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The disappointment that is Vodafone 5G

dabigm

Top Member
Sorry for not uploading the report earlier, sunshine, BBQs and family commitments.

On Friday I was more or less forced to go into the office for some networky type stuff. So naturally, I took some speed tests on 5G.

St Pancras station

7248416028.png



Office (Dean Street / Soho) where it all went wrong :

12mbit-5-G.jpg


with an absolutely shocking upload speed ...

shocking-upload.jpg


I guess soho is a rather busy area, but then so is St Pancras.

But I noticed the 4G speeds were not as good as they were last year (same handset, same location) I would previously see well over 200mbit on Dean Street with 4G on vodafone

Screenshot-20210416-181003268.jpg



I did complain to vodafone about it, and I got a more or less standard reply:

"Speeds when using the mobile network can be affected by a variety of factors such as the current network traffic levels or being in a moving vehicle." < except I wasn't in a moving vehicle, and I'd usually get well more than double the 4G speeds I got.

Interestingly the phone would often hop about between 5G/4G as if it wasn't stable on 5G.

Regrettably, I do not have Network signal guru installed, my phone is not rooted and I'm not willing to do so as it breaks several apps.

Cellmapper location (for the Dean Street tests)
 

Bubblesthefish6

ULTIMATE Member
Maybe three are onto something with the amount of spectrum they have......
As I've mentioned before there are theoretical download speeds were I am of over 500Mbps and I measured that at peak times.
 

dabigm

Top Member
Maybe three are onto something with the amount of spectrum they have......
As I've mentioned before there are theoretical download speeds were I am of over 500Mbps and I measured that at peak times.

Something was definitely up though, as I mentioned 4G speeds were slower than usual. But yeah at the moment, three at home is way faster than Vodafone in London. Honestly, I expected better from VF in Central London. I remember reading about amazing speeds that BBC reported for 5G at Kings Cross .. but I wasn't able to reproduce it.
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
Hi @dabigm, I too have noticed a slow down with Vodafone the past few weeks, though not anything to worry about,

I wonder if this is the knock on affect of taking on Virgin Media's mobile customer base?

London's 5G for Vodafone can be a bit more confusing however, Vodafone has DSS turned on in London and that's basically sharing Band 1.
 

dabigm

Top Member
Hi @dabigm, I too have noticed a slow down with Vodafone the past few weeks, though not anything to worry about,

I wonder if this is the knock on affect of taking on Virgin Media's mobile customer base?

London's 5G for Vodafone can be a bit more confusing however, Vodafone has DSS turned on in London and that's basically sharing Band 1.

Yeah it might have been DSS, alas I was in a hurry and as mentioned I don't have a rooted phone so NSG wouldn't have shown that much for me, but I consider it a "real world" test as just another random on the streets of London with his phone and I was seeing pretty shocking 5G speeds on VF to be honest.

More surprising was the 4G speeds when this is what I got in March 2020:

Screenshot-2020-02-06-09-48-30-038-com-android-chrome.jpg


and yet in my humble opinion there were wayyyyy less people wandering around Soho on Friday than there were in March 2020 and yet the speeds were less than half this. It could of course have been a mast issue, many people at home using mobile internet? etc... we will never be able to tell.. but I expected a LOT more from VF 5G than what I got.

St Pancras was .. reasonable, although not as good as my three 5G at home. But then I expect far fewer people will also be using 5G near where I live than in Central London .. but I always kinda had this idea that London 5G was going to be blazingly fast. Shame it wasn't.
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
@dabigm To be honest, I expect 4G to take a hit with all the new customers, and we've sort of had a year of quite mobile networks so standards are about to slip HARD.

Let's also bare in mind that the user usage has changed too, a lot more people are video calling rather than voice calling now, a lot more people have also got those ring door bell things to and constant interactions with devices gets networks busy.

Probably doesn't help that there is bunches of people now all buying into the speed aspect, so are running speed tests on a daily basis just like us.

I wouldn't be surprised if networks become harder to read, potential of QOS getting enabled and shaping network traffic too to make for better network operations.
 

Bubblesthefish6

ULTIMATE Member
I think Vodafone have shot themselves in the foot with allowing one of the biggest MVNOs out there onto their services. They already provide for Lebara, ASDA and VOXI so they are bound to have reduced speeds.
 

dabigm

Top Member
@dabigm To be honest, I expect 4G to take a hit with all the new customers, and we've sort of had a year of quite mobile networks so standards are about to slip HARD.

Let's also bare in mind that the user usage has changed too, a lot more people are video calling rather than voice calling now, a lot more people have also got those ring door bell things to and constant interactions with devices gets networks busy.

Probably doesn't help that there is bunches of people now all buying into the speed aspect, so are running speed tests on a daily basis just like us.

I wouldn't be surprised if networks become harder to read, potential of QOS getting enabled and shaping network traffic too to make for better network operations.

(puts tinfoil hat on) I've always kinda wondered about the "conspiracy theory" that mobile networks prioritises speed tests. Of course a better test would have been to whip the laptop out, open steam and start downloading GTA:V or CyberPunk or something. But alas, the only spare time I had to run this stuff was while I was enjoying my first pub served pint at lunch..

Totally agree the customer has changed. I imagine many more people are using mobile networks as their go to ISP now especially given the fact an unlimited mobile data contract is often cheaper these days than a wired ISP contract (and occasionally faster too, like my home three 5G connection) I just want better, faster speeds I don't expect a year later to see slower speeds than a year before. But I suppose a great deal of customers just wont care as long as facebook loads in a few seconds, or I can watch some silly tiktok video in a minute or two.. but as someone who also uses mobile data as an ISP .. well i'm just glad i'm not in London (or at least Soho in London) and using Vodafone 5G otherwise I think i'd be looking to leave.

It would have been fun to try three 5G, but that would have meant disabling my home internet (wifey would not have been happy) and my phone can only handle two SIMs and at least one is my work EE one.
 

Bubblesthefish6

ULTIMATE Member
It would have been fun to try three 5G, but that would have meant disabling my home internet (wifey would not have been happy) and my phone can only handle two SIMs and at least one is my work EE one.
Pay and go SIM and take a separate old phone to put your voda one in? I would like to see some Three 5G speeds in London. Mistake me if I'm wrong but are three the only ones who offer 5G on pay and go?
 

dabigm

Top Member
Pay and go SIM and take a separate old phone to put your voda one in? I would like to see some Three 5G speeds in London. Mistake me if I'm wrong but are three the only ones who offer 5G on pay and go?

Good point. But I have only one 5G phone, but I could certainly put my work EE sim in to my (yuck) work supplied iPhone that has sat in my desk drawer since they gave it to me (lol I had to get our CISO to agree to let me use my personal dual sim phone for work+personal). I will see what I can do, but i'm not expected to be back in the office until June now .. unless another cisco switch explodes like it did last week :D
 

dabigm

Top Member
@dabigm I believe your 'office' speed tests are actually 4G tests, not 5G, your phone is just showing your the ULI whereas the speed test app reports the technology in use during the test (LTE)

I believe this could be absolutely correct Gavin. Although even the 4G speeds were pretty pants compared to a year ago. Such a shame that it can show you a 5G symbol and be basically lying about it. Still pretty shocking speeds.

Extra evidence to support your theory would be the latency, look at the ping in St Pancras compared to the ping in Soho..
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
@dabigm - another issue that seems to be rearing its head is the fact that the current 5G rollout is a mixed bag when it comes to setups and configurations.

There is so much confusion over the Vodafone/O2 sharing agreement, some places where O2 hosts the 5G and Vodafone uses it and vice-cersa, and the ultimate issue is backhaul/backend management of 5G and 4G connections.

I'm lead to believe that in most places Three are running 5G over a dedicated backhaul, but then upgrading backhaul on a shared RAN should be ok also.

But the above is somewhat speculation as nothing official really tells us whats going on, and personally I think the target to get for operators currently is just putting that 5G icon on screens.

It took years to develop 4G to a decent reliable service and that development is still on-going (although winding down) so we can look at this in 5 years and see whats happening, but in the UK atleast there is issues in the background affecting all services and all operators in some shape and form and until they sort those out we're just piling on the pressure AGAIN.
 

Bubblesthefish6

ULTIMATE Member
Good point. But I have only one 5G phone, but I could certainly put my work EE sim in to my (yuck) work supplied iPhone that has sat in my desk drawer since they gave it to me (lol I had to get our CISO to agree to let me use my personal dual sim phone for work+personal). I will see what I can do, but i'm not expected to be back in the office until June now .. unless another cisco switch explodes like it did last week :D
I agree, yuck. It would work for a period of time though. Why do offices always supply iPhones......
As for the switch exploding, that sounded fun :D
 

dabigm

Top Member
easier devices to manage

Android has a fairly decent management system. Although I prefer using my own device. In fact if you install the outlook client on an android in a corporate environment it will ask you if they can be device admin over it... big fat no to that one (since it's my personal phone). My iPhone is used for the kids to play games on after I wiped it lol (With permission). I use the web client if I want to read my work email on the phone (Again, with permission ... I got it because i said sorry but i'm not carrying two phones around with me , and mine is better lol - higher refresh rate screen, more RAM , higher category LTE etc.. ).

I just dislike the iPhone system. I'm not anti-apple, I use a MBP as my daily laptop. Just not into the phone ecosystem, that and I've got tons of android apps and 0 apple ones.
 

Bubblesthefish6

ULTIMATE Member
Android has a fairly decent management system. Although I prefer using my own device. In fact if you install the outlook client on an android in a corporate environment it will ask you if they can be device admin over it... big fat no to that one (since it's my personal phone). My iPhone is used for the kids to play games on after I wiped it lol (With permission). I use the web client if I want to read my work email on the phone (Again, with permission ... I got it because i said sorry but i'm not carrying two phones around with me , and mine is better lol - higher refresh rate screen, more RAM , higher category LTE etc.. ).

I just dislike the iPhone system. I'm not anti-apple, I use a MBP as my daily laptop. Just not into the phone ecosystem, that and I've got tons of android apps and 0 apple ones.
Yeah, I have my school email on my phone and outlook tried that one on. I can't stand any of apples products, especially the laptops lol. I have used 2 iPhones in the past and it just wasnt for me. They have tiny batteries, tiny storage and non expandable storage. You can't do what you like with it unlike android and it sort of stays apple's in a way.
 

JitteryPinger

ULTIMATE Member
Android has a fairly decent management system.
I was looking more towards the fact that when setup properly on corporate accounts they can be locked down to certain apps only and also they get up sold on the whole security aspect as malware or other narsties don't generally affect iOS devices.

Personally I wouldn't use either Android or iOS, but obviously companies outsource everything now instead of having an internal IT departments.

Personally, I'd give employee's Linux based laptops and basic devices for calls.
 
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