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O2 & Vodafone Plan To Share Networks

Gordon Kelly


O2  & Vodafone Plan To Share Networks

It is fairly common consensus that the O2 and Vodafone networks have the best signal around the UK. So this could be killer...

According to the Guardian, both networks plan to play nice and pool their networks to create near blanket coverage across the country. The move would apparently see current Vodafone partner Orange move over to a sharing deal with existing playmates 3 and T-Mobile.

The reasoning behind the plans is solid: Vodafone and Orange operate at different levels of the radio spectrum making their union baffling from day one and the new arrangement should improve reception for all while reducing the number of unsightly base stations around the country as the need for duplication is cut back.

Another potential benefit could also be price since all five of the UK's major telcos would be spread between just two networks decreasing MTRs (Mobile Termination Rates). On the other hand, the Competition Commission and Office of Fair Trading need to keep a close eye on things and ensure this isn't just another way for telcos to keep current prices and horde more profit.

Formalities are expected to spill out over the next month. Only then can we truly slap backs or wave fists. Fingers crossed it's the former...


via The Guardian


March 13, 2009, 8:19 pm

I have always thought it was stupid to have two or more aerials in the same place because of competition. I just hope the competition police to not stick their oar in. We need good quality reception all over the place & more of it.

I live in rural Wales & we have plenty of black spots. Anything to help with reception for all is great as far as I am concerned.


March 13, 2009, 8:26 pm

This is no good to me. I'm with O2 and the signal is terrible where I live. I can just about get a 2G signal. Vodafone is no better. Looking at their coverage map I could get 3G if I were a horse in the fields surrounding my village. Looks like I'm going to have to get a Palm Pre Sim Free and switch to 3 or Orange who have excellent coverage here.


March 14, 2009, 12:54 am

Must admit that I've never had a reception issue with Vodafone. Orange, T-Mobile and 3 might have attractive packages but their reception is pretty attrocious. Had Orange for 10 years and if you were out in a village, signal reception was non existent. With Vodafone I get a strong signal with Vodafone whilst my friends on Orange barely gets a signal in exactly the same spot.


March 14, 2009, 1:13 pm

Would be fantastic for me, Orange in Northern Ireland is ok, T-Mobile is a joke.

IF they combined it would improve my 3G coverage no end, and might actually go for the iphone.


March 14, 2009, 3:24 pm

Sounds good to me! I'm in London, on O2. The coverage is very good already, but the 3G signal is not exactly blanketing the city! Any additional coverage is always welcome!


March 16, 2009, 3:25 pm

I use 3 and I wouldn't mind the coverage issue except that when you go onto the T-mobile network you have no access to gprs or edge. They try and tell less informed customers that mobile data is not possible on a 2G network. See recent chat below with a "technical" advisor.....

Advisor Atique has entered the session.

Timple: Coverage Issues - Does 3 offer data coverage when in a roaming area? I went to Wales this weekend and the 3 coverage out there is terrible. Therefore the phone latched onto the 2G T-mobile network - the voice worked but I could not use the data. Is this how it is supposed to work? Does my phone settings need changing?

Timple: btw if you are sitting in India - wales is a predominately rural part of the uk

Advisor Atique: Hi Tim . my name is Atique and I'll be helping you today.

Advisor Atique: I understand Tim, let me have this checked for you.

Timple: on the 3g network i have no problem

Advisor Atique: Can you help me with the post code in Wales where you've been facing issue with the 3 G video coverage?

Timple: not video coverage i was just trying to use mobile wap

Timple: the postcode issue is also irrelevant to the question.

Advisor Atique: That's ok.

Timple: i want to know what is supposed to happen when my 3 phone is forced onto a 2g network

Timple: i accept that 3 has not got full coverage in the uk

Advisor Atique: Tim I need to check if the video coverage is available in that area or if it's to do with the handset not latching on to the network.

Advisor Atique: Mobile coverage depends on a number of things, such as the structure of a building and weather conditions and the amount of traffic on the network at the same time. 3 currently has 90% population coverage with 3G services, and 99% coverage on calls and texts.

Timple: that is not the blimmin question

Timple: i can read that on the 3 webiste for myself

Advisor Atique: Excellent.

Advisor Atique: Tim 3 provides video coverage in most of the areas and the roaming partners provide only talk and text as the network.

Timple: can you help me with the question of whether i should be able to access data services on my phone when it goes onto a 2g network and uses gprs or edge.

Advisor Atique: On the 2G network you'll not be able to access planet3 and picture message service as 2g network supports only talk and text.

Advisor Atique: If you can help me with the post code of the particular place I can give a correct details.

Timple: ok - thank you - its not what I hoped to hear - I would have thought that 3 could offer edge and gprs data when on a 2g network - but at least it is an answer.

Advisor Atique: You're welcome.

Advisor Atique: That is the difference between the 3g and 2g network as 2g can support the talk and text service while 3g can offer talk and text as well as planet3 and picture message service along with video calling facility.

Advisor Atique: Tim does that answer all your queries?

Timple: For your info - a 2G network can easily support data services - have you not heard of gprs and edge? The fact is 3 is obviously not prepared to come to a deal with the 2G partners to offer data services when being forced to roam onto them. It is a question of cost saving on 3's part it is not a technical problem. Just FYI in case you believe the stuff your supervisors tell you.

Advisor Atique: Tim thank you for the information, the roaming partner's offer talk and text while roaming nationally.

Timple: they will also offer data but obviously its too expensive for 3

Advisor Atique: At the moment I would not have any details on this Tim.

Timple: ok bye then

Advisor Atique: It is possible in future that we may have tie up for data service as well.

Advisor Atique: There are ways of connecting to the browser services manually from your handset.

Timple: 5 years too late

Timple: hang on

Timple: whats that?

Advisor Atique: I understand it may be inconvenient for you now but you can try and connect manually to the 3g network if that is available in that post code.

Timple: if the phone has gone to the 2g network it will be because there is no signal in the 3g

Advisor Atique: That's correct as the handset is designed to connect to the best available home network in the post code.

Advisor Atique: If there is 3g available any where in the post code you can try and connect to it manually as well.

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