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  • O2 Apologizes for London Network Failures, Blames iPhone

    O2, the largest mobile phone carrier in the United Kingdom, has had network problems in the city of London, especially in the second half of this year. Now, in an interview with the Financial Times, Ronan Dunne, the Chief Executive Officer of Telefónica O2 UK, has apologized to customers who have been unable to make calls or use data services in the capital city.

    Dunne said he was disappointed with the carrier's performance in London since the summer, but claimed that his network was swamped by people using smartphones like the iPhone, which O2 carried exclusively in the UK until November of this year. O2 reportedly experienced an 18-fold increase in network traffic, and Dunne said there had been "explosion" of demand for data services by smartphone users. In particular, the London network failed to keep up with the demand several times since last summer, and many customers had no way to make calls or transmit data during these outages. Last week, the carrier's network was down for almost 48 hours.

    "Where we haven't met our own high standards, then there's no question, we apologize to customers for that fact," Dunne said. "But it would be wrong to say O2 has failed its customers en masse." He said that the "short-term blip" in O2's network operations was being addressed in three different ways. First, O2 is working with Nokia Siemens Networks on software modifications to improve how it manages the combination of voice and data traffic on the network. Secondly, Dunne said that the carrier is in the process of installing 200 additional base stations to augment the carrying capacity in London. And finally - in a somewhat vague statement that MacRumors finds "slightly unsettling" - O2 says that it is "liaising with handset manufacturers, including Apple and Research In Motion, maker of the BlackBerry, to learn about applications that could place heavy demands on the network."

    O2's deal to carry the iPhone exclusively in the UK ended in November when Orange UK began carrying the iPhone 3G and 3GS. Vodafone will start selling the iPhone in the UK on January 14.

    image via Engadget
    This article was originally published in forum thread: O2 Apologizes for London Network Failures, Blames iPhone started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 37 Comments
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      Good news for AT&T, They are not alone.
    1. Limegrntaln's Avatar
      Limegrntaln -
      First Up AT&T. iPhone requests. Second up O2 Requests. See the problem here? 70%. Third, is my problem, and its not a bad one.

    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      ^Source for graphs?
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      Lol, your source is Admob? Of course your going to see more requests from iPhone users!!
      Logic: iPhone users use Cydia, the App store, and Rock. All of the Apps from all 3 sources have admob ads and Cydia and the App Store are filled with admob ads in all descriptions. The graph you showed to the community shows the statistics of different devices accessing Admob's server. This graphs are to give an example to potential admob clients of their demographics.
    1. Happy Noodle Boy's Avatar
      Happy Noodle Boy -
      It's kinda pointless arguing about this. There is no carrier in the WORLD that can handle the iPhone. Upgrading network infrastructure, especially here in the US of A, is an uphill battle. With your legs broken. And the hill is Everest.

      Compared to where the network was 3 years ago, AT&T has made vast improvements to try to even keep up with the iPhone demand. Notice how I said try. The iPhone kills networks and it's going to take them YEARS (yes, YEARS) to get their networks up anywhere near where they need to be. And this applies to every carrier in the US.

      UK and elsewhere in the world have it just as bad, but some places have a geographical advantage. Personally I'm happy to live somewhere where AT&T gives me nothing but 5-bars and my iPhone experience is just about flawless.

      EDIT: To put things in perspective, AT&T has already dumped over TWENTY BILLION DOLLARS in upgrading infrastructure this year alone.
    1. se23's Avatar
      se23 -
      @happy noodle boy if they cant handle the phone then no one should sell it! for the best part of 18 months i thought service was ok but in last 5 or so months its been lousy. i want want i pay for and if i have to wait 10+ seconds to load mmi mobile web page in croydon (a well connected town) its not on.
    1. eg6motion's Avatar
      eg6motion -
      Quote Originally Posted by KartRacer View Post
      EDIT: Speaking of networks, sat next to a co-worker today and we were watching YouTube videos on his Droid. They quality wasn't as good as on the 3GS, but while I had a big 'NO SERVICE' notification on my fancy $533 iPhone 3GS with wonderful AT&T, he had 4 bars of 3G on his $199 Motorola Droid with Verizon wireless. Apologists can only go so far, the TRUTH is that AT&T blows in this country, pure and simple. No ifs ands or buts. Sure wish I could just breach my contract and not pay for the service I'm not provided, like AT&T takes my money and will cut my service off if I fail to uphold my end of the agreement. I hate AT&T now that I've moved from a big city.
      So why don't you? You can get out of ETF's if you can provide moderate proof that you get poor or no coverage where you live. Although most would have checked before buying an iphone...

      In a sense it is the devices fault, it's widely popular and data intensive compared to existing phones. ATT was fine for me before the iPhone, but every year, around iPhone launch I can watch my bars go away and start getting dropped calls. The networks clearly didn't understand this would happen with the iPhone, but it's really tiring to see people think that this wouldn't happen to other networks as well. If ATT loses exclusivity and another carrier, like Verizon, gains the iPhone, you can bet that ATT service will slow get better with lots of customers disappearing from their network, and Verizon's will get worse as they start to experience millions of data-intensive users. Question is whether or not Verizon will dump money at their network faster than ATT, as their 3G coverage isn't really up to date, despite it's wider coverage zone.
    1. reeko's Avatar
      reeko -
      The carriers should have been investing allot more money in building their networks, this whole data network use boom isn't something that has sprung out of nowhere, it was inevitable. O2 need to reach deep into their pockets and really really sought out their network everywhere in the country. It really frustrates me how i can go from having full bars 3G service - then open safari and actually use some data and it drops to gprs, happens all the time

      A little story for you - just before christmas i was shopping in London with mrs reeko and my brother and his girlfriend. We stopped for lunch at leicester square and i couldnt check my bank balance on my iphone. Nothing was loading. I guessed it was because it was soooo busy and everyone was probably trying to facebook / twitter or something. I tried to connect to wifi but everyone of them was locked down with a password and i really needed to check my balance as i wanted to buy a mac mini that day!

      The way i did it in the end?

      My brother on his iphone with t-mobile managed to open cydia, apply about a billion updates (he hasnt opened it for a while ), then download rock app, then open rock app + create an id etc, then download mywi from rock app, then open mywi and create a hotspot for me to connect to.

      All this time i was completely shut out from the internet on my iPhone with O2

      I connected to his hotspot and checked my balance in seconds and went home with a new mac mini

      And i swear, even if i had full 3G working service with O2 the whole updating/downloading thing would have taken at least twice as long still :/

      I got my brother
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      If he's with T-Mobile why did he need MyWi? T-Mobile's 3G network is rock solid and far faster than O2's and was before O2 got the iPhone and they have been quietly upgrading their network for years. When I was in Leicester Square on Tuesday I had full signal and no problem using Safari.
    1. rwin84's Avatar
      rwin84 -
    1. reeko's Avatar
      reeko -
      No, he needed MyWi so I could connect to his WiFi hotspot created using MyWi on my O2 iPhone as O2 had absolutely no data network whatsoever at the time and no wifi was available.

      Just crazy how he easily did all that whilst I had no signal, and it was allot quicker than if I had full bars 3G signal on O2 aswell!

      TMobile are second best in this country to Orange I believe in their network, but Orange are overpriced with the worst customer service imaginable.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      T-Mobile may be second best in there data network but it's certainly not to Orange! Vodafone probably have the best data network but T-Mobile certainly has the best vplans. Orange come third and O2 a poor fourth.
    1. bigdefense77's Avatar
      bigdefense77 -
      Quote Originally Posted by LGgeek View Post
      Oh well none of that will happen, networks will get worse, we will get charged more, get less and the government will stand by and let it happen.

      From the carriers standpoint it's much cheaper to payoff ( oh excuse me, donate to political campaign) then actually fix their networks.
      Umm are you serious? This is the worst idea I've ever heard of in my life.

      You think the network is bad now?! HA! The government would make it much worse. What does the government do efficiently? That's right, nothing.
    1. reeko's Avatar
      reeko -
      I would love to be proved wrong by graphs/statistics but I travel nationally with work. My work phone is vodafone and my o2 iPhone gets worse signal than my o2 phone. My brother has t mobile and that gets great signal locally but I don't know about nationally. I have a colleague I regularly travel with and he has just got an Orange iPhone and the national data coverage is tremendous. I haven't seen any graphs this is just from experience.
    1. LGgeek's Avatar
      LGgeek -
      Quote Originally Posted by bigdefense77 View Post
      Umm are you serious? This is the worst idea I've ever heard of in my life.

      You think the network is bad now?! HA! The government would make it much worse. What does the government do efficiently? That's right, nothing.
      I wasn't advocating having the government run the networks just do their job and regulate the carriers.