O2 Upgrades To EDGE: iPhone In The Bag

This is becoming the worst kept secret since the new iPods.

I’ve mentioned ‘O2/iPhone/worst kept secret’ in a sentence before, but this is getting ridiculous…

Despite no official confirmation of any kind, late last week O2 became the first (and likely ”only”) UK operator to bother to ‘upgrade’ (a loose term if ever there was one) its GPRS network to EDGE – the data standard the infamously 3G-less iPhone uses.

MacRumours scooped a leaked internal memo to staff from O2 Customer Experience & Operations Manager Sylvia Sissons, who wrote to all team members that “We are in the process of enhancing our GPRS service with EDGE technology. EDGE offers higher data transfer rates. If you get any questions from customers please see below. Further communication will be distributed in a few weeks time.”

Sissons went on to list some of the devices EDGE works on including Blackberrys and O2’s Xda range but, naturally enough, left off Apple’s pride and joy – though it’s hardly a secret anymore.

From a technical point of view, performing the switch requires no great shakes. In fact all that is needed is a software patch to existing base stations, so it begs the question: Why haven’t other networks done this? Well, because they are focusing on 3G. Why isn’t O2 focusing on 3G…? Yes, I’m sure you’re all with me.

Come on O2 own up, a veritable litter of kitties have now escaped from your Swiss Cheese of a bag and we’re getting bored…

”’Update:”’ Orange also has an EDGE network that has sat around for a while for which it charges a fortune and does virtually nothing. The iPhone ”won’t be coming here” but a good FYI from Oracle-esque reader Dave F.


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