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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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MI5
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Neither am I using o2 now.
EE is my choice but as an o2 customer I still want answers to the "why".
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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adamtemp64
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@evantkh post 116 o2 admission of throttling that is the official statement https://community.o2.co.uk/t5/Pay-Monthly-and-Pay-Go/O2-EU-Roaming-versus-Vodafone-Three-Asda-BT-and... o2 admit it end of.

 

Also look up the post above that contains the eu regs controling it post 156 https://community.o2.co.uk/t5/Pay-Monthly-and-Pay-Go/O2-EU-Roaming-versus-Vodafone-Three-Asda-BT-and...

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evantkh
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@adamtemp64 wrote:

@evantkh post 116 o2 admission of throttling that is the official statement https://community.o2.co.uk/t5/Pay-Monthly-and-Pay-Go/O2-EU-Roaming-versus-Vodafone-Three-Asda-BT-and... o2 admit it end or story


@adamtemp64

 

I don't think O2 has explicitly admitted to that. They just say temporary measures but didn't say what the measures are.

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alpine
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The main thing that is unsure is whether the throttling to that level is deliberate, or if there is some configuration producing unexpected overthrottling.

 

Because making it totally embarrassingly unusable cannot have been the goal, surely. 

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evantkh
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@alpine wrote:

The main thing that is unsure is whether the throttling to that level is deliberate, or if there is some configuration producing unexpected overthrottling.

 

Because making it totally embarrassingly unusable cannot have been the goal, surely. 


 

 

I would say that tests of browsing websites and using applications are more appropriate than doing speed tests as it should talk about user experience rather than just the speed.

 

About the "traffic management policy", I would doubt whether it is really a part of the terms or just some documentations.

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alpine
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I was in Switzerland France and Italy early June. Before the EU law changed, so still on the 1.99 a day O2 Travel. So this was not "protective limitation due to people going bonkers" and it predates the switch. Though perhaps they were preparing...

 

I could not use the internet - I mean it was there, but pretty much you'd send requests and not get responses. Wait wait wait... timeout. Not browse a website, not refresh the twitter app or facebook. One time out of 10 data would trickle back...

 

I tried uploading a photo to facebook at least 20 times over one afternoon. Not a big image. Should take seconds. It would try for 15+ minutes, then timeout. Tried every network i could find. Tried in 2 countries. Compared with what friends were getting, which was rather frustrating, as they were fine on the same roaming networks.

 

3G speeds would have been acceptable, but this was well below. Even basic email struggled, and that can work fine in 2G!

I spent a week hunting for wifi like I hadn't had to do for ages now. 

It had been bad in Germany in March, but this was not bad, but totally unusable.

Even if O2 had put in traffic shaping, surely their aim would be for it to be there but no so bad and so obvious it gets people up in arms. Surely the goal would have been to be there but not quite so obvious, but by mistake they made it, well, more than obvious...

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sheepdog
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@jonsie wrote:

@iphone4sir wrote:
The register are doing an article on this - should be online tomorrow

I'm guessing this could be mainstream before the end of the week.


Indeed it is now live: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/07/26/o2_fesses_up_to_throttling_network_abroad/

Though  @darrengf, its a pity they didn't quote your username as the originator (they did link back here). 

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adamtemp64
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@sheepdog welcome back lol did post link earlier but has got lost already

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Cleoriff
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Just read the article on the Register. Interesting comment from one user..who was in Denmark with his wife 2/52 ago. His wife is with giffgaff (who use O2 network) and she had no problems ...could get 4G and good speeds.

The user, who is with O2, never got 4G and could rarely connect to internet...

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viridis
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@evantkh wrote:

@adamtemp64 wrote:

@evantkh post 116 o2 admission of throttling that is the official statement https://community.o2.co.uk/t5/Pay-Monthly-and-Pay-Go/O2-EU-Roaming-versus-Vodafone-Three-Asda-BT-and... o2 admit it end or story


@adamtemp64

 

I don't think O2 has explicitly admitted to that. They just say temporary measures but didn't say what the measures are.


So, what other measures could be installed in order to streamline networking for users? (bearing in mind, it's not even their network to streamline)

It's throttling, end of.

We all know it's throttling, as I knew it was throttling in February but under an admitted and publicised term of contract.

I do wonder if you just argue against fact for arguments sake. Some very long term members who have defended o2 for many years are actually providing evidence against this throttling, the fact that so much evidence is apparently not good enough tells me that you're looking to get a rise out of someone. 

 

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