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Orange UK Launches iPhone, Vodafone Claims Speed Crown

Gordon Kelly


Orange UK Launches iPhone, Vodafone Claims Speed Crown

Remember how I said this week was fast becoming an unstoppable wave of iPhone news? It's showing no signs of slowing...

Let's keep this compact (again) and roll everything into one. The big news is today sees the launch of the iPhone 3G and 3GS on Orange UK ending the two year O2 monopoly. First announced back in September, the network has controversially decided not to engage in a price war with O2 (in fairness it would have been controversial either way), but does ride on the back of a ringing endorsement for Ofcom over the state of its 3G data network. Orange iPhone tariffs are shown throughout this story for convenience.

Next - and by no little coincidence - Vodafone has used today to claim it has the fastest video download speed for an iPhone. In its latest newsletter the network claims internal tests show it easily bests both O2 and Orange when watching a 10 minute YouTube clip.

All of which tells us two things: 1. it's important not to base too much around internal testing and 2. Vodafone is also not planning to start a price war, but rather a speed war - though this could prove equally beneficial to customers).

Next - and by no littler coincidence - 3 has used today to put a formal complaint to the ASA about Orange's latest advertising campaign which claims it has 93 per cent 3G coverage across the UK "more than any other network".

"We're confident that we have the biggest 3G network in the UK, both in terms of geographic and population coverage, built on a 9,192 site network that grows by around 150-sites each week," said 3 in a statement. 3 claims to have 92 per cent coverage, but says this could easily be boosted to 95 per cent if it used the same system of measurements Orange employed in its network calculations.

Funnily enough, in day-to-day life most networks feel like they have about 50 per cent coverage to me.

"We're happy to open up our network to a third-party to judge," 3 added. "We'd like to see a common standard applied across the industry, to give consumers a more realistic picture of 3G coverage available to UK consumers on all networks."

Tit for tat arguments we're not so fond of, but a common standard sounds a fantastic idea. Then again, will anyone ever agree on the terms?

Lastly - and back on the handset itself - the iPhone has added a significant new app to its repertoire today in the form of 'Sky Mobile TV', which does pretty much what it says on the tin. Live Sky Sports News, Sky News, ESPN and At The Races will be available through the app for £6pm to existing Sky subscribers. It augments the Sky+ remote record, Sky News and Sky Sports Live Football and Cricket apps already in App Store - which begs the question: can't some of these be unified now?

*and breathe*


Orange iPhone

Vodafone speed tests via FoneHome


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