Author Topic: Mobile phone network recommendation  (Read 12461 times)

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Offline Greybeard

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Mobile phone network recommendation
« on: July 13, 2012, 08:16:09 pm »
My present mobile phone is one I can just talk into. I now want to take a giant leap forward into the 1990s and get a phone where I can also send and receive emails.

No other gizmos required, so it doesn't need to be leading edge or have an apple on it.

Easy typing would be a bonus, though. I don't care about the operating system as long as I can do what I want :)

Any suggestions, please?
 

John_fraser

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Re: Mobile phone network recommendation
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2012, 10:24:32 am »
The type pf smart phone comes down to personal choice and budget. I borrowed an iPhone 4 for a weekend, but found it lacked some features I needed and I didn't like the interface. I recently bought a Galaxy s3 and am finding it an extremely good phone. It is a large phone though and it looks massive next to an iphone, although it's only about 1cm longer and a little wider than the iPhone. This extra size and much narrower boarders gives  it a much larger screen 4.8inches v the iphone's 3.5 inches. Cost and battery life is similar between the two.

I haven't used Windows 7 phones, although they get good reviews. My son has a Blackberry, which he likes because it allows instant messaging with his friends, but I found the interface very poor and out of date.

If you decide to buy an Android phone check which version of Android it runs. They all have silly names, but the latest is Ice Cream Sandwich and then next version, Jellybean, will be released in the next few weeks. Make sure it can, or does run one of these two, because if it only runs Gingerbread you will start to find you increasing find can't run some new or updated applications. Which will limit the life of your phone.
 

Offline sasquartch

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Re: Mobile phone network recommendation
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2012, 10:57:26 am »
I just needed a simple phone with the occasional facility for apps (eg maps, GPS, email etc)

I got an Android phone (older version of Android than John mentions above) - HTC Wildfire S. It was free from Tesco Mobile and has I think 250mins and unlimited texts per month, more than enough for me. £15 a month.

It all depends on what you want.

Be aware though that smart phones have nowhere near the same battery life as the older basic phones. My old Nokia could go 3 or 4 days between charges, my HTC really needs charging every day.
 

Offline BrookyP

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Re: Mobile phone network recommendation
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2012, 09:46:46 am »
Galaxy S3 is the one I have. Amazing. 2 day battery life at moment. Picture quality is amazing. Good Luck BP
 

Offline chicken legs

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Re: Mobile phone network recommendation
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2012, 09:37:22 pm »
I, too, have an HTC Wildfire from Tesco Mobile and it does everything I want.  I paid £20 per month for a year, with free calls, unlimited texts and 500somethings of internet per month.  That lasted a year and it's now mine.  I pay £10 per month now just for the calls, etc.  'Phone is simple but I don't use apps.
 

Offline Greybeard

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Re: Mobile phone network recommendation
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2012, 10:01:46 pm »
Many thanks for all the suggestions :)
 

Offline Aidan Winwood

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Re: Mobile phone network recommendation
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2012, 09:00:32 pm »
I have a Nokia Lumia 800 which runs windows phone 7.  It has a polycarbonate body, which I think is the reason that it is the first smartphone I've had that works perfectly as a phone and has never dropped a call yet, no matter how I hold it!

A
 

Offline Hillside

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Re: Mobile phone network recommendation
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2012, 08:49:59 pm »
Hi All. I am looking to get a new mobile phone contract and am considering switching to 3. Just wondering how good / bad the reception will be. I'm currently with Vodafone and have never had a problem but 3 are offering very enticing deals to switch. I would really appreciate any opinions.

Many thanks in advance.
 

Midnight

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Re: Mobile phone network recommendation
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2012, 11:45:38 pm »
I've found signal quality for both Vodafone and 3 to be fairly similar at the Mymms end of Moffats Lane.  In other words not always reliable. A turn of the head and the signal goes to zero. Data transmission is also similarly iffy.  Or maybe it's just me and my paranoia over poor telecoms services in general where I live.  :(
 

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Re: Mobile phone network recommendation
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2012, 06:22:52 am »
We are using Orange and T-Mobile in our family (village end of Moffats) and none of them are reliable enough to depend on for using the mobile phone in the area. I always ask people to call the land line when working from home. We have a couple of spots in the house where the signal is okay, but it suddenly disappears and so is not fit for purpose.  If friends visit on other networks they seem to experience similar problems.
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Offline sasquartch

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Re: Mobile phone network recommendation
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2012, 09:52:48 am »
The nearest cell tower to the village is by the Scout Hut.

It is used by most of the mobile operators but not for all services.

For example I used to have a phone on O2 and the reception was terrible despite being less than a hundred yards from the tower and O2's insistance that I would have a strong signal. Turned out that 2G services on O2 weren't served from that location, a new 3G enabled simcard and suddenly maximum bars and problem solved.

I'd suggest looking at http://www.sitefinder.ofcom.org.uk/

When looking at the data GSM refers to 2G and UMTS to 3G - if you're interested in data the 3G service is essential so you don't fall back to the older '2.5G' GPRS system
 

Offline peppermint

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Re: Mobile phone network recommendation
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2012, 10:13:22 am »
We are with Orange and for the last few weeks our phones have been virtually unusable.  Having phone Orange we found out that they recently took over T Mobile and they are currently removing phone masts where they have two close together.   They have been doing this in the local area in the last few weeks but they said that if they are made aware that Orange customers are losing their service they will do something about it so if you are having problems get on to your provider. 
 

Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Mobile phone network recommendation
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2012, 01:08:06 pm »
The nearest cell tower to the village is by the Scout Hut.

There is mast at the junction of Mymms Drive and the A1000 disguised as a street light, and another on the corner of Swanley Bar Lane and the A1000.   I think there is another near Welham Green railway station.  I do not know which companies they belong to, or use them.

Offline sasquartch

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Re: Mobile phone network recommendation
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2012, 02:18:35 pm »
There is mast at the junction of Mymms Drive and the A1000 disguised as a street light, and another on the corner of Swanley Bar Lane and the A1000.   I think there is another near Welham Green railway station.  I do not know which companies they belong to, or use them.

The ofcom website I mentioned in my earlier post will give full details of these.
 

Offline Aidan Winwood

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Re: Mobile phone network recommendation
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2012, 02:22:16 pm »
I have been with all operators over the years, but have stuck with 3 recently since I find their signal quality to be generally good for data and services (though if you live in Waterend it is weak inside The Woodman...) and I find their call centre staff to be competent and polite - 'even though' they are based in India.  They are FAR better than the dreadful O2 service I used to get from their promenently advertised UK call centres.  It really annoys me that Indian centres get such a public knocking, having worked closely with several through work, they are generally well-run and staffed by people who care about the person on the other end of the phone and their job. 

So I would recommend 3 wholeheartedly.

Aidan
 

Offline Mr T

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Re: Mobile phone network recommendation
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2012, 05:10:12 pm »
Dear fellow Brookmans Park residents,

I work for EE - the company that own and run both Orange and T-Mobile, as well as the new brand "EE".

Brookmans Park is a tricky place to cover with mobile signal as there is so much opposition to mobile phone operators when they try to delpoy a site in the village.
There is always the standard outrage and "not in our village thank you very much" - but then people go on and complain that O2, Vodafone, T-Mobile, 3, Orange signal isn't good enough!
If you'd like a better service, then let the service providers put a site in a place where it can reach us all - not shoved behind the scout camp at the far end of the village where the geographic conditions are not ideal.....

That one site is being shared by multi-operators,  though if any of them had a choice of how to cover the village, that site would be way down the list to do the job required!

Long live 4G - the saviour of coverage issues in rural areas....

 

Offline peppermint

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Re: Mobile phone network recommendation
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2012, 05:59:25 pm »
Mr T,  We live in Warrengate Road.  We have a mast in the Veolia site, the bus garage, the scout hut and the other side of the A1 and still we don't get an acceptable signal.   How do you explain that?
I would also point out that residents objected to the installation of these masts but, presumably, because we are few in number, we were ignored.  We were told that the masts are needed to serve the traffic on the A1.

Your comment regarding coverage in the village contradicts what we have been told by Orange as they believe we have more than enough coverage which is why they are removing masts.  ???
 

Offline Hillside

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Re: Mobile phone network recommendation
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2012, 02:44:45 pm »
Thank you all for your replies, recommendations and comments.  It's much appreciated.
 

Offline Mr Green

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Re: Mobile phone network recommendation
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2013, 08:30:30 pm »
I am on the EE network and for years have had a reasonable signal in BP (On Orange) but in the last few weeks the signal has dropped considerably. Anyone else having recent problems with EE (Orange or T-Mobile).
 

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Re: Mobile phone network recommendation
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2013, 07:22:20 am »
I use T-Mobile and live at the bottom end of Moffats. The signal is so patchy that I can't rely on my mobile when working from home. I only stick with the network because of the faff of moving and because it works fine everywhere else.
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Offline Alex

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Re: Mobile phone network recommendation
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2013, 12:00:32 pm »
I use Vodafone and have "sure signal" installed via my router. I now always get signal, whereas before it was very poor and sometimes non existent.
 

Offline Mr Green

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Re: Mobile phone network recommendation
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2013, 10:19:53 pm »
I use T-Mobile and live at the bottom end of Moffats. The signal is so patchy that I can't rely on my mobile when working from home.

I called T-Mobile and they were actually very good. After going through a few basics they asked me to attempt to make a few calls during the evening and log the result. Then they called back a couple of hours later to see how I got on. Having looked at the data their end and consulted their tech guys, they concluded that the switching off of a local Orange transmitter a few weeks ago was the cause. They agreed that night to send me out a little box to plug in my router which radiates a mobile signal throughout the house and now my phone gets a 5 bar signal. Sorted. Anyone else on EE with a massive signal drop in the last few weeks, report it.
 

Offline slimgym

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Re: Mobile phone network recommendation
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2013, 12:36:12 am »
Hmmm I didn't know EE sent out boxes like this. I must get on to them! Thank you!
 

Offline Greybeard

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Re: Mobile phone network recommendation
« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2013, 08:53:24 am »
Does it matter which company has supplied the router?
 

Offline sasquartch

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Re: Mobile phone network recommendation
« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2013, 09:14:59 am »
It wont matter about which company has supplied your router.
The box that EE (or Vodafone or whoever) supply uses your internet connection to route calls, much the same as Skype (ie VoIP)
Unlikely to be an issue but remember any mobile calls made through the box will be using your internet connection and if you have a fixed data allowance it will be using some of this.
 

Offline Mr Green

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Re: Mobile phone network recommendation
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2013, 10:03:07 pm »
Had the magic box for a few days now and all appears well. It's very small and discrete and has just one small LED which flashes when making/receiving a call. EE did warn me that it will use my internet allowance when I make/receive a call - but given I have a good monthly allowance i not bothered about that. I now have an excellent 5 bar signal 100% of the time and it cost me nothing. Happy days.
 

Offline slimgym

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Re: Mobile phone network recommendation
« Reply #26 on: January 30, 2013, 12:13:45 am »
I found quite an interesting thread on Digitalspy - the only flaw in it I can see is it doesn't appear you can filter out other users, so you could end up being the local cell site for neighbours (which would affect your broadband speed).

Also you can hand off calls from the home network to the neighbouring "proper" cell sites (but not in reverse). From my point of view it would be great to be able to receive text messages when at home too, rather than getting them when you go out!
 

Offline BrookyP

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Re: Mobile phone network recommendation
« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2013, 09:42:45 am »
Just spoke to Orange and they are assessing my case for a free box. Phone signals here are awful and like David I have given up using the phone in the house.

The box creates a 3g cell within 15 meters of install. In coming months they will all also get software upgrades to make them lockable-so you can pre set what phones go through them-amazing.

They said also if reception is an issue due to the recent mast switch off they may amend things and try to get the strengths back up-its a big if though.

hopefully will get the box and all will be well. will update soon.

I told them about the forum and they will have a look at recent posts to get an overview of problems in BP.

happy days..

BP
 

Offline Mr Green

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Re: Mobile phone network recommendation
« Reply #28 on: January 30, 2013, 07:06:39 pm »
I originality phoned EE to query an item on my bill and only mentioned the drop in signal as an aside. Yet that same night they ran tests and agreed to send me out one of these devices and it arrived within 2 days. As regards others using it, you can restrict it to specific phones or if not then it is right that others may be able to pick it up too, however unless they're right outside your house, I don't think that's really likely. On the subject of slowing down your internet, I'm getting 22Mb/s download and 5.5Mb/s upload so again - not a problem.
 

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Re: Mobile phone network recommendation
« Reply #29 on: February 07, 2013, 09:41:17 am »
Encouraged by the posts above I called EE (and then went through to T-Mobile). They told me there is nothing they can do about the poor signal and if I wanted to be able to make and receive calls I should switch off 3G and select 2G.  I told them I wanted to keep 3G because I wanted my Blackberry email. They said that in that case I would need to buy a  booster box for £106. So it seems that I have to cough up to get the service I want. Think it might be time to change providers considering I can't use my mobile at home and I work from home most of the time.
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