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Testing: O2 - L09/L23 & N28/N78

Martin.S

Pro Member
@Martin.S what phone are you using, band 40 is meant to be good for carrier aggregation:


I just don't understand how O2 are screwing it up, either they have too many customers or there's issues with their implementation.
Samsung galaxy xcover 5 (work supplied).
It only held on to B40 for around 5 minutes before dropping to H+ and then B20.
I wasn't playing around fixing bands it just naturally locked on to it. No data flow at all, admittedly the signal strength was weak.

It is VERY rare that I see any CA on O2 down here in Devon.
For comparison on my own phone (Samsung A70) I had 2CA and even 3CA on the Virgin mobile network (Vodafone) yesterday.
 

CarlO1460

ULTIMATE Member
@Martin.S what phone are you using, band 40 is meant to be good for carrier aggregation:


I just don't understand how O2 are screwing it up, either they have too many customers or there's issues with their implementation.
O2 are the biggest network with the most subscribers hence their network is pitiful at best.
 

ssg9

Casual Member
More customers should mean more money to invest in their network though? Or are they making less money per customer than other networks?
 

Bubblesthefish6

ULTIMATE Member
More customers should mean more money to invest in their network though? Or are they making less money per customer than other networks?
Surely 3 would be the ones making the least per customer due to how cheap they flog the SIM plans for, I think O2 is just severely underinvested and therefore slow at best.
 

ewanmclean2005

Pro Member
My home broadband went down a few nights ago. Due to the problems with my local Three mast both my mobile data and my home Internet connection were unavailable to use so I brought out my tablet sim to test my O2 connection at home.

A new mast has just been enabled round the corner for 5G. I suspect that the 5G indicator was giving me the 'False 5G' logo as my data speeds were only around 5-10mbit/s much like they are on 4G in this area.

Im hoping if I remember to take my tablet round to the new mast to see what sort of performance the mast is giving.
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
My home broadband went down a few nights ago. Due to the problems with my local Three mast both my mobile data and my home Internet connection were unavailable to use so I brought out my tablet sim to test my O2 connection at home.

A new mast has just been enabled round the corner for 5G. I suspect that the 5G indicator was giving me the 'False 5G' logo as my data speeds were only around 5-10mbit/s much like they are on 4G in this area.

Im hoping if I remember to take my tablet round to the new mast to see what sort of performance the mast is giving.
That's assuming the new mast is live yet.

There's one near me from O2 that's taking an age ti go live, and subsequently the area is still being served from the one it shares with Vodafone.
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
So I'm not sure if I already shared this with the community, I remeber having some technical issues last time I remember writing about it here...

If not here we go again....

It's come to my attention that O2's new Orion pole setups and also new Roof Top setups (where seperating in Vodafone Host zones) are actually broadcasting two sets of 5G!

In the case of the poles they are in fact broadcast 5G on both n28 and n78, quite a good shout really.

I have noticed that in most situations n28 will primarily be connected as is seems to use b20 as its primary pairing for upstream 4G.

However where b1/b8/b40 takes over as primary 4G connection n78 is normally not to far behind it.

As for speeds, its pretty much as expected really, 400-500mb/s with n78 and up to 190mb/s on n28.

n28 pairing mainly with b20 only though this could improve with technology and updates.

n78 pairing with a good mixture of bands, though in these setups its either b40+b40 or b1+b8+b20.

The better of the carrier aggregation groups isn't really comparable due to such a range of compatibilities between devices, which is why having b1 as the primary for 4G would be most recommended in my oppinion due to its wide support for 4x4.

If a device has a good support for 4x4 (8x8) with B40+B40 whilst aggregating n78 then speeds could be fairly interesting but device modems are still improving.
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
Another O2 Orion Pole gone active in my neck of Brum....

This one is on the Pershore Road and Dogpool Lane junction in Selly Park area.

Did a few tests, all on par with others really, must say though it was doing well considering how congested the site its replaced used to be and that area of Birmingham this evening was at gridlock for nearly 2 hours.

A note though is, why unless I force it does it insist on using the 10Mhz of n28 when 40mhz of n78 is available with the same LTE bands.

A nice improvement for the network in the area for sure anyway.

EDIT: I couldn't get this site to aggregate B1+8+20, its was choice of 1+8 or 1+20??? sure in time many changes will be made.

I'll also share that I found differing band selections with N78 seem to cap out around the same speeds, and I tried b40+b40+n78 and also had b1+n78 and bother seemed to level out the same, this goes further to convincing me that traffic management is in use to level the network out under loads.
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
Well an improvement on O2 5G in the Kings Heath area of Birmingham.

3392123432657060-CMkYVY2t.png

Touching 600Mb/s, this is a site shared with Vodafone also so I'm intrigued as too what has changed to pump up the performance slightly (previously 400-500Mb/s)
 

ewanmclean2005

Pro Member
Good afternoon. I have recently taken a higher data plan with my iPad so I can do a little more O2 testing. Overall I’m not very impressed with what I’ve seen so far with O2‘s 4G network and speeds seem to be lacking on 5G. O2 is almost unusable in Glasgow city centre on 4G, I assume because of the cornerstone network sharing agreement and it being a vodafone control area. 5G is better but not very much impressed by it.

My findings in Edinburgh though were better and I suspect Edinburgh is O2 control.

4G again more respectable and usable than Glaagow’s often less than 2-3mbit/s throughput. Same location.

E88BC852-AE39-43AA-A810-06CAE212D7EB.jpeg


5G, respectable and usable from St James Quarter

8D8F35CA-3002-461C-A384-701F5E6C5D4B.jpeg
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
I've been tinkering with how 5G throughput degrades through minor obstructions or nearby interference and surprised at some results.

For instance, standing on a building site with line of site to the 5G cell but with scaffolding in situ or with rolls of insulation in the path near enough kills the throughput to nil.

Insulation was by far the worst by also killing 4G signals too.

While the signal don't dissappear the affects on bandwidth and quality is adversely affected.

I would say this is more noticeable on networks such as Vodafone and O2 who have less densely located masts or cells.

My assumption for now would be that MaMIMO antennas are more affected than passive antennas, possibly due to how they radiate and lock signals
 

ewanmclean2005

Pro Member
I've been tinkering with how 5G throughput degrades through minor obstructions or nearby interference and surprised at some results.

For instance, standing on a building site with line of site to the 5G cell but with scaffolding in situ or with rolls of insulation in the path near enough kills the throughput to nil.

Insulation was by far the worst by also killing 4G signals too.

While the signal don't dissappear the affects on bandwidth and quality is adversely affected.

I would say this is more noticeable on networks such as Vodafone and O2 who have less densely located masts or cells.

My assumption for now would be that MaMIMO antennas are more affected than passive antennas, possibly due to how they radiate and lock signals
5G degredration/attenuation on O2 seems pretty abysmal. I see the 5G logo a lot but speeds barely ever seem to exceed the 100mbit mark, not sure wether it is O2 just being oversubscribed or due to signal degradation or a combo of both.

What I’m observing on O2 is a very laggy network even for just every day tasks. The network really is needing a some serious upgrades, I feel like it’s about to cripple underneath the weight of its subscribers.

When comparing them to Three… the leaps and bounds improvement they’ve made in the last 2 years is incredible. O2 really is dragging it’s feet and it’s going to fall so far behind if they don’t start to pull their fingers out soon.

Say whatever you like about Three, sure there’s still some inconsistencies in their network, but they’re at least addressing the issues albeit slowly but surely.
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
5G degredration/attenuation on O2 seems pretty abysmal. I see the 5G logo a lot but speeds barely ever seem to exceed the 100mbit mark, not sure wether it is O2 just being oversubscribed or due to signal degradation or a combo of both.

What I’m observing on O2 is a very laggy network even for just every day tasks. The network really is needing a some serious upgrades, I feel like it’s about to cripple underneath the weight of its subscribers.

When comparing them to Three… the leaps and bounds improvement they’ve made in the last 2 years is incredible. O2 really is dragging it’s feet and it’s going to fall so far behind if they don’t start to pull their fingers out soon.

Say whatever you like about Three, sure there’s still some inconsistencies in their network, but they’re at least addressing the issues albeit slowly but surely.
A lot of the issues are certainly related to its 4G side, unlike Three and EE, O2 has less mast sites due to the years of running lower frequencies so they need to bulk this up a bit before higher frequencies take affect properly.
 

ewanmclean2005

Pro Member
An O2 cell site next to Speirs Wharf (at the end of the Glasgow canal) which I tested yesterday on one of my walks. I’d say the throughout is kinda decent from here with steady 400mbit/s speeds. I was testing with an iPad so I cant tell which configuration this site is using. Probably 4G and 5G working together to provide higher data speeds on 5G along with N78. Most likely Band 20 + 1 + 40

if you walk away from the mast down the road if maintains performance at around 300mbit/s. In the background is a Three/EE macro site, this site performs incredibly on both Three/EE. EE site can exceed 800mbit/s.

Three is capable of gigabit but wasnt performing optimally on this visit with around 450mbit/s throughput.

1537148D-BBCD-4139-9295-5ACDDA5967C9.jpeg

40D083D9-156D-4A79-97B3-933F8143F2AF.png
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
this site performs incredibly on both Three/EE. EE site can exceed 800mbit/s.
What amazes me about 5G (NSA) on all the networks currently is the different ways in which they perform again eachother.

What I mean is.... Three's literally performs so well just because it has a huge band allowance for 5G on its own, EE's performs so well because it has 4/5 bands of 4G generating most of the bandwidth (in all my tests),

O2 and Vodafone sort of show same varying results based on the performance of its 4G counterpart.

An interesting thing with O2 currently however is the varying configuration methods across its new Orion setups, It seems very much likely O2 mare experimenting with band aggregating to find best configs for todays range of devices.

It's not really known for TDD and FDD 4G bands to aggregate together, and i've tried but the other day for first time ever I saw my device aggregating Band's 1-40-40 and even 40-1-20 too for a split second and additionlly n78 was also thrown into the mix.

Will be intersting to see what the future holds, things are heating up, though if Three go ahead and stick full SA 5G online, this will be a score beater for sure.
 

ewanmclean2005

Pro Member
What amazes me about 5G (NSA) on all the networks currently is the different ways in which they perform again eachother.

What I mean is.... Three's literally performs so well just because it has a huge band allowance for 5G on its own, EE's performs so well because it has 4/5 bands of 4G generating most of the bandwidth (in all my tests),

O2 and Vodafone sort of show same varying results based on the performance of its 4G counterpart.

An interesting thing with O2 currently however is the varying configuration methods across its new Orion setups, It seems very much likely O2 mare experimenting with band aggregating to find best configs for todays range of devices.

It's not really known for TDD and FDD 4G bands to aggregate together, and i've tried but the other day for first time ever I saw my device aggregating Band's 1-40-40 and even 40-1-20 too for a split second and additionlly n78 was also thrown into the mix.

Will be intersting to see what the future holds, things are heating up, though if Three go ahead and stick full SA 5G online, this will be a score beater for sure.

Are all of the devices on the current market capable of SA 5G? My current daily driver is the iPhone 12.
 

Martin.S

Pro Member
Not sure how many Virgin Mobile subscribers there are but they are all in the process of being moving on to the O2 network (from Vodafone).


This will only put even more strain on the O2 network 😒
 

dabigm

ULTIMATE Member
I had an interesting surprise just now. I was playing about with my modified 5G modem and testing some different SIMs in case my main one (three) goes down.

Anyway, I put the giffgaff SIM in for a laugh and lo and behold a workable 5G connection!

3396435733805798-BINNbqG9.png


13436396882.png


This is from a mast which I tested a few months ago and it struggled to even hit 50mbit. So something has definitely changed on O2 in Bedford. Still a long way off what I get with three but useable as a failover link for me for sure.
 

joshe

Casual Member
Not sure how many Virgin Mobile subscribers there are but they are all in the process of being moving on to the O2 network (from Vodafone).


This will only put even more strain on the O2 network 😒
Will probably be around 1-2 million since VMO2 has 32.5 million mobile subs total and O2 had 1.2 million in September 2021.
 
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