EE's 4G landgrab sees O2's iPhone love affair turn sour

EE's 4G landgrab sees O2's iPhone love affair turn sourHow times have changed. When the iPhone first launched in the UK, it was O2 thumbing its nose to every other network in the country courtesy of its cushy exclusivity deal with Apple.

But with the announcement of the iPhone 5 this week, the tables have turned and it's O2 and Vodafone left out in the cold, peddling their old-school 3G in a shiny new 4G world. Might as well change their name to Nothing Nowhere.

That may be overstating things a bit, but there's no question that if EE's 4G rollout was looking like a big advantage for the Orange-T-Mobile mashup before yesterday's iPhone 5 announcement in San Francisco, it's an even bigger plus now.

It means four of the biggest hitting smartphones around – the iPhone 5, the Samsung Galaxy S III, the Nokia Lumia 920 and the HTC One XL – will all be tempting consumers with the promise of 4G in the lead-up to Christmas, a promise only EE and in due course Three (having nabbed some of EE's 4G spectrum) will be able to fulfil.

Unsurprisingly, O2 isn't taking the current situation lying down, and is pushing hard to bring forward the expected July 2013 switch-on of its own 4G service. “We are pushing hard on behalf of our customers,” a spokesperson told the BBC. “We are hopeful we can come to some agreement to bring the current timeline forward.”

In the meantime, O2 is promising iPhone 5 customers an early upgrade to the LTE-enabled version as soon as its 4G service is online. Until then, though, 3G will just have to do.

Read more about: O2Apple iPhone 5

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30 comments

JanSt / MOD  Sep. 13, 2012 at 19:55

hahahahahaaaaaaaaaaargh... I don't even get EDGE where I live :O

andyd76  Sep. 13, 2012 at 21:24

>O2 is promising iPhone 5 customers an early upgrade to the LTE-enabled version as soon as its 4G service is online<
Except o2 will not be getting 4g on any LTE frequency the iphone 5 is getting!

blizzard7  Sep. 13, 2012 at 21:39

>O2 is promising iPhone 5 customers an early upgrade to the LTE-enabled version as soon as its 4G service is online<
Except o2 will not be getting 4g on any LTE frequency the iphone 5 is getting!


D'oh!

morpheus  Sep. 13, 2012 at 22:11

"O2 is promising iPhone 5 customers an early upgrade to the LTE-enabled version as soon as its 4G service is online. Until then, though, 3G will just have to do."

Love this quote which basically translates as:

"pay us a shed load of money (now) for an iPhone that isn't as good as on other networks... and when we finally get our asses in gear and catch up with the competition in 9 months... we'll allow you to pay us another shed load of money to upgrade early... making it sound like we are doing you a favour, when really we're robbing you blind twice...."

What goes around, comes around O2 fu*kers....

Pondlife  Sep. 13, 2012 at 22:43

>O2 is promising iPhone 5 customers an early upgrade to the LTE-enabled version as soon as its 4G service is online<
Except o2 will not be getting 4g on any LTE frequency the iphone 5 is getting!


Presume they mean they've a deal to get one on what frequency they get with Apple when it's up and running. Tbh iphone 5s will likely be out by then tho.....

Reser  Sep. 13, 2012 at 23:29

>O2 is promising iPhone 5 customers an early upgrade to the LTE-enabled version as soon as its 4G service is online<
Except o2 will not be getting 4g on any LTE frequency the iphone 5 is getting!


Presume they mean they've a deal to get one on what frequency they get with Apple when it's up and running. Tbh iphone 5s will likely be out by then tho.....


Nope.
http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/47495/iphone-5-will-not-work-on-vodafone-or-o2-4g-networks-without-hardware-update

satchef1  Sep. 14, 2012 at 00:59

>O2 is promising iPhone 5 customers an early upgrade to the LTE-enabled version as soon as its 4G service is online<
Except o2 will not be getting 4g on any LTE frequency the iphone 5 is getting!


Presume they mean they've a deal to get one on what frequency they get with Apple when it's up and running. Tbh iphone 5s will likely be out by then tho.....


Nope.
http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/47495/iphone-5-will-not-work-on-vodafone-or-o2-4g-networks-without-hardware-update


I believe the point was that one could be made. It wouldn't exact pose Apple any problems, there's just no call for an LTE handset on that frequency at present, so no need to announce one. Even better news for O2 customers if that's wrong though - presumably they'd be allowed to upgrade early to an LTE-equipped 5S? If it's like the iPhone - iPhone 3G early upgrade then eager customers stand to make a good few quid from this offer.

Pondlife  Sep. 14, 2012 at 01:04

Yeah was what I was trying to say, mind you they could have made an ipad3 for Aussies 4G but didn't, O2 might throw more money their way though.

2tieredmarkets  Sep. 14, 2012 at 01:20

>O2 is promising iPhone 5 customers an early upgrade to the LTE-enabled version as soon as its 4G service is online<
Except o2 will not be getting 4g on any LTE frequency the iphone 5 is getting!


Probably hoping on Apple want to not alienate half of the UK market and make a 4G800 and 4G2600 model for them (plus Vodafone and other European Markets) that can't use 4G on 1800

CTPAHHIK  Sep. 14, 2012 at 07:49

4G is just a marketing gimmick. If Vodafone and O2 updates everything to 3G they will have much better coverage and faster network than Three or EE.

OFI  Sep. 14, 2012 at 08:39

Marketing gimmick? Have you seen the speed tests on the currently deployed test network?
Some areas of the US have been enjoying speeds that blow 3G out of the water for a while now..

Dougal1709  Sep. 14, 2012 at 10:13

So how much faster is 4G compared to HSDPA+ which most phones use already? They keep comparing 4G to 3G but is HSDPA+ a type of 3G? Because my S2 using HSDPA+ downloads much faster than my old iPhone 3GS which was 3G.

How much faster would I expect downloads to be on 4G compared to now?

Reser  Sep. 14, 2012 at 10:20

4G on EE was measured at around 30Mbps (4G can get up to 100Mbps however) thats faster then pretty much most of broadband you can get even. 3G hits around 3mbps. So it is around 10 times faster.

See this link for comparison (LTE being 4G) - http://www.3g.co.uk/tinyimages/iPhone-5-4G-LTE.png

andyd76  Sep. 14, 2012 at 10:26

heres the speedtest http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/11/ee-lte-speed-test-4g/ realistically with the iphone 5 having DC HSDPA youre looking only 2-3 times faster on 4G and thats subject to very patchy national coverage.

morpheus  Sep. 14, 2012 at 10:54

"ealistically with the iphone 5 having DC HSDPA youre looking only 2-3 times faster on 4G"

Is that specific to the iPhone5 or specific to EE?

In other words will the HTC One XL or the 4G Sammy GS3 on EE also be DC HSDPA or full 4G LTE?

CTPAHHIK  Sep. 14, 2012 at 12:40

Marketing gimmick? Have you seen the speed tests on the currently deployed test network?
Some areas of the US have been enjoying speeds that blow 3G out of the water for a while now..


I've used actual 4G network in all it's beauty - Verizon LTE has been around for some time already. You get 38Mbps for download around midnight and dial up speeds during midday. Stupid phone tries to use LTE network with everyone else doing the same. Network is overloaded and speeds become a crawl. I had to shut off LTE and force 3G to get data working.

Speed test is just a theoretical bandwidth that LTE is able to support and does not represent real life conditions with hundreds of users connected.

EE is not upgrading to LTE because it wants customers to have faster speeds. LTE is cheaper to run and maintain than 2G and EE will win in the long run by having bigger capacity for data and calls. In addition EE will charge premium for LTE services.

CTPAHHIK  Sep. 14, 2012 at 12:43

So how much faster is 4G compared to HSDPA+ which most phones use already? They keep comparing 4G to 3G but is HSDPA+ a type of 3G? Because my S2 using HSDPA+ downloads much faster than my old iPhone 3GS which was 3G.

How much faster would I expect downloads to be on 4G compared to now?


There is almost no difference between 4G LTE and HSDPA+ in it's current implementation. Verizon LTE is @ 38Mbps and T-Mobile US HSDPA+ @ 32Mbps. Hardly a significant difference.

As LTE evolves it will become faster, but not on it's first roll out.

matt101101 / MOD  Sep. 14, 2012 at 12:47

So how much faster is 4G compared to HSDPA+ which most phones use already? They keep comparing 4G to 3G but is HSDPA+ a type of 3G? Because my S2 using HSDPA+ downloads much faster than my old iPhone 3GS which was 3G.

How much faster would I expect downloads to be on 4G compared to now?


There is almost no difference between 4G LTE and HSDPA+ in it's current implementation. Verizon LTE is @ 38Mbps and T-Mobile US HSDPA+ @ 32Mbps. Hardly a significant difference.

As LTE evolves it will become faster, but not on it's first roll out.

The thing is, in the UK you're extremely lucky to crack 10mbps on 3G, so LTE will be a lot faster.

CTPAHHIK  Sep. 14, 2012 at 12:50

So how much faster is 4G compared to HSDPA+ which most phones use already? They keep comparing 4G to 3G but is HSDPA+ a type of 3G? Because my S2 using HSDPA+ downloads much faster than my old iPhone 3GS which was 3G.

How much faster would I expect downloads to be on 4G compared to now?


There is almost no difference between 4G LTE and HSDPA+ in it's current implementation. Verizon LTE is @ 38Mbps and T-Mobile US HSDPA+ @ 32Mbps. Hardly a significant difference.

As LTE evolves it will become faster, but not on it's first roll out.

The thing is, in the UK you're extremely lucky to crack 10mbps on 3G, so LTE will be a lot faster.


I don't have HSDPA+ phone to give it a try. Maybe Three rolled something out.

Checked S3 specs and it does not support HSDPA+. I don't really have a clue how to test it.

Pondlife  Sep. 14, 2012 at 12:52

Depends what phone they are using now as could be limited to much lower than the 21/42 mbps many are only 7mbps so could notice a huge difference.

matt101101 / MOD  Sep. 14, 2012 at 12:53

So how much faster is 4G compared to HSDPA+ which most phones use already? They keep comparing 4G to 3G but is HSDPA+ a type of 3G? Because my S2 using HSDPA+ downloads much faster than my old iPhone 3GS which was 3G.

How much faster would I expect downloads to be on 4G compared to now?


There is almost no difference between 4G LTE and HSDPA+ in it's current implementation. Verizon LTE is @ 38Mbps and T-Mobile US HSDPA+ @ 32Mbps. Hardly a significant difference.

As LTE evolves it will become faster, but not on it's first roll out.

The thing is, in the UK you're extremely lucky to crack 10mbps on 3G, so LTE will be a lot faster.


I don't have HSDPA+ phone to give it a try. Maybe Three rolled something out.

Talking of not having the right hardware, most phones aren't DC-HSDPA+ compatible anyway, only the 2012 high-end devices are (I'm sure there are a few weird exceptions to that rule, too).

Pondlife  Sep. 14, 2012 at 12:56

4G on EE was measured at around 30Mbps (4G can get up to 100Mbps however) thats faster then pretty much most of broadband you can get even. 3G hits around 3mbps. So it is around 10 times faster.

See this link for comparison (LTE being 4G) - http://www.3g.co.uk/tinyimages/iPhone-5-4G-LTE.png


Yeah but how many people were in the trial compared to how many could be using it on release.

CTPAHHIK  Sep. 14, 2012 at 13:02

I've looked at latest phones and only iPhone 5 has HSDPA+. If someone knows any phone with HSDPA+ on European band let me know.

If Three rolled out it's HSDPA+ network iPhone will perform faster on Three than it does on EE when it becomes public. EE LTE might catch up, if it has enough frequency allocated to it or be oversubscribed.

matt101101 / MOD  Sep. 14, 2012 at 13:06

I've looked at latest phones and only iPhone 5 has HSDPA+. If someone knows any phone with HSDPA+ on European band let me know.

If Three rolled out it's HSDPA+ network iPhone will perform faster on Three than it does on EE when it becomes public. EE LTE might catch up, if it has enough frequency allocated to it or be oversubscribed.

But, you have to be with Three....eugh.

CTPAHHIK  Sep. 14, 2012 at 13:15

"ealistically with the iphone 5 having DC HSDPA youre looking only 2-3 times faster on 4G"

Is that specific to the iPhone5 or specific to EE?

In other words will the HTC One XL or the 4G Sammy GS3 on EE also be DC HSDPA or full 4G LTE?


Usually network specific.

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