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iPhone 4? Let's have 3G first

Rory Cellan-Jones | 13:04 UK time, Tuesday, 8 June 2010

So yet another smartphone is about to hit the stores promising unlimited mobile connectivity.

The iPhone 4 will do many of the things that Android phones like the HTC Desire can already do - multitasking, flash photography - and Steve Jobs is even promising video calls, apparently convinced this will keep his firm ahead in its increasingly bitter smartphone battle with Google.

But remember the first 3G phones in the UK, and how video calls were supposed to be the killer app when they launched? They never took off, perhaps because the 3G networks were just not up to it back then.

The iPhone may deliver a better experience - but only over wi-fi for now because Apple hasn't persuaded the networks to play ball. Which brings us to the real problem with all of these smartphones right now - the technology on the phones is still moving ahead faster than the networks on which they run.

I am writing this from a business park on the fringes of Oxford, a place where you might expect to have great connectivity. Yet my phone tells me that it is struggling to get any kind of signal, yet alone the 3G I need to make use of its advanced capabilities.

Now that might be due to the fact that I'm currently using an iPhone 3GS, a device which is notoriously bad at getting a phone signal - it's a nifty little computer, but surprisingly poor at making calls. That is something which Apple promises to remedy with the new antenna on the latest model.

But even my mobile broadband dongle on a different network is barely managing to get my laptop online. Across the UK, and not just in remote areas, people using all kinds of devices on all sorts of networks are still grumbling about the struggle to get connected.

Of course the problem is that 10 years after we were promised that 3G phones would let us roam the web, make video calls and play online games on the move, we have all started to use these capabilities with a vengeance. And it turns out that the networks aren't ready for all that traffic.

It did not matter when clunky old phones with poor interfaces meant the mobile web was not worth the effort, but now millions of people are trying to drive what are the mobile phone equivalents of Ferraris down traffic-choked country lanes.

What makes it even worse is that the networks still give very patchy information about their coverage. I have just checked a place near my home where I know that one network's coverage is extremely poor - and its map tells me that it's of a high quality, good enough for video calls.

I sense from the messages I get that a consumer revolt about the state of 3G is on the cards - the more we are promised in the way of futuristic services by phone manufacturers, the greater the anger from customers who pay up only to find the network cannot deliver.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    A question for the other bloggers here.

    If the government was to get involved and force some type of improvement, would you prefer mobile signal to be improved across the country, or broadband capabilities to be increased?

    Personally I'd prefer to go for the broadband, but I'd just like to see how people feel about it.

  • Comment number 2.

    Using an iPhone 3Gs even walking around London doesn't guarantee connection. More often than not, you figure you dont have connection most of the time, with the occasional *surprise* to find it working.

    I remember looking forward to the promise of an all-singing-all-dancing 3G network, only to find its about as mobile as someone dragging themselves across the desert searching for water.

    Lets see what my upgrade to an iPhone 4 brings. Luckily have WiFi at both work and home - but they're not mobile...

  • Comment number 3.

    In reply to 'calmandhope' - If regulation meant there was a choice, then I'd prefer mobile signal. With Broadband, you're going to be plugged in to a higher speed connection for a start, meaning you're already connected. Whereas with mobile, no connection is still no connection...

  • Comment number 4.

    Mobile phone reception around Oxford is appalling, so I'm not suprised! As soon as you enter a building it disappears.

  • Comment number 5.

    Mobile internet should be better in this country. Sat out in a beer garden in the centre of Glasgow, with three different phones on three seperate networks and none of us could get a good enough reception to use Shazam to find out what song was playing. If the Government manages the next batch of licenses for 4G internet better than the previous government did with 3G then we may be in a better state.

    Personally I would like the mobile internet to be improved and the sales of broadband to be more tightly governed, i.e. no more quotes of 'up to xMbps'. Instead if a company has a specific package and you only get half that speed you can claim money back. So if your speed is aweful, then you only pay a tiny fraction of the cost. That way companies have a motive to invest in the network, as they generate higher profits. Especially if the Government imposes price caps.

    As an aside, I think this is one of the most balanced blog posts for a while.

  • Comment number 6.

    Those of us who live in Oxford, know that mobile signal on 2G, never mind 3G (but the same holds true) on at least one network offering iPhones is very, very poor in some areas. Been that way since I got my iPhone two years ago.

    Yes, we need better 3G - and, sadly, 2G

  • Comment number 7.

    Spot on Rory. Another related issue is that of the dubious building-penetrating capabilities of 3G (and perhaps even honest to goodness 4G, like LTE) signals. Here in Europe, carriers tend to use the 2.6 Ghz region of the spectrum, which is frankly rubbish at getting through the glass, concrete, steel and stone structures prevalent in our cities. In the USA, some carriers are now using 850 Mhz, which is a good bit better but far from perfect.

    What we need is for Ofcom and its foreign counterparts to seriously take a long term look at things and reallocate spectrum to make sure that the very best signals for data are allocated accordingly. At the moment, they're being used for radio and TV etc. Fine for now, but not for the future.

  • Comment number 8.

    Improve the mobile signal, absolutely.

    I've got a mobile dongle that I use to download and check my email on the commute to and from work (Leicester -> Birmingham) and I struggle to get ANY signal outside of the stations.

    I was expecting that I might not get 3G all along the route but the coverage maps I was shown by Vodafone when I went to buy indicated that there should at least be GPRS all along the route. Unfortunately that's not the case - if I can't get 3G I won't get GPRS either.

    Basically I end up dashing to the station to try and have enough time to log on and download everything before the train gets too far out of range of the signal.

    It's also pretty bad when I go to London. From St Pancras station my 3G dongle just can't latch on to a signal once the train leaves the station, which is bizarre as I'd expect London coverage to be the best in the country.

  • Comment number 9.

    I've just moved to a flat a few streets away from Finsbury Park. There was a concert there at the weekend and for the whole of Sunday afternoon I had no signal at all, presumably due to the large number of people also trying to use their phones in the area.

  • Comment number 10.

    Agreed with the other posters on this.

    At my home in Bury, just outside Manchester, I am supposed to get the best signal that Vodafone can possibly provide. This I would expect, as I can see at least three phone masts from the window as I write this.

    Instead, I am lucky to get 3G at all, and only a low-ish signal on a good day. On contacting Vodafone, I was simply asked to try my SIM card in another phone, in case this was the issue. This would normally be a fair point, except the phone I try to use was provided by the network, and with the service being so bad, I'd hardly waste even more money on a second 3G phone, would I?!

    To round up, I think it's a catch-22 situation. Customers will complain, but as long as the networks have you under contract and are getting paid, they just don't care. With 3G service being so bad, consumers won't buy 3G phones. Without money rolling in from these lost sales, the networks will argue that they don't have the money/demand/whatever to invest in better systems. This will all continue until either legislation demands better investment, or half a million Facebook petition members simultaneously stop paying their phone bills. We shall see.

  • Comment number 11.

    Rory,
    My views I posted on your blog about Skype on iPhone clearly have been vindicated. I had said:

    "As for general voip on 3G or even GPRS, these mobile data services were not really intended to carry real-time traffic such as voice. They're "best effort" data networks, and if you throw in the flaky nature of mobile coverage just about anywhere, it's guaranteed that voip will be a challenge. All mobile wireless technologies upto 3G are basically voice-centric technologies, which have some data capabilities that have been steadily improving as the technology evolved. 4G changes all that as it is an all-IP based technology which is designed to carry both voice and data nicely over IP.

    So, until then, you are unlikely to get Skype or any other voip applications working nicely and ubiquitously on 3G networks. If you must use Skype on a mobile phone, you're better off on WiFi, at least for now."

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    Mobile phone networks can't have 3G everywhere. It just isn't cost effective. I'd of thought a technology reporter for the Beeb would of understood this.

  • Comment number 14.

    I live in Rugby, a not that small town that sits right next to the M6 and on the West Coast Mainline. When at work I can only get a signal from one of the major mobile companies (less than half a mile from J1 of the M6 and at home I can only get a 3G signal in one room of my house and the 2G signal drops every time a train pulls into the station. Our small town centre has shops from every network plus a few independants but we have coverage at the best patchy. Yet here I have the choice of a number of broadband companies so with that I'm well off. At least I'm better off than at my parents just outside boston in lincs - they have a choice of o2 only nobody else's network can even get a signal.

  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 16.

    I've been saying the same thing for 10 years, the capacity of the devices is at least that far in front of the networks on which they function.

    Take broadband as a similar example, I'm a gamer and a bit of a nerd so I demand as much as speed as possible and will pay a huge amount of my income for this. My home ADSL speed is on a good day 5.5Mb/s which is pretty good compared to the national average yet to use the Internet as would like its about 1/10th the speed I want.

    I want to stream HD TV while I play on-line games and still have enough bandwidth for my wife to do whatever it is she does on-line. This makes me a very user of bandwidth and really all I'm doing is my hobby(gaming) while wanting enough speed to allow my wife to do her thing and to get a film for the weekend/evening. I cannot rent films without a 50mile round trip by car so it only seems logical to download(xbox live has HD rentals as does allot of other company s)

    Phones are about to have the same capacity to use bandwidth but rely on a much slower connection. there is no reason a phone cannot browse the net whilst buffering a movie other than the network on which it runs.

  • Comment number 17.

    Thank you, thank you.

    I have been banging my head against the 3g operators insistence that all is well in the 3g world since launch. It is great that someone from the BBC has noticed the problem. Please stick with it, maybe the operators will pay more attention to you than me.

    I have been involved with more than project that died because of the unreliability of the 3g networks. And if we want our iPhones and other smart mobile devices to be more that just a fun thing running trivial applications this needs to be fixed.

  • Comment number 18.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 19.

    South Korea has one of the fastest broadband speeds in the world if I'm remembering correctly, does their mobile network compare favourably to it, or have they managed to make both equally as impressive? We need to take lessons from other countrys to improve our networks for the future or they will crash and we will start falling behind in the world.

  • Comment number 20.

    I totally disagree with this post.

    Apple have done multi tasking right. Unlike the other smartphones which multitask, they drain the battery where as Apple's iOS4 is proving not to do.

    I get very good phone signal with my iPhone, always have and I don't agree it's poor at making calls.

    No other networks took off with the video calling because well, they aren't Apple. Three tried to all this and more years back but just didn't have the brains like Apple do.

    Apple will change everything, all over again like they say. And I'm 100% behind them.

  • Comment number 21.

    speedtest.net is useful for testing what speed you're getting (iphone/ipad app as well). it records your gps & ip location as well as up/down/ping speeds.

    anyone out there who can create a similar service that records us centrally, so we can build a case against the networks and for government intervention?

    without hard facts, we'll be moaning in the wind another ten years

  • Comment number 22.

    Like most people here, I would like nothing more than to have access to fast mobile networks with improved coverage but aren't there also a lot of people that don't want the masts in their back gardens.

  • Comment number 23.

    Well Rory, at least having a terrible data reception means that you won't get anywhere near the limit of your "unlimited" data plan.

    None of the networks are open about the trouble they are in. T-mobile are currently suffering problems with the HTC Hero/G2 Touch having terrible reception and poor 3G/HSPDA data speeds. They have admitted this to various users but still keep on selling the phones to the unsuspecting public.

  • Comment number 24.

    The forthcoming adoption of Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology should improve speeds and capacity management but operators will still need to employ Traffic Management to keep revenues as close to being in tune with exploding data consumption as possible. At present demand simply outstrips supply and existing HSPA Mobile Broadband technology is useless at handling multiple users on a single node.
    I think we will have to put up with slow speeds for a few more years. Even when coverage improves through spectrum re-farming and the adoption of LTE there will still be problems. For now Mobile Broadband should still be treated as a compliment rather than a replacement for fixed line broadband ISP services in the UK. This isn't going to change anytime soon.

    MarkJ - Editor of ISPreview.co.uk

  • Comment number 25.

    I'm a little surprised at the comments regarding 3G speeds on trains. Intercity trains are among the few places this is a non-issue now, surely?

    It's a couple of years since I commuted by train, but I always used the free on board wireless, when I did it. Now, I know East Coast trains have free wireless on the machines they run, and Wrexham & Shropshire run Icomera Moovboxes, throughout, too.

    Is that Leicester-Birmingham line still locked in a some sort of bizarre cold war time warp? Surely they'd have to upgrade their rolling stock, eventually, because all those wretched old diesel 125s would have fallen to bits?

    Agreed, however, a magical and revolutionary network would be a lot more useful than a magical and revolutionary device, if that device spends its life at the bottom of a deep, dark hole of non-connectivity.

  • Comment number 26.

    Same as anything else Rory, anywhere you care to look. This country has had an inbred culture of "That's good enough!" for many years now. They just deliver the bare minimum of services. I can't think of a single instance when the public has been given over and above what they pay for, and only rarely do we get we DO pay for. It's all about maximum profit for minimum effort.

    But yes, lets have a mass protest until something's done: I don't see why they should be allowed to continue dragging their feet.

  • Comment number 27.

    Good article. I love my iphone but know its a better ipod than phone.

    We complain when the 3G networks don't work especially when they are heavily marketed and give the impression of all smartphones connecting easily and quickly to their networks and wowing us with speed and user friendliness.

    There are areas where my 3G network works well, others where it is hopeless. The network maps can be often misleading but when I am away in rural areas I don't expect to have the best connection let alone 3G.

    Maybe the networks need to get real with their marketing of 3G services as they appear to oversell smartphones to people who can't really use them effectively because of where they live.

  • Comment number 28.

    What are you talking about? If you aren't getting 3G it's due to your network provider.

    I've tested my iPhone vs a 3G Nokia I had spare, both reported the same signal levels and no 3G in many locations.

    If it's O2 you're talking about remember that they don't share 3G masts like other networks, so the coverage is patchy.

    3 was the best for mobile broadband in tests conducted by The Register. Most likely because they don't support 2G phones at all.

  • Comment number 29.

    Its weird how, and im not meaning to be racist towards england or anything but up in scotland i seem to get 3g in more or less every town/city im in. its probably just because less people will be trying to use it.

  • Comment number 30.

    I would be happy just to have a phone with great reception over the country regardless of what else it could do. 2G or 3G or any service that just works. Or am I also in a minority in this thought?
    I have gone on the aspirational maps the companies put out and my house is good on all........ Try just for coverage first then the rest after I say.

  • Comment number 31.

    In Reply to calmandhope. I would prefer both signal and broadband.

    Only one mobile operator covers this area, the signal can and does drop out at home. We have little to no hope of 3G access right now unless prepared to travel.

    The site survey claims that the operator has no future plans to improve the network in this location which is a shame.. we're surrounded by dark blue high quality zones but are doomed to keep GPRS.

  • Comment number 32.

    Since I switched my 3GS from O2 to Vodafone I've not looked back. 3G coverage in London is often at least 10 times as quick with Vodafone as it was with O2. I measured it with the Speedtest app both at work (EC4) and at home (SE5)

    I doubt it's anything to do with the phone itself.

  • Comment number 33.

    The signal in Sheffield is poor. I'm in Broomhill which is a pretty good area of the city, but my iPhone rarely gets a reliable 3G signal.

    http://tiny.cc/gd5vi

    The Ofcom report shows the UK 3G coverage provided by the network operators. O2 is my provider and the difficulties in getting a strong signal become clear when you see this coverage map. Orange seems to have the widest coverage, but I've got memories of Orange being a weird network.

    Still, when the time comes for me to upgrade I'll have to think of a good reason to go with another provider and the inevitable frustrations rather than a network that appears to be the best.

    That is unless the networks decide to catch up. I wouldn't mind using the new iPhone 4 and the hyped FaceTime feature along with front facing camera when I'm in the middle of the Peaks. At the moment there's no WiFi signal in the Peaks so the new capabilities could be limited.

  • Comment number 34.

    I would like to point out that we could have great 3g signal everywhere, including Oxford. The trouble is that the operators are prevented from putting up the phone masts to make this happen by local NIMBYs. You need a strong signal for 3g access inside a building and these are necessary. They are put up in strategic places to give the best coverage, unfortunately, NIMBYs make holes in this coverage by not allowing masts.

  • Comment number 35.

    Get rid of TV and mobile networks then use the radio space to implement nationwide superfast wireless broadband. Then using the likes of TVCatchup.com and FaceTime have TV and Phone calls over the internet. Only one network to upgrade when usage gets to much for the superfast wireless broadband in the future. Also less radio waves flying around if everything is connected to one giant countrywide wireless network, it removes the need for things like wireless routers at homes and goes towards cloud computing. Also no need for those telegraph like poles on every street, making the place look better and less infrastructure to maintain.

  • Comment number 36.

    At the end of the day, mobile operators cannot afford to ensure seamless coverage in cities, let alone rural areas. It is not, or ever going to be cost efficient for implementing such a high quality network given the current UK mobile marketplace.

    Consider customer demands - subsidised handsets, low monthly contract, plenty of free minutes/ texts, no or small roaming charges all over an excellent network... Something is going to give, operators are being squeezed too tightly for profits and so do not have sufficient capital to build the 100% network that customers wish to experience.

    The 4G rollout may help, the joint venture between Orange and T-Mobile will help, and network sharing initiatives may help, but at the end of the day the UK has a long way to go before anyone experiences a true mobile broadband service.

  • Comment number 37.

    Wow... am I the only person who is generally happy with mobile broadband?

    Have been using smartphones since 2000 and have spent that last three years or so happy with HSDPA mobile data. My Iphone 3GS gets a good 3g signal most places - except on the trainline from London to Manchester when it is intermittent.

    If people think its bad now, they should have tried to do mobile web and email on a smartphone ten years ago...


  • Comment number 38.

    I must be the one of the lucky that I do not have any issue with 3g, this is because my network is with Three. I can still never understand why Three network which the network is 100 percent 3g are not selling the Iphone, they also have a much better 3g network coverage when you compare to the other big rivals. Unfortunate some people do not understand the difference of slow GPRS and fast 3g.

  • Comment number 39.


    I was just wondering if any of the technically educated people who read this blog might be able to tell me, as a layperson, whether or not it is feasible to construct a 3G network for the UK that can provide sufficient bandwidth to cope with the massive expansion in data traffic arising from Smartphone? In an ideal world, what technical changes should the mobile networks make to provide high bandwidth 3G networks.

  • Comment number 40.

    35. At 8:12pm on 08 Jun 2010, Jon889 wrote:

    Get rid of TV and mobile networks then use the radio space to implement nationwide superfast wireless broadband ... Only one network to upgrade when usage gets to much for the superfast wireless broadband in the future. Also less radio waves flying around if everything is connected to one giant countrywide wireless network


    What do think powers WiFi?

    That's right, radio waves, so how does having just wireless broadband eliminate radio waves? (Awaiting your illuminating reply ...)

    Anyway, didn't you see the Panorama episode about the dangers to health from WiFi.

    Well, if you haven't already I strongly suggest you do, because you may change your mind about exposing yourself to so much radionic radiation.

  • Comment number 41.

    #39. RalphLoxley wrote:

    "I was just wondering if any of the technically educated people..."...

    It is not just the bandwidth that is the problem it is also the latency (the length of time data takes to work its way through the system). If you want a video phone to work you want to see the lips synced with the sound of the voice don't you!)

    Basically there is absolutely no chance of what you want ever being possible for a large number of simultaneous users. For a few users yes - this is why when there are emergencies, the powers that be can switch off the common peoples mobiles so that the systems are not swamped and their phones can continue to work.

    This is also why broadcasting will remain the predominate and most efficient way to simultaneously 'transmit' TV programming, but I guess you knew the answer to your own question!

    Basically 3G can't possibly ever provide the service that the suppliers claim to a large number of simultaneous users. It is physically impossible for it to work for more than a few (This is one reason for the pricing models operated by phone operators - the other one is that they reckon that their customers are stupid enough to waste money of almost no service at all!)

    You ask if it is feasible - technically no, it is physically impossible, but also economically, definitely no! The radio spectrum has a finite physical capacity and the whole mobile phone business is a delicate and complex balance. The higher the power the more you fry the customers brains and the higher the frequency, although the grater the information capacity the shorter the distance from a base station other wise it is rather like asking people to put their head in a microwave oven. Also the higher the power or frequency the shorter the battery life. PS also don't drop you mobile in the loo as under some circumstances the lithium in the battery can explode! It must be considered in no a con something close to it if you want to have a mobile device working for a large number of simultaneous user all doing different high data / low data latency things. But if you are the emergency services with the administrative power to switch off everyone else then the system can cope, but don't go underground or other constructions that enclose you and your phone in a Faraday cage.

    So forget it.... and just make phone calls.... but still be prepared to be cut off...

  • Comment number 42.

    @1
    Roll on 4G & Wi-Max

    The beauty of Mobile Internet is that you don't have to sign in every time you connect. The wonder of broadband is that it's fast and more devices can connect to it.
    If someone could unify all the Wi-fi so people don't have to login to the Cloud, each cafe's own Broadband etc that would be the easiest way forward. But that would require business to work together, much less likely than Government sorting it out!

  • Comment number 43.

    Perhaps the time has come to dump the traditional mobile phone network technology and replace it with Wi-Fi and make all mobile phones VoIP, this would surely cure the 3G and normal phone signal blackspots and improve broadband connectivity at the same time.

  • Comment number 44.

    It's a pity that when Google went driving around taking photos of all our houses they did not equip their cars with 2G/3G receivers for the main networks so that we could overlay 'real' signal strength/bandwidth data on GoogleMaps.
    Failing that perhaps some clever person could write an App which would let our phones 'map' the real coverage as we roam around.
    Or perhaps instead of the phone companies having to spend such rediculously high sums on 3G licences they could have ploughed the money into network infrastructure!!!

  • Comment number 45.

    Your iPhone 3GS is a "nifty little computer"? Please Rory. I stopped taking the article seriously right there.

    My far cheaper 18 month old Nokia 5800 has a two cameras and happily runs Fring allowing me to video Skype over 3G, which conveniently seems to be available in much of South Manchester on Vodafone.

  • Comment number 46.

    As someone above said, the networks aren't going to care as long as they are being paid. I'm surprised Ofcom hasn't legislated some kind of compensation scheme for those who were sold iPhones and couldn't connect to 3G.

    I for one have just served notice on my network citing their data rate as the reason for the switch

  • Comment number 47.

    Call me old fashioned, but I really am only interested in making phone calls from a phone - the idea of sitting outside and then just obliterating out the world while I stare at a tiny screen appals me.

    If the plug was pulled on 3g connectivity entirely would the world grind to a halt?

    Nope.

    In fact, it might actually get some of its perspective back. This is a development for the developers - it is a complete waste for everyone else.

    So, forgive me for having zero sympathy for your lack of connectivity.

  • Comment number 48.

    Whilst where I live in north London has very good 3g coverage for my network, O2 (but then I am but about 200 metres from an O2 mast) I have family in Cambridgeshire and here is where 3g is just a dream.

    You see the problem is, whilst some networks might give a better signal generally, others might offer a better data speed for a dongle. I use Vodafone for my USB Dongle because while it’s speed may not be the best, on the whole Vodafone’s network is the largest and so usually will get a GPRS signal (so down to dial up speeds) but connectivity all the same.

    The real gripe I have is the stores and websites of the ‘big four’ and their claims at coverage. I can deal with Broadband speeds being ‘up to’ and generally taking them with a pinch of salt – what I cannot however is a network saying effectively – here is a phone mast. This is how far the signal goes. And here you will get coverage of 3g. And so you have the usual ‘get out of jail’ card telling you this is open to change because of network conditions, weather bla bla but it is at the end of the day, radio signals!

    Surely if a radio station can say ‘right we cover such n such an area but those is this town might get us on a good day’ they know the core area of coverage. It seems the networks know this too, but opt to ‘big up’ what they offer – so take the town in Cambridgeshire I often go to – It has masts for the four networks on the outskirts. You get 3g in the town. But, go but 6 miles away and you now have 2 bars at best of normal 2g reception and forget 3g. However ALL the networks will show on their maps that this location 6 miles outside of the town has good to fair 3g coverage.

    There is a site: www.sitefinder.ofcom.org.uk

    Which you can find your local mast and not just that, but what power output it is giving. It is interesting to note that Orange may have a mast that is sited close to an O2 mast, but the Orange mast is of a higher power output (so greater signal coverage). When you compare those findings with the networks own maps you can work out where the grey areas of coverage are. Effectivly, if you are not lucky enough to live in the centre of a town or city in this country, your chances of 3g coverage are next to nill (and your home broadband offerings pretty poor too)

  • Comment number 49.

    Rory, no real surprise. I can keep a mobile signal from Cherbourg to within 100m of the Spanish border in the heart of the Pyrenees.

    My home, less than 10 miles from where you sent your report, struggles to deliver any signal. Even in high demand areas like the M25 no provider delivers a consistent signal.

    What is the answer? All mobile providers have to pool their mast infrastructure into an independent OFCOM regulated plc they then buy service from it.

    As the EU measures show, only when providers are forced "kicking and screaming" to deliver shareholders and customers value will their managers act.

    Are todays mobile service providers with many broadband vendors the unacceptable face of technology?

  • Comment number 50.

    Call me old fashioned, but I really am only interested in making phone calls from a phone

    So, forgive me for having zero sympathy for your lack of connectivity.


    I don't think anyone should forgive or excuse that sort of tunnel visioned Luddism, nor your snivelling "I'm all right Jack" self-interestedness.

  • Comment number 51.

    This is the first time I’ve ever done this, but after reading through the many comments this one from number 49 has caused me to rant.

    “Your iPhone 3GS is a "nifty little computer"? Please Rory. I stopped taking the article seriously right there.

    My far cheaper 18 month old Nokia 5800 has a two cameras and happily runs Fring allowing me to video Skype over 3G, which conveniently seems to be available in much of South Manchester on Vodafone.”

    There is nothing in said comment that is wrong, rude or bad. But it sums up to me the general upset so many here have towards Rory (and in general the BBC’s coverage of anything Apple) – Remember Rory is a journalist, but this is a Blog. As such he is more open to express HIS personal views and opinions, experiences and suchlike. Rory owns an iPhone and his experience of using it is to sum it up as a ‘nifty little computer’ – which I think it is fair to say it is. Just as one could say an HTC Desire is, or an Nokia N8 is or any other manufacture of a ‘smart phone’ based upon what these phones are able to do.

    Many will complain that the BBC is covering too much Apple business. Then they will moan about the constant stories about Twitter – and yes there are many stories in the world of technology beside this. And I would have to agree in weeks past, Twitter was covered a little too much.

    But the mere mention of ‘iPhone’ seems to cause this upset that ‘Well My Nokia can do this and that and has been able to for years’ – And this is true. And it is also true that there are not many articles covering Android, or even the release of XYZ’s new mobile. But if Rory was to, it would then become a kind of ‘What? Mobile’ Blog.

    I actually feel for Rory in this, where I am sure as he began to type the ‘A’ word and ‘I’ word must have betted on the sigh’s out there as many read yet another article on iPhone. Though the entire article was about 3g connectivity and that the iPhone is actually pretty poor at getting signal, that the new iPhone 4.0 should be better and that the dongle in his computer was equally poor barely getting connectivity. Showing that it was not biased towards a make of phone.

    I’ve had countless phones, on all the networks since about 1994. I liked Nokia but remember when they were behind the times with their cameras and screen resolutions. My last Nokia was an N95 – and nice it was too, just as my trusty Sony Erickson K800i lasted and lasted and had a decent camera. But everything moves on and develops. Nokia has better phones, Sony too, Samsung as well than both the above I mentioned. There all good at what they do, but they are all after all phones!

    What we have to remember is before the iPhone arrived the likes of N95’s were what was about pretty much same old ‘Smartphone’ idea. The iPhone until recently could not sent MMS messages, how archaic is that! But what other company can say it produced one model that sold as many millions as the iPhone has? It’s not great and hell the next is not ground breaking either! But it is of popular appeal, just as Blackberry’s are the new must have for teenagers. I just wish that people could stop comparing things so much as ‘mine does this’ and be really against a company who happened to have make a big impact (past a device but seemingly in society where you are almost expected to have one)

    I’m not sure if all the above is relevant, made sense or was worth the time taken to type. But there are my opinions none the less now said.

  • Comment number 52.

    When I was in China I had 3G all the time - whether I was in the mountains in south west, countryside in central or any city.

    Why such a delay in this country? I struggle to get a data connection at all in parts of London.

  • Comment number 53.

    I've had ongoing problems with my iPhone 3G since signing up to a new contract with Orange a few months back and spent around a hour a day for 2 weeks on the phone to their customer avoidance call centre try to resolve the issue.
    When I have my 3G connection switched on, around 50% of calls go straight to answer phone. If the caller doesn't leave a message I often have no idea that they've tried to contact me until I speak to them at a later date. I also fail to receive text messages, missed call notifications, voicemail notifications etc. Pretty useless for a mobile communications device. The 3G internet connection is often slower than if I have 3g turned off, and sometimes I can't get online at all with 3G turned on, despite my phone showing a strong signal.
    After hours of excuses and obfuscation from Orange they finally admitted that it was a network issue, however directed me to terms and conditions in the contract that, in summary, state that they can't guarantee 100% service all of the time and despite agreeing that I was experiencing significant problems told me tough... it's in the terms and conditions and you've already agreed to them.
    Thanks for signing up to a 2 year contract (costing a minimum of £720 over 24 months). We know our network doesn't work very well, but we have your money now and we don't care.
    Unable to find the terms they were referring to online, I went to an Orange supplier to find a copy. They refused to give me them initially, saying they only did so once the customer had begun the sign up process.
    I finally convinced them to provide a copy and when they did, they appeared of a long sheet of what is best described as light blue tracing paper, written in a light grey font, so small is was barely legible. However, the terms were there.
    Under these terms, I could only receive one call out of every hundred calls that someone tries to make to my phone and as long as Orange choose to define that as an acceptable level of service, there's nothing I can do. Clearly stacked in favour of the service provider, when a contract is supposed to be there to protect both parties.
    A little searching later, I came across legislation passed in 1999 regarding unfair terms in contracts.
    Under their non exhaustive lists of terms considered unfair were 2 points that jumped out.
    Firstly, that a term is unfair if it prevents the customer from taking legal action due to unacceptable level of service and secondly, a term is unfair if it allows the provider sole discretion to define what is considered an acceptable level of service.
    One for Ofcom I guess, however by the time I've gone through the process of making a complaint, I should think my contract will have expired anyway.
    The future ain't bright and it certainly ain't Orange. Not for me anyway.

  • Comment number 54.

    I live in the Canary Wharf area of London and getting a 3G signal on Orange is a nightmare most of the time, possibly becuase of the tall buildings. My partner lives in Bow, East London, and can't get a 3G signal there neither on O2. My USB dongle is also on Orange but I get a decent signal in the house on that (even says 3G+!) but at his house I don't even get GPRS, let alone EDGE! The new iPhone 4 won't help on signal quality. It's up to the big four networks to do something about it. So much for Orange and T-Mobile rebranding as Everything Everywhere!

  • Comment number 55.

    I live in the Northeast and use a 3GS and have full 3G signal where ever I go.

  • Comment number 56.

    I'm slightly at a loss as to how the lack of 3G coverage is Apple's problem or doesn't justify them preparing for the future.

    Get on the back of the networks not the phone makers.

  • Comment number 57.

    To those saying 3G coverage everywhere is not viable.
    I agree.

    However, it would be at least expected to be able to have 2G signal in most places. The fact I can struggle to get 2G signal (let alone EDGE, 3G or HSDPA) at home (20 miles north of Cardiff), in my uni house in Bath and near my girlfriends house in Devon. Its just unacceptable in this day and age.

  • Comment number 58.

    Re: Post 20

    You're going to have to come up with a better name than 'Blanbu' if you want to hide from us Steve Jobs.

  • Comment number 59.

    @51 London Rascal

    Remember Rory is a journalist, but this is a Blog.

    If this was on www.rorysblog.com then fine, but it's not. It's on the BBC.
    There is supposed to be some level of impartiality from the BBC.

    Not seeing a lot of that here.

  • Comment number 60.

    I've been using the HTC Hero which I bought 6 month ago based on your comments back then, and have to say I am more than please with it, as it does do pretty much everything the iphone does and more. Using the orange network, I noticed they don’t seem to over state their coverage like I've noticed with other networks; so I do get quite a healthy broadband connection, infact often better than a wifi one.

  • Comment number 61.

    Well said, the level of 3G coverage is appalling in some areas, including major cities.

    At the moment browsing the web on a mobile device in particular can be extremely frustrating, to the point you feel like smashing your mobile.

  • Comment number 62.

    maybe im lucky i use a blackberry smartphone as well as an iphone I get no problems with drop outs or signal loss anywere in weston super mare however if i goto Bristol im lucky to get anything its about time network operators where held to account regarding coverage

  • Comment number 63.

    I'm with notsurewhoheis, as an expat in Japan I'm baffled as to how/why comprehensive reliable 3G coverage of an area the size of the UK hasn't been achieved. Here I have reliable data and voice calls (almost) entirely without exception (train tunnels). If I can get voice coverage and 1Mps in both a Tokyo subway and an outlying Okinawian island with a population of 100 million hammering the networks what's the deal with the UK? 'Shoddy' is the word.

  • Comment number 64.

    #63 @Shaun

    That's an interesting observation, and I would be even more interested in finding out why the disparity between the UK and those Far East, or indeed other Western countries. Is it because the UK mobile operators genuinely underestimated the surge in 3G uptake, especially in the wake of the iPhone and Apple's app store (which really did mark a turning point in 3G usage)? Or is it that they're quite happy to underprovision the service to the public knowing that they'll get away with it? Either way, I think it says a lot about UK mobile operators.

    Well, the good news for London-based O2 customers is that it was reported here only yesterday that O2 have beefed up their 3G network to meet smartphone demand, but only in London.

  • Comment number 65.

    I have had an iPhone 3G for the last 18 months, and for the most part, my 3G coverage from O2 has been OK. I get a good 3G signal whenever I'm outside (with the exception of very rural areas)and my data connection only suffers in London when I'm in a very busy area, like an outdoor music event or trade show. Indoors however can get a bit patchy, some areas are fine, others fail to even get EDGE and im stuck with GRRS.

    My 3G connection speed is always quite nippy too, downloads are around 250kb/s to an impressive 600 kb/s when retrieving files from my Drop Box account directly to my phone.

    I would say that I'm happy enough to stay with o2, but things could defiantly be improved.

  • Comment number 66.

    I agree with the comments made in this posting by the author however as someone who has spent 7 years plus in the telecoms industry helping them role out their networks, the blame can not be wholly laid at the feet of the network operators. I have no reason to explicitly support the network operators and some are more sensitive than others in the role out of their networks, however there is an element that people get what they want.

    I have lost count of the number of times a perfectly acceptable installation has been scupperred by the locals because they exhibit a nimby attitude. The plans are then scrapped for that location and the result? Poor signal to the customers of that network.

    As I said above, I am not defending the operators I no longer work for them, but blame should not wholly be placed at their feet as we choose ourselves the level of service we get through our actions when it comes to the installation of mobile phone masts. People should think about exactly what they want before they give a knee jerk reaction to a proposal in their area.

  • Comment number 67.

    Good article Rory - my iPhone only works well over wifi - 3g is patchy at best - it seems impossible to get a steady , strong 3g signal - we are being ripped off!

  • Comment number 68.

    I still have an old steam-powered mobile phone. I've toyed with the idea of replacing it with one of these whizzy new smartphones, but the main thing that has put me off is that whenever I've asked a friend to demonstrate what their latest iPhone or similar can do, it seems that more often than not it is quite unable to download web pages because of connectivity problems.

    What amazes me is why so many people have bought these expensive trinkets in the first place if they don't actually work. What has gone wrong with phone consumers that they have such high tolerance of things that don't work? Would the same people also be happy if they bought a car and found that only the first 2 gears worked?

  • Comment number 69.

    At 3:32pm on 08 Jun 2010, blambu
    ___

    you do realise that Three is a network provider, where Apple makes the products, so comparing the two doesn't work. Three cannot be held responsible is a phone doesn't support video calling etc, just as Apple cannot be held responsible is the network is not strong enough to support a video call.. They rely on each other (phone-network)

  • Comment number 70.

    O2 are stopping Free iPhone data from October. The Government must roll out Nationwide Wi-Max now!!!

  • Comment number 71.

    I very much agree with this blog. Coverage for 3G and above needs much greater improvement, even in city areas.

    My iPhone 3GS is definitely bad at getting signal. Where I struggle to get a signal at all on O2 in my flat, my friends on O2 all get pretty decent reception, unless they have an iPhone too. Looking forward to the new antenna on the iPhone 4 to see how well it performs.

    Even WiFi reception on mine is not up to scratch to other HTC devices I've seen which are a lot cheaper.

  • Comment number 72.

    I'd go for better 3G coverage than fixed broadband roll-out.

    But to be clear on something - the signal doesn't drop off when you enter a building in a city because the building is made of metal or whatever else a lot of the time, it's because the mobile operator has dropped the power of their local cell because of the amount of people already on it!

  • Comment number 73.

    3G is not the solution - rather a pointless contest.

    There is plenty copper/cable/fibre bandwidth around - why can't we find better ways of hooking people up to that via wifi - or any other technology - rather than trying to squeeze even more out the phone spectrums?

  • Comment number 74.

    I agree with what is said here.

    8 years ago!! there was talk of 4g or 3.5g where mobile network will share fixed bandwidth (wifi, fiber, copper and mobile) when available, in a convergence of shared networks. What happened? My guess is that the incumbent who behave like they are still a nationalised company and own the exchanges are preventing progress or at best, inept in realising their own revenue potential and refuse to talk to other companies. Additionally there is lack of investment that has caused the slowing of this development.

    8 years ago! it is shameful we are still struggling with this capability.

  • Comment number 75.

    Rory,

    I was hoping you could make some sort of sense about O2 and the other carriers changing their data plans for smartphones... a quick check of #O2FAIL on twitter will show you that O2 are up to and Vodafone have been at it recently too. Lets hope that 3 will offer a decent 'smartphone package'

  • Comment number 76.

    There is a simple solution to many of these problems that wouldn't cost anything - data roaming. I have a Desire on 3 and it automatically roams onto a partner's network (T-Mobile, I think) and uses GPRS when there is no 3 signal available or it's too weak. This gives me very good coverage mostly, and I do find that 3g from 3 is available quite widely. It doesn't cost me anything extra for this service, 3 and T-Mobile must sort it out between themselves.

    Why don't more of the big networks do the same and then most customers would get coverage in most places ?

  • Comment number 77.

    I do agree that some mobile phone networks get their act together to provide users with better 3g connectivity.

    From my experience, 3 seems to be leading the way by improving coverage or many people (or so advertising tells up) and they are the only network that provides a 3G/HSDPA reception in my area and it has been excellent so far.

    All the others should be catching up with the likes of 3 as their 3G connections in my area are non-existant, which is not fair for the people in Ayrshire using networks that have 3G enabled phones without the means of using it.

    Come on O2, Vodafone, T-Mobile - get your finger out!

  • Comment number 78.

    I live in Swindon and generally have 3.5G on my Nokia N97 at all times.
    I have friends who have Iphones and they don't appear to complain about network coverage whether they are with 02, Vodafone or Orange. I was thinking about upgrading to an Iphone so welcome the opinions on this blog.

    Clearly geographical location plays a huge part in the service you receive from the mobile operators but I am at odds as to why our country is so poor in comparison to other countries. I visited my brother in Singapore a few years ago and i could use my mobile there without trouble all over the island and underground too.

    The UK government needs to pull it's finger out over broadband and mobile efficiency and align with the rest of the world. It frustrates me when companies who run countrywide operations (Utilities, telecoms etc) are happy enough to pocket the profits but ask for government funding to upgrade or sort out any problems they have through their own lack of investment.

    Rant over..........

  • Comment number 79.

    All very interesting comments, but at the end of the day we should not be surprised that 'our' networks are pants, which bit of infrastructure in the UK isn't:
    Rail?
    Broadband?
    Tube?
    Roads?
    Power?
    Water?
    ...
    I remember walking on the great wall of China miles from anywhere and guess what the mobile network signals were excellent - it is not hard to do but we/UK companies/govenment have failed to invest effectively in anything for decades when we should have been able to afford it and now .... there is not a hope in hell of any of this getting fixed, so dump your smartphones and forget the internet its all a pipe dream, two tin cans and a long bit of wet string is the future :(

  • Comment number 80.

    I think you are all taking technology for granted, be happy with what you got, in hindsight, what we have now is a complete dream compared to 10 years ago. If you want things to get better from now, promote Open Source technology, software and its accessibility. Money is the only thing hold us back now...

  • Comment number 81.

    I'm astonished that someone said they had 3G coverage everywhere they went in China. This is simply untrue - perhaps they just don't know the difference between 3G and EDGE/GPRS. The 3G rollout started less than 12 months ago and is far from complete.

    It is true that China Mobile signal is available absolutely everywhere but only on 2G. China Mobile's 3G technology is TD-SCDMA (a homegrown system not used anywhere else) and a)is hardly available outside city centres and b)wouldn't work on a phone not bought in China anyway. China Telecom uses EVDO/CDMA like Verizon and Sprint in the US and again this lacks wide coverage and also wouldn't work on a phone bought in Europe.

    The only network that uses the same 3G technology as the UK (WCDMA/UMTS/HSPA) is China Unicom. I switched over to China Unicom a few months ago to take advantage of their new 3G services and basically the coverage is pretty bad even inside big cities. If it weren't for having to change my number again (no number portability in China) I'd consider going back to China Mobile's 2G network.

    Basically the only way to get blanket coverage is to go for China Mobile's 2G GSM network (with EDGE/GPRS for data). Therefore I think its fairly disingenuous for anyone to suggest they had 3G coverage all over China. Its simply impossible.

    The only part of China that has blanket 3G coverage (from every network) is Hong Kong.

  • Comment number 82.

    Improved broadband for me. So long as I can make a telephone call, then fine. To be honest, I object to being radiated with all these radio signals...! :)
    Which leads me to another question... If somebody is sending a signal onto my property without my consent, then surely I should be allowed to collect whatever is in it, without theirs. Whether it be the next door neighbour polluting me with his wifi, or Sky polluting me with their sat signals...if they send them to me, then as far as I am concerned, they're mine. :)

  • Comment number 83.

    I'm an ex-pat working in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and I can get great 3 to 3.5G even out in the desert, miles from the city! I guess the dunes don't block the signal like buildings do. There's great mobile broadband as well with decent high speed data transfer, decent video calling et al. Back in the UK when on leave I can barely get a fraction of a 2G signal at the best of times.
    It beggars belief.
    Which country is allegedly developed and which one a developing nation.....??

  • Comment number 84.

    I agree, the iPhone 3GS is an awesome phone but making calls and getting consistent 3G is very poor. The fact that the networks also tie the customer into 2 year contracts is frustrating. I'm still in my O2 contract for another year so cannot upgrade to the new iPhone 4 until then (by which time there'll probably be a new iPhone!)

  • Comment number 85.

    Re Post 60, Seb wrote:
    "I've been using the HTC Hero which I bought 6 month ago based on your comments back then, and have to say I am more than please with it, as it does do pretty much everything the iphone does and more."

    You beat me to it, Seb. I've had my Hero, an initially unnerving foray into the world of Android, for about 4 months. Mine is also on Orange, and until I read this blog, I just assumed all was right with the world of 3G phones, so enjoyable and painless has my experience been thus far. I have no isses with 3G coverage or performance all over London, the South and the Midlands, and I can count on one hand the number of times the Hero has dropped a call through anything other than the battery quitting.
    SenseUI loses nothing to the iPhone UI in eye candy terms, is easier to personalise, and manages things like notifications and alerts so much more conveniently. Maybe a little "jerkier" at times, but really that is about it. And Google seem to be treat the development community with a lot more respect and freedom than Apple, meaning the apps keep getting better and better.
    At the end of the day, you will never, ever convince Apple's ever present legions of fanfolk that they haven't bought the best, but that's their lookout. Enjoy the Hero. I am.

  • Comment number 86.

    Both America and the UK could learn a lot, as Southeast Asia already has, from Japan, where 3G is so prevalent that the only place you can't get signal is in the subway tunnels. Hong Kong does even better.

  • Comment number 87.

    I couldn't agree more with the article and thanks for raising the profile of this problem. Apple and other handset manufacturers have come up with great technology. However, the networks in the UK really can't cope. I live in Cambridge and there are plenty of very common public areas where you can't get a signal, let along 3G. A commute in/out of London is just unusable on mobile broadband as there are so many tunnels where coverage drops.

    I know the technology can cope provide the service we all need though. I've been in Italy and the BBC site is much faster to browse there on mobile than it is in the UK. Hong Kong subway has mobile 'phone reception. It's really frustrating !

  • Comment number 88.

    I've owned a 3G and a 3GS, but Apple won't be seeing me upgrade to an iPhone 4 now. Sure, like the new iPad, it looks pretty, but what's the killer upgrade to make me switch? Well, looking at the phone and the new tariffs that come with it, it's a backward step for me.

    To upgrade, I'd need to pay an early settlement fee (about £240) as well as start a new contract for 18/24 months. The reward for my previous loyalty? A place at the front of the queue, 3/4 of the minutes I previously enjoyed for the same money and restricted data usage. It's just a leap too far in the wrong direction, so Apple and O2, sorry, but I'll stick with what I have, you're not as desirable as you once were.

  • Comment number 89.

    Do we really want more mobile phone masts!?

    How about working on improving the WiFi network in cities. Free WiFi for all!

  • Comment number 90.

    I have had a IPhone 3GS for 7 months now and find the signal to be fine in all areas I decided to use a sim from a network that did not sell it and found the service of 3G excellent.

  • Comment number 91.

    We should now consider mobile connectivity in the same way as other 'utilities' - it is now time for us to have a single infrastructure provider in the same way as gas, or electricity. This provider should then be forced through legislation to ensure the capabilities of its network. What we are experiencing is akin to you only being able to use a single burner on your gas oven because the gas provider cannot supply the pressure, or similar for electricity, water etc.

    We would have fewer, more capable masts (as each network wouldn't require their own), more widespread coverage which would be the same regardless of which MNO your SIM was registered to (no more "Emergency Calls Only" messages on your phone - demonstrating that you have coverage just not with your network).

    And there was me thinking that we were meant to be a country at the forefront of technology.

    Oh - and I get better 3G coverage when I travel with work to countries such as Tanzania!

  • Comment number 92.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 93.

    "Now that might be due to the fact that I'm currently using an iPhone 3GS, a device which is notoriously bad at getting a phone signal - it's a nifty little computer, but surprisingly poor at making calls."

    Nonsense. You don't know what you are talking about.

    "That is something which Apple promises to remedy with the new antenna on the latest model."

    Oh really? Since when has Apple acknowledged that the 3Gs model is "notoriously bad at getting a phone signal?"

    "But even my mobile broadband dongle on a different network is barely managing to get my laptop online. Across the UK, and not just in remote areas, people using all kinds of devices on all sorts of networks are still grumbling about the struggle to get connected."

    Exactly, so why did you start off by singling out the iPhone?

  • Comment number 94.

    calmandhope wrote:

    "South Korea has one of the fastest broadband speeds in the world if I'm remembering correctly, does their mobile network compare favourably to it, or have they managed to make both equally as impressive? We need to take lessons from other countrys to improve our networks for the future or they will crash and we will start falling behind in the world."

    It isn't a question of taking "lessons" from anyone else. For some countries it is much easier to set up and maintain such networks because of the size of their countries and more importantly the way their population is concentrated. And after all, the laying down of such networks is not rocket science.

  • Comment number 95.

    Tim wrote:

    "Your iPhone 3GS is a "nifty little computer"? Please Rory. I stopped taking the article seriously right there.

    My far cheaper 18 month old Nokia 5800 has a two cameras and happily runs Fring allowing me to video Skype over 3G, which conveniently seems to be available in much of South Manchester on Vodafone."
    _________________________________________________________________________

    Tim, the iPhone's success is more than just about total raw features. Most owners of Apple hardware know its about the ease of use of the interface, capabilities that are supported done extremely well, like touch, the software, the design and quality, the software and the markets supporting them, and the support.

    As for the mentioning of cameras on phones, all I can say as a person that has been into serious photography for over 20 years is if you were really concerned about getting great pictures you would not be using a phone with an image sensor and lens that requires a magnifying glass to see properly.

    And people boasting that their camera phones have eight megapixel cameras compared to others with five megapixels have no idea what they are talking about.

  • Comment number 96.

    Michael wrote:

    "Both America and the UK could learn a lot, as Southeast Asia already has, from Japan, where 3G is so prevalent that the only place you can't get signal is in the subway tunnels. Hong Kong does even better."

    America doesn't need to learn anything about this subject. As I said previously this isn't rocket science. It's a question of ease and cost of implementation. To compare the roll out, the costs and the maintenance of such networks from one of the biggest countries in the world to small Asian countries and Hong Kong is silly.

  • Comment number 97.

    Recently i had an 3G smart phone,i had much heard about the 3g services that provides the high resolution for video streaming on the go and affordable way to watch free tv video online,recently i saw a review on video news but surprisingly i am completely disharted by the fact that actually 3g services were not as good what they claimed to be,to surf on the most watched news networks in 3g proves to be a hard deal for me and instead wasting lot of time to get the proper connectivity better,i prefer to pick a newspaper or simply switch on my television set to stay updated.

  • Comment number 98.

    I've been using the HTC Hero which I bought 6 month ago based on your comments back then, and have to say I am more than please with it, as it does do pretty much everything the iphone does and more. Using the orange network, I noticed they don’t seem to over state their coverage like I've noticed with other networks; so I do get quite a healthy broadband connection, infact often better than a wifi one.

  • Comment number 99.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 100.

    I am a Verizon Wireless customer. So I was only recently given the opportunity to own an iPhone, and I took full advantage. I ordered it at 3am, the second it went on sale. I was so excited. I know my technology, I know the iPhone was going to offer me the greatest user experience any cell phone could possibly offer me. It's simple. Apple will always win when it comes to this.

    I will admit, when it comes to reverse phone lookup my Blackberry offered this feature. The iPhone hasn't even considered it. I understand, that a service like this is rarely used by the average phone user, but in my industry, I use it on a regular basis. I'm sure an app will be developed soon though. Great article, hope I contributed and helped someone with my thoughts!

 

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