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Vodafone Unlimited Max Throttling?

purplebogmonste

Regular Member
I had exactly the same experience on Vfe 4G. Faster speeds over a tunnel, either VPN or Andrews and Arnolds un-encrypted L2TP. In particular I found traffic from Usenet ports was particularly aggressively throttled. To be honest, it is a mute point for me now because just before Christmas something changed at my local mast and the signal strength down considerably and bandwidth took a massive nose dive to the point it was next to useless. Bandwidth has improved to the point I can just about manage with it for now. Vodafone refused to admit that anything had changed but I pretty sure the problem is their end - they were extremely unhelpful. Earlier in the year I was getting ~45Mbps but dropped to dropped suddenly to under 3Mbps :( Now it is about 14Mbps. Truespeed are busy installing in my village so hopefully that will be up and running in a few months. To be honest, I feel my fingers have been burnt with mobile broadband and I am keen to ditch as soon as I can.
 

GreatBritian

Casual Member
I had exactly the same experience on Vfe 4G. Faster speeds over a tunnel, either VPN or Andrews and Arnolds un-encrypted L2TP. In particular I found traffic from Usenet ports was particularly aggressively throttled. To be honest, it is a mute point for me now because just before Christmas something changed at my local mast and the signal strength down considerably and bandwidth took a massive nose dive to the point it was next to useless. Bandwidth has improved to the point I can just about manage with it for now. Vodafone refused to admit that anything had changed but I pretty sure the problem is their end - they were extremely unhelpful. Earlier in the year I was getting ~45Mbps but dropped to dropped suddenly to under 3Mbps :( Now it is about 14Mbps. Truespeed are busy installing in my village so hopefully that will be up and running in a few months. To be honest, I feel my fingers have been burnt with mobile broadband and I am keen to ditch as soon as I can.
Do andrew and Arnold do L2TP without the 100Mb/s cap? up to 1Gb/s would be nice.
 

TTJJ

Pro Member

I would welcome anyone to review the above video.
Very interesting. Can you run a test over OpenVPN (TCP) protocol? What speeds do you get with that? Option should be there in the app. I'm wondering if they're specifically giving high priority to OpenVPN.
 

GreatBritian

Casual Member
Very interesting. Can you run a test over OpenVPN (TCP) protocol? What speeds do you get with that? Option should be there in the app. I'm wondering if they're specifically giving high priority to OpenVPN.
It's exactly the same as IKEV2 under TCP with the results.
The only improvements appear to be under UDP.

However if you would still like a Video let me know and i'll get this produced?
 

TTJJ

Pro Member
It's exactly the same as IKEV2 under TCP with the results.
The only improvements appear to be under UDP.

However if you would still like a Video let me know and i'll get this produced?
No need. Vodafone claim they aren't throttling but as I said previously it's clear this is happening. You could raise an official complaint with them and pursue it until it gets to some team with the right knowledge and can (maybe) do something about it.

This kind of thing is very common across networks though they shy away from calling it throttling and prefer terms such as optimising, ensuring sufficient bandwidth for all users and prioritising real time stuff etc.

What plan are you on? I'd be especially annoyed if I was on one of their new 'max speed' plans and this was occurring.
 

TTJJ

Pro Member
Are you expecting max speeds 24/7?
I feel like that's not the issue. The issue is that it's being artificially throttled down to much lower speeds than it should be. If your like could handle 100mbps, you pay for that and they throttle it down to 20 it'd be pretty annoying.
 

GreatBritian

Casual Member
No need. Vodafone claim they aren't throttling but as I said previously it's clear this is happening. You could raise an official complaint with them and pursue it until it gets to some team with the right knowledge and can (maybe) do something about it.

This kind of thing is very common across networks though they shy away from calling it throttling and prefer terms such as optimising, ensuring sufficient bandwidth for all users and prioritising real time stuff etc.

What plan are you on? I'd be especially annoyed if I was on one of their new 'max speed' plans and this was occurring.
I'm on the Unlimited Max Plan

It's currently in the process of been investigated via Ofcom as we speak. I haven't had a final response to the concern yet. (This thread was originally made before Christmas)
I raised the incident with Ofcom a short period of time ago after no luck with Vodafone and been told the same things and going around in circles.
I have a contact at Vodafone who is quite high up and dealing with these concerns which were raised to Ofcom.

What he has said is that they have been able to replicate the issue I am encountering where I have experienced the issues and they have checked their RAN equipment and that appears to be functioning correctly. The last message I had regarding this was "TEF are performing their field tests this week".

He has assured me that there's no Traffic Management values on the Unlimited Max Plan, however I understand that they are doing testing and on-going investigations into the matter one theory was Routing of Traffic and another was that VPN traffic is overriding Prioritisation values which have been set he used some technical term but I can't remember.
 

GreatBritian

Casual Member
Are you expecting max speeds 24/7?
I believe you are missing the point here.

I don't expect max speeds 24/7.
I expect more than 20Mb/s and not have to use certain services past midnight.
I expect Vodafone to implement to ensure high priority traffic goes through the network, but that doesn't mean harsh throttling (We will use this word) of all other kind of traffic to around 20Mb/s.

I've used all the major networks from the likes of EE, O2 and Three and I have never seen this kind of scenario across any other network, which is somewhat strange as in Kingston Upon Hull I believe Vodafone use O2 sites and on O2 I can achieve the same speeds Vodafone can obtain without a VPN.

The major issues that concern me is that users are not able to do what Vodafone is advertising and suffer a loss of expectation.

One of the claims on the Unlimited Max Plan is;
Streaming live TV and sport in UHD.

That would be questionable to be sustained via the methods implemented via Vodafone which significantly reduce speeds to around 20Mb/s.
(As a example Netflix recommends 25Mb/s for buffer free streaming under the UHD Quality)

Now I understand in abnormal hours the service is fine i.e between 01:00am till around 8:00am, but you shouldn't have to stay awake till that time when you are at work in the morning to watch your favourite TV show on Netflix on UHD.

Obviously when you are making certain claims on different plans and the customer is purchasing the plan for that specific reason and these claims can not be sustained to the end user, it's potentially mis-selling a contract.
 
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Bigyinuk

Casual Member
That is a strange one for sure. I use a Vodafone 100Gb SIM in my Teltonika router and get speeds that vary between 12mbps and 40mbps when I test, although not at any particular time of day, just random - so presumably load dependent. UHD Netflix streams perfectly. I'd be very pissed off if I paid for their MAX offering and couldn't watch Netflix in UHD during the day! Ofcom would be hearing from me too. I'll watch this thread with interest to see what the outcome is. Thanks for posting.
 

GreatBritian

Casual Member
That is a strange one for sure. I use a Vodafone 100Gb SIM in my Teltonika router and get speeds that vary between 12mbps and 40mbps when I test, although not at any particular time of day, just random - so presumably load dependent. UHD Netflix streams perfectly. I'd be very pissed off if I paid for their MAX offering and couldn't watch Netflix in UHD during the day! Ofcom would be hearing from me too. I'll watch this thread with interest to see what the outcome is. Thanks for posting.
It seems to only be their Unlimited Max Plans if you have a look on their forum others have been complaining one which switched to a older plan as they noticed restricted speeds.
 

kev_plymouth

Casual Member
He has assured me that there's no Traffic Management values on the Unlimited Max Plan, however I understand that they are doing testing and on-going investigations into the matter one theory was Routing of Traffic and another was that VPN traffic is overriding Prioritisation values which have been set he used some technical term but I can't remember.
That contradicts itself, no traffic management, yet VPN could be overriding prioritisation?

Could that mean that all Max Unlimited traffic is treated the same, however the plan has a lower priority on the network compared to fixed data limit plans? Somehow UDP traffic is bypassing the lower prioritisation, leading to faster speeds…

Could the resolution / fix be slower UDP speeds as a result?
 

GreatBritian

Casual Member
That contradicts itself, no traffic management, yet VPN could be overriding prioritisation?

Could that mean that all Max Unlimited traffic is treated the same, however the plan has a lower priority on the network compared to fixed data limit plans? Somehow UDP traffic is bypassing the lower prioritisation, leading to faster speeds…

Could the resolution / fix be slower UDP speeds as a result?
The thing is I haven't been to everywhere in the United Kingdom of course my tests are based on experience in three locations which includes Redcar, Manchester along with Kingston Upon Hull.

Although the locations are quite far from one another and as Vodafone specifically stated they haven't experienced the issue in their location but was able to replicate the issue when their contractors/team drove to the area where I am to investigate. This to me indicates it's a potential issue with specific locations rather than the Plan itself the Unlimited Max Plan. I spoke to someone quite high up within Vodafone in terms of the network and they are sure and have checked that there's no Traffic Management values implemented like the other unlimited tariffs.

There's all kinds of theory's and tests been performed and ultimately it's clear Vodafone even ain't sure why this is happening atm.
 

kev_plymouth

Casual Member
There's all kinds of theory's and tests been performed and ultimately it's clear Vodafone even ain't sure why this is happening atm.
Well done for getting Vodafone to take this seriously, hopefully they'll get to the bottom of it. Strange how others are saying the data limited plans don't have the same issue though...

I was given a similar run around by Three Mobile business around 5 years ago. From 3pm everyday tethering would be throttled to under 1Mb, yet they assured me no throttling was taking place… Not happy with what I was being told, OfCom and the Ombudsman became involved, Three Mobile soon changed their story and modified our account, throttling was removed.
 

GreatBritian

Casual Member
Well done for getting Vodafone to take this seriously, hopefully they'll get to the bottom of it. Strange how others are saying the data limited plans don't have the same issue though...

I was given a similar run around by Three Mobile business around 5 years ago. From 3pm everyday tethering would be throttled to under 1Mb, yet they assured me no throttling was taking place… Not happy with what I was being told, OfCom and the Ombudsman became involved, Three Mobile soon changed their story and modified our account, throttling was removed.
I'm aware of the Three Mobile issues under the P2P protocol between 3pm and midnight. I was on Three for years since 2010 actually but decided to move away from them since they were falling behind on coverage in locations I was going.

I actually remember when All-You-Can-Eat data first came out and was limited to 80GB, they also set a "Soft-Cap" of 1000GB and I had to call up customer services to re-enable the bolt-on after 80GB usage.

It never really bothered me as I rarely used P2P, it wasn't as of a extent as on Vodafone.
 

kev_plymouth

Casual Member
I'm aware of the Three Mobile issues under the P2P protocol between 3pm and midnight. I was on Three for years since 2010 actually but decided to move away from them since they were falling behind on coverage in locations I was going.

I actually remember when All-You-Can-Eat data first came out and was limited to 80GB, they also set a "Soft-Cap" of 1000GB and I had to call up customer services to re-enable the bolt-on after 80GB usage.

It never really bothered me as I rarely used P2P, it wasn't as of a extent as on Vodafone.
We used tethering to a laptop quite a bit due to work... Like yourself we moved from Three to Vodafone, but to their 100GB tariff, which so far has been amazing.

Hopefully they resolve the issues with the Unlimited soon.
 

GreatBritian

Casual Member
We used tethering to a laptop quite a bit due to work... Like yourself we moved from Three to Vodafone, but to their 100GB tariff, which so far has been amazing.

Hopefully they resolve the issues with the Unlimited soon.
Same we used to be stuck with a ADSL2+ connection and Three's DC-HSDPA was faster than the connection we had at home.

Unfortunately that is not the case now luckily with huge investment in the area and 1Gb/s fibre widely available in which I now get around 580Mb/s across wireless which ain't a issue.

I moved to Vodafone due to the deployment of Vo-LTE across all bands whereas Three used to favour it on 800Mhz which would be used as a absolute last resort. Vo-LTE was almost impossible on Three where I was due to 1800Mhz been prioritised.

Vodafone is also a better network IMO i've noticed major improvements i.e Vo-LTE and Latency. Even when three gets 100Mb/s and Vodafone only gets 20Mb/s Vodafone still manages to load the webpage faster.

Ironically I don't actually have a major issue in terms of speeds from Vodafone although they ain't the greatest. My issue is the morality in terms of advertising and what is actually realistically achievable and believe other customers could potentially be mislead into taking out a contract for the wrong reasons.
 

vcommsmind

Pro Member
That contradicts itself, no traffic management, yet VPN could be overriding prioritisation?

Could that mean that all Max Unlimited traffic is treated the same, however the plan has a lower priority on the network compared to fixed data limit plans? Somehow UDP traffic is bypassing the lower prioritisation, leading to faster speeds…

Could the resolution / fix be slower UDP speeds as a result?
They might prioritise certain traffic yes - as do many providers. For example you might ensure SIP traffic has priority to ensure good quality of service. That's not the same as artificially throttling or capping speeds.
 

Buggerlugz

Top Member
Just so you don't feel singled out, I'm on Three and see exactly the same result when I use a VPN during periods of high contention when I see 56k modem levels of slowdown.

What with the "fake news" of modern times being the norm, three don't admit to using traffic management either.
 
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