08-08-2017 08:21 AM
When do EE plan to show 800MHz coverage on the coverage map?
Probably what will happen is, with the expansion of the 4G 800MHz coverage, the coverage maps will be (for want of a better word) silently updated to reflect the extra coverage that is achieved with the 4G 800MHz frequency.
None of the other networks coverage maps specifically mention/show 4G 800MHz coverage, so I can't see EE specifically showing it either. 🙂
08-08-2017 03:27 PM
I am quite sure you are right.
However, this will prove very misleading as, unlike most networks, EE only allow a select number of customers to access this frequency. PAYG customers are immediately excluded and then anyone with an Android handset needs to have purchased it via the network, ie a branded handset with carrier firmware, in order to gain access. This is not however the fault of the network, but does pose quite a restriction.
By limiting access this way, the coverage map needs to reflect this, it is not presently showing TRUE coverage, it is showing potential coverage with all criterea met.
Three are again doing things the right way, not only do they not restrict their PAYG customers access to this band, they also have the facility in their coverage map, to filter the coverage by handset type and indicate that the handset must have been purchased via Three. In employing this facility, the coverage map adjusts itself to show accurate coverage to the individual, as opposed to a maximum attainable coverage, available only to select customers.
O2 and Vodafone do not have this issue, as their 2G voice network has the same reach as their 800 4G and therefore customers are not prevented from accessing any spectrum based on their account type and handset, or ability to use VoLTE, which is the main issue with limiting unbranded handsets.
EE need to get themselves sorted, draw their focus away from headline speeds in big cities and spreading 4G into remote parts of the country and start focusing on the customer experience, by that I mean ALL customers. Focus on reliablity, particularly indoors, where EE are still dreadful and increase their 800mhz footprint in towns and villages to prevent handsets continually falling back to 2G, whilst indoors.
But then, increasing maximum attainable speeds and spreading out their thin layer of outdoor 4G coverage, means big headlines and the ability to quote high levels of geographical reach, whilst improving the user experience within bulidings, outside of the larger cities, does not allow for such high levels of publicity.
4G on EE, whilst becoming ubiquitous across the country, still falls short of O2 and Vodafone's in terms of density, all too often you fall back to 3G or even 2G. Indoors it is often 2G or no signal at all. This needs to be resolved as O2 and Vodafone are rapidly upgrading their entire network and where this has already been done, 4G coverage is solid, inside and out and performance is equally good, no sign of 2G in a 4G covered town, unlike EE. In their efforts to cover as wider area as possible, they seem to only be upgrading a couple of masts per town, rather than all of them, ala O2 and Vodafone. Once geographic coverage falls almost inline, which it will eventually, no one will want to remain with the network that lets you down as soon as you step inside. A network based predominantly around high frequencies, needs to give as many customers as possible, access to their minimal amount of low frequency spectrum before they start to lose customers to the competition.
I have had at least 4 people recenty, ask me about their EE coverage, assuring me that the online map suggests good coverage, but their experience indoors is somewhat short of what is indicated on the map. 4 out of 5 were using PAYG, so I told them to ignore the map, the map only shows coverage for contract customers in a best case scenario!!??!!
Crazy situation. 800 mhz was rolled out in 2016, we are now in August 2017, apparently the billing complexities have still to be resolved, in order to get PAYG customers on board and the coverage map is still misleading its customers.
08-08-2017 08:27 PM
My home town is fed by six main masts, 3 within the boundary and 3 surrounding us. Three have all of those masts now transmitting 800mhz, to complement their 1800mhz and it works well, it's fast and it's solid. Using Three I get an equal experience to my wife on O2, both indoors and out.
I can use my phone for data at the back of my house, in the High street shops and along the narrow passages in the town centre, as well as inside cafes and the children's school. Switch that to EE and the above places either switch me over to 2G or they cut signal entirely.
The reason is simple, the same six masts carry all of the MNOs equipment, EE are the only one transmitting solely at high frequency, the result is clear, EE provide an inferior coverage experience. Not just indoors either.
One of the said masts now carries 800mhz, it makes a marginal difference to the north side if on contract, but nothing by comparison.
I fail to understand EEs strategy in the long term, short term, they're leading the show, fast speeds and immense outdoor 4G footprint, due to twelve months head start with their rollout, but the others are gaining ground and unless EE change their focus, they will suddenly drop from industry leading, to bottom of the stack.
No one is going to choose lightning fast speeds on a smartphone, if they have to stand outside in order to use them.
08-08-2017 08:32 PM
Three have surveyed and listened to their customers, they say that the customer wants a reliable signal indoors and out, which is usable for whatever they need to do, they don't want fibre speeds or a signal in the middle of the field. Most people use their smartphones indoors. Fact. We should not assume that everyone has access to WiFi in all buildings.
09-08-2017 09:09 AM
@Peter_C You are absolutely right, however, the average user would not be aware of this and would therefore not be able to determine if the coverage shown was appropraite to their account type and handset, or a best case projection. This is not useful to the majority of EE customers.
I use EE regularly, there are 3 places which I frequent, at least, where they provide the only decent coverage, but equally, I have to drop EE in favour of one of the other MNO's in many more places, due to it's poor penetration.
If EE were to roll out their 800 spectrum as aggressively as Three, taking into account their superior mast arrangement and sheer volume, they would most likely provide a coverage which would allow me to drop the other networks entirely. EE's big flaw, like Orange and T-Mobile before it, is their lack of low frequency spectrum, they should really exploit what they now have, ala Three and open it up to it's PAYG customers so that everyone can have a better indoor experience.
In my experience, the 800 spectrum, though minimal in bandwidth, is plenty fast enough to do almost anything with your smartphone without feeling sluggish. I have been able to attain some great speeds from it and on Three, I am on 800 mhz more than any other frequency.
by max1486 Tuesday