O2 finally admits the iPhone is suffocating their network

Bitterwallet - O2 FAIL It's taking them months to confirm what everyone already knew, but O2 have finally come clean and admitted they've been offering iPhone users in the UK a raw deal. Over the past six months the handset has been rendered little more than an expensive paperweight (admittedly a paperweight that's good for stashing yankee doodle on), especially in London where users have been unable to make or receive calls or send data on a regular basis

According to O2, data traffic across the UK has been doubling every four months causing prolonged network failures in the capital. Not that it should be your concern when you're forking out £35 a month, but the service provider want you to know they're now on the case after investing £30 million in improving network capacity throughout December. The fact that there are now other providers offering alternative iPhone tariffs is, of course, incidental.

The head of O2 Ronan Dunne said:

"Where we haven't met our own high standards then there's no question, we apologise to customers for that fact. But it would be wrong to say O2 has failed its customers en masse."

How high are O2's standards, exactly? Most customers would have been happy for their phones to be able to make and receive phone calls - that sounds more like a fundamental requirement rather than a matter of standards. Interestingly, O2 also stated it is "liaising with handset manufacturers, including Apple and RIM, maker of the BlackBerry, to learn about applications that could place heavy demands on the network". Maybe they've missed the ad breaks during Corrie and This Morning for the past year but heavy usage apps are hardly new - shouldn't they have been doing that since day one?

[Financial Times]


  • syzygy
    Hmm, 2 miles up the road from me and no data service at all, ever, so Londoners can think themselves lucky they get some service some times!
  • Spark
    It serves them right for trying to get the monopoly on it, I do feel for their customers though.
  • sibrecat
    well, where i work i only used to get an edge connection now its a steady 3g signal so tvcatcup works a treat now ;)
  • Joe
    If you're having a problem with your O2 service, make sure you make your voice heard by making a post on their Get Satisfaction page, http://getsatisfaction.com/o2
  • Kevin
    en masse? I guess that depends on the % of customers it's inconvinienced. Doubling every four months though? Wow, that shows how much usage iphone (and other smart phones) are actually getting. Serves the right if they didn't look before leaping.
  • IfYouCopyMyNameYouAreGay
    O2 are investing heavily in their 3G network, it'll get there in time.
    The capital you say? I couldn't give a fuck then.
  • cyberdoyle
    Its the same with all comms, landline broadband is also choked up and failing. It is because they are trying to run it all through obsolete victorian copper and too few masts. It is time to light some fibre and do the job properly. Either lead, follow or get the hell out of the way. Koreans get 1000meg for £10 a month. digititalbritain gets 2meg USC and half the rurals have no mobile at all and dial up broadband. It all sucks.
  • steffcip
    thanks sibrecat
  • Ed
    Strange. I"ve had the iPhone for about 14 months now. I can't think of a single time I've struggled to make a call (apart from obvious places like the Underground), and generally data transfer within Safari is more than satisfactory. People may be beating up on them (and indeed, it seems 02 are now starting to beat up on themselves) but I'm very grateful and satisfied with the service they have provided personally.
  • Inactive
    Anyone remember when we just used to make erm....er.. telephone calls on our phones?
  • Maude
    @Ed: 'Beating up on them' ?! Let me introduce you to a little word called syntax... And thank you, BW, for introducing me to a new acronym. Fuck My Life indeed.
  • DX
    Wha?? This must be affecting a tiny percentage of people. Not really news Mr/Mrs Anti-iPhone!
  • Paul S.
    Oh for fuck's sake, now we're anti-iPhone. I'm hibernating.
  • Sarah B.
    I've had my iPhone 3GS since it came out, and the service on O2 has been beyond dreadful (I don't live in London, but do live in the South East). Quite often people phoning me while I have a good signal will go straight to voicemail, I've often had no signal at all in the middle of cities, and after 4pm on a weekday the thing might as well be an iPod Touch given O2's near complete inability to deal with data. It's funny though - the telcos all spent billions buying their 3G licences, and then complained for years that there was no killer application for data, justifying the increased capacity available. Now there is, and it seems that O2 never actually bothered putting that capacity in place. My contract still has just over a year to run, but once it expires I'm jumping ship to either Orange of Vodafone, assuming their networks don't collapse in the same way. Using an iPhone on O2 is just an exercise in frustration and disappointment anywhere there isn't wifi.
  • tin
    o2 is falling to bits. I don't get 3G almost everywhere, when I do, my phone struggles to actually get any data through it. The vast majority of calls will be interrupted by something even when I supposedly have full signal, callers often get sent to voicemail even though i'm sitting right next to the phone and usually when o2 finally decide to let me know there's a voicemail waiting, there's another one sitting there that they forgot to tell me about. On occasion texts (those that I know about) will take anything from several minutes to half a day to arrive. I don't quite understand - it's all stuff they could monitor and surely (London aside maybe where there's probably too many users and not enough frequencies to spread around) it's all tweakable stuff. Get out there and get tweaking, morons!
  • bob
    o2 has thw worse 3g signal out of every uk network. Whatelse did you expect you fucking muppets. It takes a real dumbass to sign up for a £35 a month contract and not do their research in to the network thats shafting them
  • Fleetwood B.
    [...] Apple looks for iSlate mobile partner Less of a rumour, more a case of stating the bleeding obvious – assuming Apple’s ‘latest creation’ is a tablet PC, then it’s unimaginable it would be wifi-only. This device is going to chew up a lot of data so any mobile carrier will want their pound of flesh in return, since UK operators are already struggling with massive increases in data usage. [...]
  • The B.
    [...] own agenda, it won’t come as a surprise to anybody – it wasn’t so long ago that O2 admitted their data network was falling down in the face of increasing 3G usage, with traffic across the UK doubling every four months causing [...]

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