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Testing: Vodafone 5G & 4G - Inc. Voxi, Lebara

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
Soooo, its the 4G mast I was connected to during the 5G test above and I remember I used to commute via this monopole site on the way to work everyday in 2018 and can confirm its not changed one bit.

preview

preview

7122661096.png


Thanks for reading :)
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
Well good news folks, I was able to catch a 5G in Newcastle City Centre today,

However this is nothing to get excited about, it was connecting via O2's 5G network which is nothing beyond a pathetic attempt to add a marketing gimmick to the corner of your phone screen.

preview

7126059156.png

7126064976.png


I'm happy with the performance of this 5G based on what is actually being broadcast compared to the tests above.

Until today testing Vodafone's 5G has always shown a 50Mhz cell bandwidth and normally 4 beams of NR on the cell table, with O2's network in Newcastle only operating at 40Mhz and only broadcasting 1 beam of NR it is running pretty well when I compare to the maximum speed test of 495mb/s that I achieved using 4 beams on Vodafone's network in Longbridge, Birmingham.

This also brings me to the 'sharing', it should be common knowledge from reading the above that Vodafone and O2 have a mast sharing agreement which is managed by CTIL (Cornerstone),

It surprised me to see and learn that the sharing agreement even goes as far as 5G services, what also got me was the fact that while today I found Vodafone sharing O2's network but at O2's licensed specs (ex. 40mhz CBW)

Meanwhile here in Birmingham, O2 isn't getting service from Vodafone's 5G, but I suspect that is due to Vodafone's 5G using Huawei equipment or even due to Vodafone broadcasting at 50mhz cell bandwdith and that being 10mhz higher than O2's license and 2 network broadcasting at 2 different CBW's isn't possible.

However I expect this to be answered soon when I test a mast over in Highters Heath, Birmingham where both O2 and Vodafone have 5G off the same mast, so maybe this will be a Nokia/Ericsson site.

Next: 4G Up North.... out of the home zone :)
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
So what make Vodafone's 4G different outside of the 'home zone' well....

VF4G-NSG-1142.jpg


So for starters,

Band 1 is still broadcast at 10mhz in bandwidth (EARFCN 347) instead of 15mhz (EARFCN 323) in many areas still, this is due to partial re-farming of 3G spectrum.

I saw no Band 3 (EARFCN 1288) and that meant no 4CA was seen on this trip.

This didn't look too bad on performance however,

7126059156.png

7126064976.png


and on the Pixel 4a

7125991962.png


However where O2 has upgraded it 4G masts to include a wide range of bands including 40Mhz of Band 40, Vodafone is still only broadcasting at 2CA, but its still solid...

preview

7125891858.png

7125893808.png


I think as more 3G is shutdown the more equal the bands across the nation will get, and also more capacity will possibly be added to the existing bands too, not too mention the rollout of Band 8 (900mhz)

But talking of 3G, on my way up the M1 I had a stretch where I had no LTE on Vodafone and only 3G, meanwhile my O2 device had Band 40 LTE, I run a speed test out of curiosity, maybe a great example of how this technology begins and then becomes...

preview

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meanwhile

preview

7125612673.png


It would seem that now nobody uses 3G its original state is pretty fast, actually fast enough to support a couple homes really, I suppose this is like looking at 4G without a congestion problem.

Anyway, Thanks for reading :)
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
So today I decide to try report an issue with my local mast....

Vodafone Technical Support is just a...joke!

Please see the chat transcript below but the basics is that I got through to Vodafone, seemed to be listening to issue then as soon as noticed I'm a Voxi customer, washes there hands and passes me on....

So next advisor basically goes to Vodafone's status checker (lol) and checks my postcode and says everything it fine :ROFLMAO:

I explained that surely the customers tell Vodafone there's an issue and that's how they know there's a problem right, anyway, we continue useless BS chat and after being sent a link to unrelated page about smart products and then telling me how to reach support (errrrr syntax error) I give up and just advise that they need training and that Vodafone has let them down.

Ref: for Vodafone if they want to investigate.

Reference Number: 765154864329367961
DATE/TIME: 2021-03-12 15:02:44
Your Chat Transcript
The following is a record of your online chat with Vodafone today
Vodafone : Thanks for choosing to chat with us. An agent will be with you shortly
Varun : Hi, you're chatting with Varun. Let me quickly go through the chat, so that I can help you.
Varun : Hi, how can I help you today?
Matthew : Hi, my LTE speeds have plummeted in the last week or two and I'm finding browsing to be troublesome, I can't see any issues in my area and wondering if something went wrong with an upgrade done recently
Varun : Thank you for sharing the concern with me.I would like to sort the issue on priority basis.
Varun : Do you have speedtest.net app on your phone?
Varun : Hi, are we still connected?
Varun : To ensure our chat is not interrupted, please avoid minimizing this screen or switching to another webpage as that may result in you needing to provide your details again. If for any reason our chat disconnects due to connectivity or technical issues, you can simply click on the below link to reconnect your chat with us: https://www.vodafone.co.uk/techcd Please be aware that if you do not engage on the chat for 8 consecutive minutes, the chat will be automatically closed.
Varun : Also for your reference in future if you face any technical issues e.g(calls,text,data) use the link https://www.vodafone.co.uk/techcd that will directly get you connected to us without letting you go through any advisors.

Matthew : hi
Matthew : Yes I have the speedtest.net app
Varun : Thank you for confirming me .Please run the app and help me with speed
Matthew : sure, I'll send link if thats ok?
Varun : No problem,you can just help me with download and upload speed.
Matthew : currently its 8.84 down and 4.58 up (Mb/s) normally however I'm getting between 120-180 down and 20-50up
Varun : Thank you for helping me with the details.From how long you have been facing low speed on your number?
Matthew : the issues started at the start of this month and also affected 5G speeds also, which I have turned off due to be very unreliable
Varun : Thank you for informing me the details.I have located your account.Could you please confirm the 3rd and 4th digit of your Vodafone account PIN?
Matthew : xxxxxxx
Varun : Thank you for the details
Varun : Perfect, that takes care of security.
Matthew : It is a voxi account but I guess thats just PAYG
Varun : Thank you for waiting. Yes, It is a Voxi account. I have limited access for the account. We have dedicated team on chat who will help you for the resolution. Shall I connect the chat to them?
Matthew : You can if you need to, I was just hoping to report a network problem to be honest
Varun : Thank you for confirming me.Please stay connected.
Amelia : Hi Matthew
Amelia : is your data not working ?
Amelia : and you are getting slow speed
Matthew : I'm hoping to just report a problem with my local mast, performance has been pretty good for many months but since the start of this month the 4G and 5G performance has been a issue
Matthew : Issues have been occurring regardless of location close to or far from the mast.
Amelia : And since when you are facing this issue
Matthew : around 1st March
Amelia : please help me with your area post code
Matthew : xxxxxx
Amelia : thank you
Matthew : currently served by Longbridge mast
Amelia : please allow me few minutes to checl
Matthew : ok
Amelia : check*
Amelia : your area network is perfect :)
Amelia : please help me with the make and model of the phone
Matthew : How would you know the network is fine,
Matthew : checking the network status (like I have already) doesn't mean its fine
Amelia : I have checked on the website with the area network checer
Amelia : checker*
Matthew : I guess that
Matthew : That checker relys on customers to tell the network there is a problem and for it to be investigated
Matthew : 5G speeds going from xxxmbps to just 20mbps isn't fine
Amelia : Matthew,if their was any network issue then it gets activated on the website as well could you please try to insert your sim card in any other phone once
Matthew : I have, I use two different devices, I also use testing software that tells me what signals and bands my phone is connecting via....
Matthew : https://www.ispreview.co.uk/talk/threads/testing-vodafone-5g-4g.37074/
Amelia : did you tried to reset the network
Matthew : I'm not your average customer, I'm a tester and reviewer
Amelia : if you want we can arrange the replacement sim card for you and you can activate your number on that sim card and check is t working fine
Matthew : thats not the problem, its purely a mast issue, the issues don't occur elsewhere
Matthew : I'm sorry if this comes across rude, its not meant too but your limited by your training it seems (this isn't your fault)
Amelia : but if their was any issue with the signal then it would have have updated on the website as well
Matthew : Vodafone can only know of an issue if a customer tells them their is an issue,
Matthew : Is there a 2nd line tech support I can talk too
Amelia : sure I will help you with this please need not worry
Amelia : but i would request you to please try to reset the network
Matthew : Thats been done already
Amelia : https://www.vodafone.co.uk/mobile/smart-tech
Amelia : you can try to visit this link
Matthew : are you sure, that seems to be for a kids smart watch :(
Amelia : yes please be assured
Matthew : I guess your dealing with multiple chats
Amelia : I am here connected with you only so that I can sort this out for you
Matthew : So why are you sending me links thats are not related to my problem, I don't need to know about smart devices, I need a report to be sent to networks team to investigate problem with local mast
Amelia : I do understand this let me help you with something else
Amelia : also may I know in all other devices the sped is same
Amelia : sped*
Amelia : speed*
Matthew : yes same issue with other devices
Amelia : https://www.vodafone.co.uk/help-and-information/tech-team
Amelia : as you mentioned about the tech support above
Amelia : if we disconnect use this chat back link https://www.voxi.co.uk/?chat
Matthew : So, I'm going to leave this here, but this chat has been logged and I will be posting feedback on your support today which needs improvement (sorry) but you've basically done everything the site has already to me to then asked me to do them again and then asked me to look at the same sites again..... what I have asked of you should be simple and the previous advisor should of been able to help too but that hasn't happened so likely to just switch network because of this.
Matthew : I'll let you go now, thanks for chatting but not for any help :(
Amelia : I am sorry if you feel that way
amelia-wtf.jpg
 

Bubblesthefish6

ULTIMATE Member
So today I decide to try report an issue with my local mast....

Vodafone Technical Support is just a...joke!

Please see the chat transcript below but the basics is that I got through to Vodafone, seemed to be listening to issue then as soon as noticed I'm a Voxi customer, washes there hands and passes me on....

So next advisor basically goes to Vodafone's status checker (lol) and checks my postcode and says everything it fine :ROFLMAO:

I explained that surely the customers tell Vodafone there's an issue and that's how they know there's a problem right, anyway, we continue useless BS chat and after being sent a link to unrelated page about smart products and then telling me how to reach support (errrrr syntax error) I give up and just advise that they need training and that Vodafone has let them down.

Ref: for Vodafone if they want to investigate.

Reference Number: 765154864329367961

amelia-wtf.jpg
I've had awful experiences with them too they don't know their elbows from their a*ses at that place. They literally just operate the website for you and don't really do much. It just proves my point about their customer support being awful as i mentioned on the Avoid Three Network thread.
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
I've had awful experiences with them too they don't know their elbows from their a*ses at that place. They literally just operate the website for you and don't really do much. It just proves my point about their customer support being awful as i mentioned on the Avoid Three Network thread.
None of these networks want input from customers, they operate on their own merits it seems, even the networks that have the tools to report issues just dismiss any problems without investigation so I don't why I expected any different really.
 

Bubblesthefish6

ULTIMATE Member
None of these networks want input from customers, they operate on their own merits it seems, even the networks that have the tools to report issues just dismiss any problems without investigation so I don't why I expected any different really.
The only network i know accepts issue reports from customers is EE. Its one of the only things i will credit them for too.
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
The only network i know accepts issue reports from customers is EE. Its one of the only things i will credit them for too.
Yeah but even then they dismiss issues without investigation, last year in the summer a mast nearby wasn't working very well at all, I reported and within 6 hours it was said to be fine, then I reported it again, no problem, so I went out and walked down to it and low and behold somebody had set a fire that melted a bunch of the cabling,

So I called into customer services (ee customer at the time) and they initially didn't believe me saying that they would of known if the mast was set on fire, I explained the fire wasn't of significant magnitude and it seems nobody was aware anything had happened and then had them asking why I was at the mast....

At this point I just requested a manager and then things got sorted.

So yeah, I don't think its actually going to a person, its just a system and this system couldn't work out that the signals for both Three and EE had gone to ****
 

Bubblesthefish6

ULTIMATE Member
Yeah but even then they dismiss issues without investigation, last year in the summer a mast nearby wasn't working very well at all, I reported and within 6 hours it was said to be fine, then I reported it again, no problem, so I went out and walked down to it and low and behold somebody had set a fire that melted a bunch of the cabling,

So I called into customer services (ee customer at the time) and they initially didn't believe me saying that they would of known if the mast was set on fire, I explained the fire wasn't of significant magnitude and it seems nobody was aware anything had happened and then had them asking why I was at the mast....

At this point I just requested a manager and then things got sorted.

So yeah, I don't think its actually going to a person, its just a system and this system couldn't work out that the signals for both Three and EE had gone to ****
Ok i didn't know that. I have reported the mast i tested a few times before when EEs crappy service kept failing during the summer. They decided it was a good idea to make that mast the only one within receivable distance of our village. When that one goes down you have no other chaise than to use Vodafone, Three or O2.
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
Ok i didn't know that. I have reported the mast i tested a few times before when EEs crappy service kept failing during the summer. They decided it was a good idea to make that mast the only one within receivable distance of our village. When that one goes down you have no other chaise than to use Vodafone, Three or O2.
Sounds like the kit was overheating, also something I experianced last year on the other mast nearby, I thinks thats the downside of mounting RRU's outside of cabinets, no cooling systems or direct sunlight.
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
Another speed test for Vodafone's 4G today, this time we hit up their mast on top of Brookpiece House, Druids Heath, Birmingham.

preview

7136688668.png


A good result for on the fly test, O2 did pretty well on this mast too, will be posting the results over on the O2 testing thread next.

Thanks for reading :)
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
Happy Monday guys and today I've been on a bit of a mission, handset in hand obviously...

I've got a lot of information to process and results to share, keep you eyes peeled as information will be coming shortly.

Thanks :)
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
Good Afternoon Everybody, so whats more fitting than posting today's test results using Vodafone's 5G (as my fixed line has broke)

So I done the first test of O2's 5G on Kings Heath High Street in Birmingham

preview

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7139705064.png

7139706643.png
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
and finally our 3rd test location for today was Edgebaston, Birmingham

preview

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7139809780.png

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That concludes testing for today, stay tuned as I attempt to get Vodafone's attention to an issue with a faulty mast that I think I broke by testing it to much!

Thanks for reading :)
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
So I'm heading out at lunch to go check in on the poorly Vodafone mast in Longbridge, Birmingham, where 5G was struggling to reach above 50mbps... where previously was nearly 10 times the speed..

I've tried a couple of times since beginning of March to get this investigated by Vodafone but kept hitting brick walls with script reading customer services.

However this week a breakthrough maybe after I was contacted by Ker Anderson, Head of Radio & Performance @ Vodafone who told me he had referred the matter to engineering to investigate and understood that I should be seeing, much higher speeds at the said mast.

So lets go see whats happening because in initial test ran last night and this morning it would seem the mast is acting much better.

See ya later with more :)

EDITS IN BOLD
 
Last edited:

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
Good Evening Everyone, so I've been a taken a lot of tests on the 'previously' malfunctioning Vodafone 5G site in Longbridge, Birmingham. and it seems to have return to acceptable performance,

I'm trying a new way of delivering testing, and to make for simpler posting and management, organising and preparing screenshots and speedtest.net URL's is very time consuming, so here goes....


In the test, you will see that things are now back to what would be expected of 5G services, and even though I took this mast slightly higher to the 450-500Mb/s region in February I must say the area being served is much busier as people return to work and education.

I'm continuing to supply as much information possible to Ker @ Vodafone as he has come back to me today to say they didn't find any issues, but has taken additional information and even links to this thread and seems to be trying to find out what the issue may of been.

As usual feedback and discussion is encouraged and please share your experiences too.
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
Today I have a couple of 4G tests for you,
The first test for you run from Starbucks, Northfield, Birmingham, connecting using eNB1122 located on Shenley Hill, Birmingham.


Second test was run from The Waseley Hills Country Park, using single band 20 eNB8371 mast located next to the M5 motorway on Romsley Hill.


Not a band test considering how busy the park was and also the rush hour traffic on the motorway passing by.
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
Yesterday I went to one of the hardest places in the world to maintain a phone call..... My Mums!

She lives on an an 1980s built estate right on the edge of the county lines and coverage for all operators is pretty much very week to non existent indoors, the best operator for the area used to be O2 in terms of call reliability but and because of this data was very poor.

However as the years have passed things have changed but not for the better, with O2's mast being removed and moved to Vodafone's site on the next tower block over things took a slight knock in reliability but did improve in performance.

However then CTIL upgrade the mast site with new equipment, new panels and added 5G and coverage indoors then near enough disappeared due to the azimuth (direction) in which one of the sectors now pointed leaving the road she lives on in the gap between cells with limited coverage.

However this is now being looked into, so I'll report back with my findings, however in the meantime what does performance look like on the edge coverage and better still, how does it perform against the best coverage operator for that spot.

Well with EE being the network of choice at this address due to its better coverage indoors despite it being just a far aware as the Vodafone mast it does face a sector directly into the area and also uses Band 20 when needed.

It used to be the best performer to with the mast directing 2xB3 and 2x B7 at the area with great capacity but yesterday I found that the superior was no longer.

3310978284700830-GUuCUyan.png

EE outdoors on location,

3310979027714659-2ctR2eYv.png

Vodafone from the same spot.

Both tests where run 60 seconds, both networks connected in 2CA with EE connecting 2xB3 and Vodafone B20+B1

What surprised me with this test is the fact that the area is monopolized by Virgin Media's Cable services with no FTTC available, sop ADSL runs at 2mbps, so a lot of people use Virgin Mobile and that has now started operating off of Vodafone's network which is being noticed slightly in some areas.

It's worth noting that EE on this location in the past has achieved over 100mbps outdoors, however it looks like Vodafone's upgrading of the mast is now giving EE a run for its money, and if Vodafone can get that coverage blackspot just right they will no doubt take on a lot of customers in this area specially via Virgin Media.

It's also worth noting that 5G operates in this area and also in the spot tested above...

3310980242635591-QTHJIKes.png


and the same sector testing much better just out of the gap in coverage

3310956506907461-dxfLw47U.png

Now if maybe Vodafone reduced mobile broadband prices slightly or made speed restricted packages up and also found a way to provide installations they could potentially up sell in the area as I know there is a lot of people looking for an out from Virgin.

Thanks for reading :)
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
Wee drive this morning to pick up some weights and why not test Vodafone's 4G in Druids Heath whilst waiting for coffee.

3311297348910005-f43hQG6O.png

It's quite impressive what can be achieved even without Band 7 available.

Device connected via 3CA with 15mhz@B1,5Mhz@B3,10Mhz@B20.
 
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