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

darrengf
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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

 

 

Findings

 

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?

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Beenherebefore
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@darrengf wrote:

what is seriously going on at O2?


I would doubt that even O2 know the answer to that question.

"My life is a facsimile of a sham"
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madasaf1sh
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Out of curiosity, what network where you latching onto when in Dublin? Across all the devices?
- Xperia 1V - o2 and Spusu
- Pixel 8 Pro - o2 and Vodafone UK
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darrengf
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Hi @madasaf1sh. If you go first page to the bottom of my article it advises what each SIM card prefered, but other networks were tested with the same results. And networks names shown.

 

ive also been to 5 other Eu countries and tried all the networks there, there all the same speeds.  It's not the networks I can assure you.  Becuase o2 PAYG and Tesco were on same network at same time and they got much better speeds intact there isn't one throttling bit I can see on o2 PAYG and Tesco.  BT mobile and Asda were also using same networks as o2 contract and again got much faster speeds.

 

the only phone sim I didn't bother trying another network on was Vodafone and this is becuase Vodafone was achieving speeds of 121Mbps.  

 

All other sims sims however were asked to try other networks so I was fair on everything.

 

In France last year o2 contract connected to SFR, Orange Fr and Bouygues. All networks at 0.30Mbps until 50MB was used then 0.10Mbps after.

in Spain I connected to Orange ES and Movistar.  Speeds were 0.30Mbps for first 50 and then 0.10Mbps.

i was in Ireland 2 other occasions last year and Feb this year.  Speeds 0.30Mbps and then 0.10Mbps after 50MB useage.

 

other contract sims tested with same results,  complaints on twitter and forum with same.

 

o2 have 4G roaming agreements in EU but not to consumer, only business selected partners.

 

Terms and Conditions have recently been updated showing that consumer and PAYG will also soon have 4G connection, but no one knows where and at what speeds.

 

i can tell you the networks in Belgium I tried, Netherlands and Germany are all same regarding speed.  I've now connected to over 15 EU networks with all the same speed.

 

hope this helps. 

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jonsie
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Well if, as has been proposed elsewhere, TuGo becomes available on payandgo, no way will I ever be in another contract with O2. I'm no one's mug, especially when paying for it! 

But no worries, soon they will no longer have any customer service to deal with the flak! 

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/o2-aura-artificial-intelligence-ai-cus...

O2 has announced plans to introduce an AI capable of performing the same job as customer service staff.

The voice recognition system, which is called Aura, was unveiled by the mobile operator’s parent company Telefonica at MWC this week.

It’s expected to launch in the UK next year, and will enable the company to cut customer service costs.

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Anonymous
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Many thanks @darrengf for the hard work! These o2 roaming "speeds" have been like this for many years with o2 Travel, soooo disappointed they seem to be the norm going forward! Seriously have too consider jumping ship if this continues, which is a shame, but I'm away in Europe 5 times a year and this will just annoy me when there are better options out there i.e. Vodafone.

 

Like many have said, I just done get it, why aren't they listening???

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Wa10
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Very disappointing results indeed. 😞

 

Many thanks @darrengf for taking the time and putting in the effort. 

 

I'm going to be roaming later on this week, first time since taking out my O2 contract, so very disappointed by what you have found. I knew there was no 4G, but was looking forward to at least being able to get online...some of those speeds are like going back to the dark old days of dial-up. Thanks for the advance warning though, as given I was intending on relying on my phone to locate our house/apartment over there, it could have proven disasterous! 

 

Actually quite grateful for once that the family I'm travelling with have contracts with another network (despite spending many hours trying to convince them to switch to O2!) so we have backup plan in place.

 

 

I work for O2, however any advice or opinion given in this community should be considered my own and not necessarily representative of Telefónica UK Limited.
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madasaf1sh
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HI Darrengf,

I couldn't see the networks on my ipad when i replied hence my question..

Interesting to note that in Ireland everyone uses the old o2 network for roaming (now 3 Ireland) and meteor, from memory Meteor has always been woeful, even with a local sim (wonder if i still have it), from my time in Ireland for work...

This doesnt excuse the woeful speeds though, and will be checking this week in Germany and at the end of August when im on the west coast of Ireland...

Will have to do a comparision between my work phone and my personal devices.

 

I have never had any issues whilst roaming all over the globe on o2, from the crappy PH networks to Hong Kong all the way to Hawaii... So wonder if there is some profiling going on. 

- Xperia 1V - o2 and Spusu
- Pixel 8 Pro - o2 and Vodafone UK
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Martin-O2
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A very detailed piece of analysis here @darrengf! I've passed this on to the reset of the team for review. 

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MI5
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@Martin-O2 wrote:

A very detailed piece of analysis here @darrengf! I've passed this on to the reset of the team for review. 


Out of interest Martin, is this the same team that told you that no throttling would take place when you asked the other week for us?

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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>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
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jonsie
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Hopefully not our they need to refer to the newly revised handbook for 2017.

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