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Testing: Three 4G/5G - Inc. Smarty Mobile

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
Me again: So today I've wasted £15 quid and got a Three PAYG sim with 20GB to test out a local 5G mast and also why not see if the 4G issues are any better these days, the results won't shock you.

I started with the 'First 5' (Basically 5 Speed test's back to back from first connection.

H35G-FIRST5-TESTING.jpg


Straight out the pack I made sure I was under coverage area and though straight to 5G it was a wobbly start.

Next we dive into NSG and we get up close and personal with the 5G mast under scrutiny!
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
.... and now some LTE (3CA)

Upon arrival at the mast I was still getting very variable speed tests and the BW flicking between 100Mhz and 40Mhz so I dropped down to LTE mode and as I expected Band 32 (SDL) showed up.

H34G-LTE3CA-Band32Testing.jpg


Compared to testing I've done on Band 32 at the East Midlands Designer Outlet where I was able to peak at 110mbps using 4G I was somewhat disappointed in the performance figures but still glad to see the network moving in the right direction.

More to come.... Next back to 5G...
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
....still at the mast and I've found spot to chill and run a bunch of tests....

So first things first here it stands
H3-Mast-LBBHAM.jpeg

Pretty recently upgraded (2020)

So testing was fairly interesting, first issue I run into was the fact of being unable to reach Tele2 speedtest site using Three's network :S, So i settled with using ThinkBroadband test files to run a download using Free Download Manager.

I've manged to screenshot the best speed which was 18MB/s (so 144Mb/s) however the speed like test where all over the place, and despite being under the mast it couldn't settle on 100MHz bandwidth.

I ran a few more speed tests and then took a walk away to gather CellMapper data and run more tests.

H35G-ATM-Testing.jpg


More to come..... anymore data.....
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
.... so now were leaving the mast on foot and heading for a we hike down by the River Rea and the thing I noticed through all the testing was the constant switching of BW between 40/100Mhz....

H35G-SpectrumBW-Testing.jpg


Now unfortunately unlike my Voxi sim that is currently on a £10 unlimited deal, I wasn't looking to kill all my data on just testing one mast,

To be honest that wasn't to much of a problem because not too long after walking away from the mast 5G was going going gone and then despite being in an area covered by said mast and another 2/3 4G masts within range I was down on 3G....

H34G-FailingNetwork.jpg


When I then pursuaded my phone to find me some 4G (which it did) I was still on and offline anyway.

The Final part for today Next :) .......
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
So to cap off today's findings....

It's cost £15 to find out that EE's bitching about Three was somewhat acceptable (even though its just an attack on marketing) but putting BT and the potentially dangerous state the mobile telecom's sector is in of becoming monopolized aside .....

I'm actually somewhat surprised Three couldn't come at me and change my mind on what I thought where bold and bull :poop: statements about .....

1. "We're building the UK's fastest 5G network"

2. "We’ve got more 5G than any other UK network. And it’s the good stuff. 100MHz of fine-tuned, full-pelt, maxed-out 5G."

3."You see, to get proper 5G experiences you’re going to need a network that can offer a full 5G service. 100MHz of 5G spectrum is the recognised standard for this. And we’ve got it. In fact, we’ve got 140MHz, and we’re the only UK network to have that much. The other UK networks have less than half."

* Statements from Three's website and What is 5G page.

But like them I was wrong, now I'm obviously NOT finished testing yet and maybe if I go to parts of the country where the higher "classes" go to play then I may find better results, but from a mast that also houses 5CA capable EE network and sat adjacent a Vodafone 5G mast with upgraded O2 network, I was surprised at how this guy didn't really compete having so much more spectrum available to it.

and finally for tonight I will leave it at this....

H34G-NSG-1905-FailingNetwork.JPG
H34G-OoklaResult-250221-1909.png


Thanks for reading, feel free to comment and see you soon with some more stuffs :)
 

Bubblesthefish6

ULTIMATE Member
That mast looks nearly identical to the one im connected to but mines on top a hill..... Are they all just the same design or is there something variation?
 

zakir1988

Top Member
Three 5G is crap even tho they have the biggest chunk of 5G spectrum the roll out of 5G is very slow I have Three 5G broadband only get 60mbps to 100mbps on my Honor 9X and my wife gets around 100mbps to 200mbps on her Huawei P40 lite.

Three 5G speeds is unstable in my area.

I complained to Three many times when I complained recently again customer relation credited my account with £50 and complaints department credited £30 when my contract ends in September Im leaving Three network moving to Voxi as Vodafone have 5G coverage speeds they can give me at my postcode are upto 400mbps.
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
@Bubblesthefish6 they all seem to be of various design, but seem to to be designed to hold certain amount of kit and some seem designed to handle more or less sectors.

This one seems to be designed to hold dense loads and based on the future of the area its located it would seem well thought out.

@zakir1988 out of interested what is the area your testing in, I'm wondering if there's a trend to where the networks do and don't suck, going to be doing a Voxi 5G test soon, same area same places, same tests.

Also coming soon will be 4G tests.
 

zakir1988

Top Member
@Bubblesthefish6 they all seem to be of various design, but seem to to be designed to hold certain amount of kit and some seem designed to handle more or less sectors.

This one seems to be designed to hold dense loads and based on the future of the area its located it would seem well thought out.

@zakir1988 out of interested what is the area your testing in, I'm wondering if there's a trend to where the networks do and don't suck, going to be doing a Voxi 5G test soon, same area same places, same tests.

Also coming soon will be 4G tests.
Im in E3 5LW in London as you can see Three network say I cant get 5G although its picking up 5G cause my area has 5G that's why im not getting good 5G speeds.

Three network cant guarantee good speeds hence thats why im getting crap 5G speeds.
 

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GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
Im in E3 5LW in London as you can see Three network say I cant get 5G although its picking up 5G cause my area has 5G that's why im not getting good 5G speeds.

Three network cant guarantee good speeds hence thats why im getting crap 5G speeds.
I really don't get it why you complain so much - Three say you can't get 5G, though you actually can get a sniff of it, yet you are annoyed that the 5G (that There say doesn't cover you) is of low speed. I don't know what exactly you're expecting 🤷‍♂️
 

Lucian

ULTIMATE Member
@GavinAshford I suspect Zakir, like many others, bought into the marketing and couldn't say no to the pricing, ended up bitter about it.
Must be very frustrating because both EE and VF report excellent 5G in his area.. :)
 

zakir1988

Top Member
I really don't get it why you complain so much - Three say you can't get 5G, though you actually can get a sniff of it, yet you are annoyed that the 5G (that There say doesn't cover you) is of low speed. I don't know what exactly you're expecting 🤷‍♂️
Why I complain cause Three network are the slowest in the roll out of 5G they boasted about having the biggest chunk of 5G Spectrum I have been waiting 2 years I use to be with Relish then Three network bought it out become Three Broadband now its merged into Three Network.

Vodafone is way ahead in my area they have full 5G coverage.

Three lie alot nearly most of there 4G mast are full of congestion especially in London when I was on 4G broadband I kept on complaining cause I was getting 2mbps download speeds 5G broadband is an improvement.

Three Network sometimes will tell you there are some works going on to improve the speeds to cope with congestion which I dont see any improvements.

Crap network never going to be on Three network when my contract ends.
 

Bubblesthefish6

ULTIMATE Member
Three is my only choice for 5G here as I'm in the middle of nowhere (Cullingworth, outskirts of Bradford :))
 
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JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
EE are too pricey dont mind paying £30 a month unlimited data calls and texts on Vodafones Voxi
But that's why there network is winning awards and performs consistently well.

I do worry that Vodafone will soon start to tumble, they're currently taking on Virgin Media's new mobile customers and there 5G handset holders, and the migration of the exiting customer base has begun too, and Asda mobile is too follow shortly.

Having gone through the EE MVNO list with a fine tooth comb the other night I discovered that its becoming a very restricted platform, with the MVNO's currently still in place not selling high data allowances and sticking to more basic needs.
 

zakir1988

Top Member
Virgin media mobile unlimited data fup is different to Vodafone.

I don't think it will be a problem for Vodafone / Voxi customers.

EE are very dominant in the mobile sector in terms of reliability its good if you use less data no need for unlimited.

I can't get proper fibre that's why 5G broadband is good for me.

I Live in Tower Hamlets the highest proportion of people living in poverty some people just don't have the means to be on EE and most likely looking for a better deals.
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
I kinda wanna keep the chat here on topic of Three as best as possible however I must make you aware that I'm not aware of any FUP on Virgin Media's new Vodafone based plans and currently information on there website is still based on EE network.

Even if a FUP applied it wouldn't stop the network slowing down when an additional 6 million customers suddenly get connected in real time from EE's infrastructure I can almost guarentee a knock on affect, specially in areas where cable holds monopoly or reins king.

*6 million based on findings here https://www.virginmedia.com/corporate/about-us

As for ASDA Mobile customers being re-connected to Vodafone from EE, the deal with Vodafone is said to be introducing unlimited data plans and also obtaining access to 5G.

As mentioned in the beguinning I want to split this discussion from Three, maybe I'll look at arranging a Vodafone thread opened.
 
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