Lately I have been trying to find out which network is best for me at work and also in my house. Since I have been using Vodafone for so long, I don't regard that Vodafone has the best signal at all. I took up Vodafone because they were giving me a good deal. The reason for this fact finding is that I am not getting the strong signal from Vodafone anymore. Having said that, I do have a few months until my contract expire so I have plenty of time to do some little research of my own.
I have started off with Vodafone. I used to have good 3G coverage (3 bars out of 4 bars) on my Iphone 4 but lately I don't get 4 bars anymore but instead patchy 2 bars on 3G and most of the time, the signal will fall back to 2G. That is not acceptable though because I am paying quite a lot from Vodafone and I don't expect them to provide me with a lower than standard service.
The thing is that when I switch the SIM cards from Vodafone to Orange, I do get good signals. The problem is that Orange plans are quite expensive so I don't think I would like to take one up for myself. I did another experiment with my Iphone 4. I took the Vodafone SIM card and placed it inside my good old SE K800i. No luck still...Vodafone's signal is quite patchy these days.
Another experiment I did was to place a 3UK SIM card on my Iphone 4 and use it for a day or two. I know that by nature, 3 UK will automatically use Orange 2G service in areas which they do not have strong 3G coverage. Previously it was with O2 but now they are relying on Orange to provide them with 2G service.
However, to my disappointment, I no longer have any signal when I am in a shop! That is crazy! I am sure that my Iphone 4 will automatically lock to the Orange 2G service if there's no 3G coverage! After reading this and this post, I have gathered that 3 UK has switched off the 2G roaming agreement with Orange. I don't get it. 3 UK said that they will switch the Orange 2G service off if they think that there is sufficient 3G coverage in a particular area. I don't think people are that naive, don't you think so?
As for me, I do have good 3G signal on 3UK when I am at home but when I'm out of the house, I don't get good signals! More often than not, I have to rely on my Vodafone to do the job when I am out of the house!
I think 3UK is selfish. They would not inform customers about what they are going to do with their network. Certainly customers would have a right to know what's going on with their mobile phones, right? I am quite lucky as I am not with 3UK at the moment. I would not like to have 'no signal' when I am out and about.
Perhaps it might be good to pay a visit to my local Orange store and grab hold of a SIM only contract from them. Perhaps I should be swapping my Iphone 4 for a Nokia N8 instead but I have think twice about taking a Nokia N8 contract from Vodafone after reading this thread. I think there's no problem with the N8 but it's just Vodafone having to customise their software which is too buggy and it slows down the speed of browsing through the menu.