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Testing: O2's 4G/5G, LTE B8/B40 & MVNO (Sky Mobile - GiffGaff) Review

CarlO1460

ULTIMATE Member
Band 40 seems to hover around 30mbps at the moment, stopped testing until I can see the data usage on my account.

The way band 40 was rolled out in Vodafone area's is a bit squiff compared to up north in O2 land, theres only a single band active compared to two and the priority at mast seems to be to push everyone onto Band 40.... which isn't that bad for people in need of the lower frequencies for whatever reason.
I’m not sure if O2 updates almost immediately for data usage, I may be wrong though.

I guess the lower frequency are ultimately designed for distance, and those in reach of 40 better off utilising that.
 

Tom153619

Casual Member
Got my sim from O2 today, been connected about 20mins with ok results at home....

Test run tomorrow....

@CarlO1460 did you say the O2 My Network app speedtest was zero rated when it comes to using data (my plans only 20GB)
From this FAQ in the app it sounds like it's only the web and video tests that use your plan data
 

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JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
A thing to consider about much of O2's and in fact Vodafone's network is that the initiail laucnh of 4G saw masts rolled out with just band 20 and when it came to adding more 'capacity' there seems to have been a rush of just adding Band 1 radios and not much configuiration was done.

Up north I see its more common for Band 3+20 masts with O2 which may show where O2 host zones benefitting first from additional bands before the Vodafone host zones, but at that time O2 was still runnning 3G on Band 1.

I'm quite intrigued to see how I perform tomorrow on my commute to and from work.
 

CarlO1460

ULTIMATE Member
My main serving mast gets some upgrades tomorrow so it will be interesting to see what’s being changed.

Plenty of band 20 here, some only with band 20 too, I hope they add 3 or 40, but I’d be dreaming.

Still very happy so far, and will understand more about the changes at the weekend when I head to the city.
 

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CarlO1460

ULTIMATE Member
This is an interesting one.

Cellmapper has no information about this location for O2 or Vodafone however O2 coverage map shows a mast (not sure I’ve seen it there before). I know the physical location, quite a big building with kit all around it.

Cellmapper shows it as a EE/Three site, maybe they’re adding there now?

Edit: Vodafone were upgrading this location yesterday.
 

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JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
This is an interesting one.

Cellmapper has no information about this location for O2 or Vodafone however O2 coverage map shows a mast (not sure I’ve seen it there before). I know the physical location, quite a big building with kit all around it.

Cellmapper shows it as a EE/Three site, maybe they’re adding there now?

Edit: Vodafone were upgrading this location yesterday.
Remeber CellMapper only has data that is collected by devices in the area using said network at the time of data collection.
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
I hope they add 3 or 40, but I’d be dreaming.
To be fair you don't want band 40 yet I would say, it don't aggregate with other bands due to it using TDD not FDD.

Typiclally you want 1,3,20 and ideally O2 could do with rolling out Band 7 but thats not shown up yet. and Band 28 would be a good addition to 4G but not sure how O2 plans to roll that out yet....

I know they say using it for 5G but as DSS or NR-NSA/SA.

Band 8 would also be welcomed too, I'm not too sure what radio equipment is available on the market and to O2 though, generally networks like to keep it down to a minimum, hence why Three's new monopoles can do B20,B28,B32 and and then B1,3 because all 5 bands can run on Two radios,

Until more information and actuall setups become available though its all speculation.

I'm more interested in if Virgin Media and O2 are starting to build on backhaul?
 

The Wee Bear

ULTIMATE Member
They're not called 3 poles of wonder for nothing JP. ;)
 

CarlO1460

ULTIMATE Member
Remeber CellMapper only has data that is collected by devices in the area using said network at the time of data collection.
It’s strange though as people have been using cellmapper here for years according to the available data and it’s odd there’s nothing, not even 3G or 2G data around that area for voda or O2 so I wonder if it’s new hardware going in, our planning portal for chester is rubbish.

As for bands, O2 seems to have plenty of estimate band 3 around here but no official data on it.

Also don’t think we have any aggregation here except EE/Three, maybe that’s the plan, who knows.

Edit: city fibre are current on a big rollout here so maybe backhaul for us will significantly increase, depending on agreements as it may contradict the VMO2 merger.
 

The Wee Bear

ULTIMATE Member
My experiance so far with two of them Phase 8's is all the spectrum but no bandwidth/connection.
Well I'm hoping mine is a big improvement compared to your experience JP. 🤞

Won't know for a wee while yet. :rolleyes:

Won't mention it again as it's not the right place. :oops:
 

CarlO1460

ULTIMATE Member
Well, the capacity in the city hasn’t improved in some areas.

I did however notice socials etc were functional which was an issue previously.

Says works complete on Vodafone status checker but O2 still says they’re upgrading so maybe more to come.

Vodafone/lebara performed pretty good, but that was never an issue.
 

CarlO1460

ULTIMATE Member
I am going bat crazy here.

Doing my casual speed test in the back yarden and I was getting a good 40+ speed.

I checked the iPhone field test mode and it flickered to 15mhz band 1 when it was previously just 10mhz.

I had a look around the web and found ole Pedroc

https://tools.pedroc.co.uk/earfcn/uk/ and the image attached from this.

Which states yes 10mhz LTE but then the 3G band 1 refarm so I’m curious to know if they are refarming band 1 in my area.

Can’t seem to get it to connect again to site 276 band 1 but I’m indoors.

It was absolutely 10mhz all the while previously though.

Anyone else confirm this is possible? 🤯

Edit: Vodafone was always 15mhz band 1 here, but I was definitely browsing the O2 configs. Just baffled and feel my mind was playing tricks 😂
 

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GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
O2 only own 10Mhz of 2100Mhz and they now use it for 4G (used to be 3G pre-refarm). Whether that refarm is complete in all areas I don't know - I don't really track O2's progress.
If you saw 15Mhz flash up then either it momentarily swapped to a different O2 band during cell reselection, or perhaps it found a Vodafone or EEs earfcn before being denied and reverting back.
 

CarlO1460

ULTIMATE Member
O2 only own 10Mhz of 2100Mhz and they now use it for 4G (used to be 3G pre-refarm). Whether that refarm is complete in all areas I don't know - I don't really track O2's progress.
If you saw 15Mhz flash up then either it momentarily swapped to a different O2 band during cell reselection, or perhaps it found a Vodafone or EEs earfcn before being denied and reverting back.
Yeah I did wonder this and it’s stuck to 10mhz since then. Just completely threw me out as the information around says they only have 10.
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
iOS's FTM was always a bit dubious as to when it refreshed of if it was showing accurate info, I think the later versions have improved but I'm still a bit wary of the info it does show
 

CarlO1460

ULTIMATE Member
iOS's FTM was always a bit dubious as to when it refreshed of if it was showing accurate info, I think the later versions have improved but I'm still a bit wary of the info it does show
I was trying to work out what would have triggered, I am a beta user and it does have a lebara sim in so possibly a switch over error in brief on refresh or something.

Shame, we need the capacity
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
Oh, maybe I misinterpreted your OP. I thought you were asking about the 15Mhz. Are you actually trying to figure out if 2100Mhz is being refarmed from 3G to 4G?
 
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