IPad Pro 11, Apple Watch 4 LTE, 100+ Mpbs Barrier and a Record Player.

Message 3 of 843

Level 76: Forum Legend
  • 37397 Posts
  • 239 Topics
  • 1706 Solutions

Super work, @darrengf!


And don't the results just suck as far as O2 is concerned.Thinking


I shall keep the 4 other O2 phones, all PAYG, on PAYG then, it seems - they are in Europe at the moment, some have text only, data, or call-only bundles, but all have O2 Family... O2 truly have us by the curt and shorlies, I do believe.

Message 4 of 843

Level 28: Ingenious
  • 2080 Posts
  • 60 Topics
  • 48 Solutions

@pgn Thank you and yep they sure do.


O2 are making themselve look cheap, They are imposing to harsh of a restriction.  I have 30 GB and it clearly says on my new contarct 30GB or UK and EU roaming, unlimited sms and mins in EU and UK, Its in black and white.


But can I use all the data, I can only get to use 80+ Mb in one day,  I wouldnt even get through 1Gb in 10 Days at this rate.  Its shocking for 2017 and not what EU intended it to be.

Vodafone have shown how its done and I aplaud them for this.  I didnt have any issues with them in Dublin.


The last time I complained I was told it was down to the Networks overseas. I sent them all my findings and I got its gone to another team Ive credtied you £20.  but no explanation.  Ive complained on 4 ocasions now to no avail.  I get the same, Its down to the over seas networks.


So ive tried everything, I really love o2, but this is my main cause of complaint, the reason why I got a Vodafone sim card, (so O2 lost one to Vodafone already, but as O2 and Vodafone share nearlly all the masts, the signal in all areas are near perfect to each other, so ther there is a dilema next year to swap my main to vodafone now, which is a shame as ive been with o2 over 10+ years.

Need Help, Just ask. We are one big Family here in the o2 Forum.
Use iPhone XS Max dual sim, SE, Honor 10, IPad Pro 11, Apple Watch 4 LTE, 100+ Mpbs Barrier and a Record Player.

Message 5 of 843

Level 94: Supreme
  • 93428 Posts
  • 610 Topics
  • 6996 Solutions

Truly awful results and so much for denials of throttling. Yet again,reasons are ever decreasing for getting an O2 contract phone. Not once they they achieve any more than mediocrity and speeds everywhere throttled to around 0.5Mbps so there is no justification for getting a contract phone and expecting speeds to be not much more than sending a letter by Royal Mail.

How the hell do they justify the much better speeds on P&G?

Having moved one number away from O2, the contract phone may well follow. It also beggars belief that MVNOs perform better. O2 are taking us all for damn MUGS! 

Thank you for the research Darren which confirms what we suspected would be the case but figures are worse than anyone suspected I would think. 

Message 6 of 843

Level 28: Ingenious
  • 2080 Posts
  • 60 Topics
  • 48 Solutions

Thanks @jonsie  Yes you can see how much its throttled.


Every test I did, you can see the speed test app started at a decent speed, but then throttling kicked in at 1 second or even less and wham and it was straight to 0.50 average.  The needle was jumping all over to try and get higher, I so just just wanted to help it,.


It was trying its hardest to like get over a wall, but O2 was holding it back.


Yes O2 PAYG and Tescos shocked me the most with no throttling.


My friend still has her old O2 PAYG where she tops up £10 and gets 300 sms, 500mb data and £10.  She was getting loads better than me. 


O2 contract customers to me are being taken for Mugs big time, O2 know it and are not one bit interested.


Only thing I can say is that in Feb 2017 which is the last time I went to Dublin, O2 Contract got a massive 0.30MBps so its now increased to 0.50Mbps.  ponitless as pics still failed to send and maps etc still failed to load.  Shockingly poor

Need Help, Just ask. We are one big Family here in the o2 Forum.
Use iPhone XS Max dual sim, SE, Honor 10, IPad Pro 11, Apple Watch 4 LTE, 100+ Mpbs Barrier and a Record Player.

Message 7 of 843

Level 28: Ingenious
  • 2080 Posts
  • 60 Topics
  • 48 Solutions

@Martin-O2 @MercedesS @Marjo


Can some one please look into this urgently as this has clearly gone on far too long. O2 are taking its contract customers for a ride and Ive proven it over and over again.  More complaints on twitter and all you get is o2 blaiming over seas networks.


What do i have to do, send my findings to ever overseas networks and EU / Ofcom to get something sorted.


We just want the throttling to stop, If you say we cant use 4G fine,  but we dont even get 3G speeds at all.  Im paying for 30GB of EU data on my brand new contract and cant use it. 


We all love o2, but this is now a joke and enough is enough.


What else do you want from us, and why is O2 penalising contract customers.



Need Help, Just ask. We are one big Family here in the o2 Forum.
Use iPhone XS Max dual sim, SE, Honor 10, IPad Pro 11, Apple Watch 4 LTE, 100+ Mpbs Barrier and a Record Player.

Message 8 of 843

Level 94: Supreme
  • 124511 Posts
  • 828 Topics
  • 7529 Solutions

@darrengfAmazing piece of research. Thanks for your time and effort.

Appalled at the results for O2 Contract customers (like me!)

Not happy at all to see them in last place. I hope O2 see how badly they perform against Vodafone ...and more importantly care enough about their customers to do something about it

Veritas Numquam Perit

Girl in a jacket
Message 9 of 843

Level 28: Ingenious
  • 2080 Posts
  • 60 Topics
  • 48 Solutions

@Cleoriff Thank you.


I just don't know what else to do any more.  Why are o2 treating us this badly. Especially on Contract. 


All ive ever wanted is for them to come clean and say yes we throttle all roaming. And put it on their website.  


Im fed up of being 2nd best,  I can't use data overseas because of throttling.  They knew EU law was changing, but still don't care one bit about their customers.  I'm fed up of them blaming foreign networks all the time.


what is seriously going on at O2 now,  they used to be leaders in all new and exciting things, but now it's gone stale.  Nothing new is coming out, other networks are now starting to leave o2 behind them.  I've even noticed that o2 of com complaints have started to creep up.  Tesco is still rock bottom in complaints and that's run by o2. So what's going on in the big o2?

Need Help, Just ask. We are one big Family here in the o2 Forum.
Use iPhone XS Max dual sim, SE, Honor 10, IPad Pro 11, Apple Watch 4 LTE, 100+ Mpbs Barrier and a Record Player.

Message 10 of 843