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O2 says iPhone strained London network as China sales top 300K

post #1 of 28
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U.S.-based AT&T isn't the only wireless carrier to see its network come under heavy strain due to the popularity of the iPhone. Meanwhile, Apple's official provider for the handset in China this week reportedly reached the 300,000 unit sales mark.

Following suspicions Monday that AT&T may have made a desperate attempt to ease congestion on its overcrowded 3G network by halting online sales of the iPhone to New York City residents, Reuters reports that UK-based O2 has been battling similar issues overseas for the past six months.

Facing an 18-fold increase in traffic from bandwidth-guzzling smartphones like the iPhone, O2s London network reportedly crashed under the pressure numerous times since the summer, leaving some customers with no way to make calls or transmit data for periods of time.

O2 says an investment of $48 million in its network above the capital city eased the problems by December and included the deployment of 200 extra mobile stations.

"Where we haven't met our own high standards then there's no question, we apologize to customers for that fact," Chief Executive Ronan Dunne told the Financial Times. "But it would be wrong to say O2 has failed its customers en masse."

Meanwhile, official iPhone sales in China are reportedly gaining steam after a slow start left some onlookers concerned that Apple wouldn't be able to gain traction in the region saturated with grey market devices.

Apple's exclusive provider in the area, China Unicom, is believed to have sold its 300,000th unit on Monday, marking an acceleration in sales of the touch-screen handset since the carrier announced that it passed the 100,000 mark just 20 days ago. By comparison, it took China Unicom 40 days to sell its first 100,000 units.

China remains a vast opportunity for the iPhone with its more than 700 million wireless subscribers. Still, Apple's faced its share of difficulties cracking the market due to counterfeit iPhones that sell for considerably less, and a government mandate that prompted the company to cripple its official offering by restricting Wi-Fi capabilities.
post #2 of 28
Way to go Apple and China Unicom! You have overcome a great obstacle in perception in China. May the sales keep rolling in!
post #3 of 28
I'd say on the whole O2 have been pretty good. I'd like more coverage and more speed, but I've never been too frustrated with them.
post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

U.S.-based AT&T isn't the only wireless carrier to see its network come under heavy strain due to the popularity of the iPhone.

Reuters reports that UK-based O2 has been battling similar issues overseas for the past six months.

Facing an 18-fold increase in traffic from bandwidth-guzzling smartphones like the iPhone, O2s London network reportedly crashed under the pressure numerous times since the summer, leaving some customers with no way to make calls or transmit data for periods of time.

O2 says an investment of $48 million in its network above the capital city eased the problems by December and included the deployment of 200 extra mobile stations.

So, if Verizon gets the iPhone and there is a mass exit of iPhone users from AT&T's 'not so great service' to Verizon's "There's a map for that!" service. I wonder how true that Verizon statement ultimately is?

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post #5 of 28
It's the shame that cable is the only widest available bandwidth infrastructure and equally a shame that cell networks were so initially underdeveloped.

With prodding from Apple, these cell networks will hopefully now dramatically expand their pipes so much that they can grow into them over the course of many many years. Instead of the little piddly upgrades that cost more to everyone.

We should be able to get full broadband speeds via cell from nearly any location in the civilized world for $30 a month unlimited use.

Wifi? that should have been the stuff of history a decade ago!
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post #6 of 28
10 years ago there was 14.4k WAP, then 56k GPRS, 384k 3G around 5 years ago, 1.8Mbps HSDPA around 3 years ago and now that's up to 14.4Mbps in some places.

The pace of innovation in mobile technology makes Moore's Law (computers) look like snail's pace.

Building mobile networks is a constantly evolving enterprise which doesn't really suit businesses who built copper line infrastructure then used it for 100 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

It's the shame that cable is the only widest available bandwidth infrastructure and equally a shame that cell networks were so initially underdeveloped.

With prodding from Apple, these cell networks will hopefully now dramatically expand their pipes so much that they can grow into them over the course of many many years. Instead of the little piddly upgrades that cost more to everyone.

We should be able to get full broadband speeds via cell from nearly any location in the civilized world for $30 a month unlimited use.

Wifi? that should have been the stuff of history a decade ago!
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #7 of 28
Compare how AT&T and O2 respond. O2 spends a lot of money and apologises for the problems. AT&T stops selling the iPhone in NY and tries to think of ways to get customers to use their phones less.
post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amorya View Post

Compare how AT&T and O2 respond. O2 spends a lot of money and apologises for the problems. AT&T stops selling the iPhone in NY and tries to think of ways to get customers to use their phones less.

That's the American way: admit or deny nothing!
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amorya View Post

Compare how AT&T and O2 respond. O2 spends a lot of money and apologises for the problems. AT&T stops selling the iPhone in NY and tries to think of ways to get customers to use their phones less.

Well IIRC O2 does have the best customer service record in the UK; I have been with them since 2003 and they've always been helpful and efficient. I lived in NY over the spring and found AT&T's service nowhere near as good.
post #10 of 28
Articles like this never fail to make me reflect on how short a time Apple has taken to change this industry. It seem only yesterday Ballmer mocked the iPhone and many phone experts stated Apple knew nothing about their industry and SJ was arrogant to think he could enter and succeed overnight and so on. Just wait and see what he is about to do to the TV industry!

BTW iGuide, IMHO will be the name for the TV on Demand system running on iSlate ...
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Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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post #11 of 28
I have an iPhone in both the UK and the US, and I would agree that ATT service is pretty bad, but it is no where as bad as O2. The UK consumer is so used to poor levels of service, they do not know how bad they have it. There are ton of 'DROP ZONES' inside the city limits of London itself which is pathetic. 3G, if your lucky to get it at all, usually drops within a minute or so. If you are on a train, forget it, 99% chance you will not have coverage. So in short, O2 service is pathetic, but their APOLOGIES are fabulous and frequent.
post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

10 years ago there was 14.4k WAP, then 56k GPRS, 384k 3G around 5 years ago, 1.8Mbps HSDPA around 3 years ago and now that's up to 14.4Mbps in some places.

The pace of innovation in mobile technology makes Moore's Law (computers) look like snail's pace.

Building mobile networks is a constantly evolving enterprise which doesn't really suit businesses who built copper line infrastructure then used it for 100 years.

Just to be picky, 11 Years ago you could get an ISDN-speed Ricochet modem in markets they served, which puts you pretty much on pace with the 14.4M HSDPA and Moore's Law [2^(11/1.5)=161x 128kBPS = 20.6MBPS].

Ultimately the problem is that the telcos don't just want to provide the pipe, they want to provide higher margin services. That is what screws them up every time.

I wonder if a MVNO could aggregate capacity from different providers in a cost-competitive way. Ideally provide transparent hopping between WiFi, WiMax, HSDPA, EVDO, and eventually LTE.
post #13 of 28
If you live, work and socialize in an area that has great O2 reception you'll say O2 are great. If you live in an area that's not good you'll say O2 are the worst company that's ever lived. Depending on where you live you can perceive these companies very differently.
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post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

It's the shame that cable is the only widest available bandwidth infrastructure and equally a shame that cell networks were so initially underdeveloped.

I agree that they do seem underdeveloped, but I dont agree that the 18x increase of O2s data traffic and the 50x increase of AT&Ts data traffic are within the realm of expected growth within 2 years.

Quote:
We should be able to get full broadband speeds via cell from nearly any location in the civilized world for $30 a month unlimited use.

That does make any sense. Youve accounted for no patents, infrastructure upgrades, maintenance fees, zoning and land rental/purchase, etc. Youre justing throwing out a number that sounds fair to you as a consumer without considering any other aspect of doing business. These arent Legs, we cant just put put some pieces together wherever you wish and call it what you want.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

10 years ago there was 14.4k WAP, then 56k GPRS, 384k 3G around 5 years ago, 1.8Mbps HSDPA around 3 years ago and now that's up to 14.4Mbps in some places.

The pace of innovation in mobile technology makes Moore's Law (computers) look like snail's pace.

Here is an interesting article on the history of the modem
http://www.techradar.com/news/intern...7479?artc_pg=1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amorya View Post

Compare how AT&T and O2 respond. O2 spends a lot of money and apologises for the problems. AT&T stops selling the iPhone in NY and tries to think of ways to get customers to use their phones less.

O2 is spending $48M and AT&T in spending $17B, or something outrageous? We dont know where AT&T started in relation to O2 and we dont know exactly how much more the iPhones are taxing AT&Ts network to make that statement. I dont buy the argument that they stopped selling phones online, but not in their B&M stores to ease their network congestion. That simply doesnt make sense.

What we do know is that O2 has only added a fraction of the additional data usage that plagues AT&Ts network.

Frankly, I wish AT&T would stop selling and activating phones with data plans in congested citied until they can get it worked out. You are only allowed to have so many people in a building or an elevator for safety reasons, Id like a carrier to say that they want to supply a certain level of QoS to their customers and so they wont activate devices until they get certain cities under control. At least that would show their current customers they care about giving them a certain level of service.
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post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Articles like this never fail to make me reflect on how short a time Apple has taken to change this industry.

I had to watch part of the MWSF 2007 iPhone intro. ITs amazing how much of what Jobs stated on stage about it being a revolutionary product was dead on. I doubt that even he expected it to be such a success.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

If you live, work and socialize in an area that has great <carrier_name> reception you'll say <carrier_name> are great. If you live in an area that's not good you'll say <carrier_name> are the worst company that's ever lived. Depending on where you live you can perceive these companies very differently.

I think that is a universal statement so I adjusted it as such.
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post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

So, if Verizon gets the iPhone and there is a mass exit of iPhone users from AT&T's 'not so great service' to Verizon's "There's a map for that!" service. I wonder how true that Verizon statement ultimately is?

I'm ready to find out. Who can say? If they open the phone to multiple carriers then that should spread the load around.

Some say the Mac OS is just as vulnerable to attack as the Windows OS, but no one bothers the Mac community because it is so much smaller. Some day when OSX has a bigger share we will know the truth.
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I think that is a universal statement so I adjusted it as such.

Well played. It's so true sadly.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

So, if Verizon gets the iPhone and there is a mass exit of iPhone users from AT&T's 'not so great service' to Verizon's "There's a map for that!" service. I wonder how true that Verizon statement ultimately is?

I continue to believe that no single network is capable of handling the bandwidth demand from iPhone's users. The number of iPhone users is just staggering and the adoption of the iPhone has happened in a relatively short period of time. People may not be happy with AT&T, but Verizon would not be any better, though they have had plenty of time to prepare. Despite that, imagine the mass exodus from AT&T to Verizon coupled with the millions of Verizon users who were reluctant to buy the iPhone because did not want to switch their network, who would now buy it without thinking twice.
post #19 of 28
There's not much time left on ATT's clock to change consumer perception, when the iPhone is set free, rest assured there will be many prayers that night coming from HQ.

I don't like Verizon, the thought of calling them for customer support gives me chills.
Also, V = Devil
post #20 of 28
Clearly the iPhone has phailed in China and Apple is d00med!
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

10 years ago there was 14.4k WAP, then 56k GPRS, 384k 3G around 5 years ago, 1.8Mbps HSDPA around 3 years ago and now that's up to 14.4Mbps in some places.


May I ask why you are comparing an Application (WAP) to wireless services (GPRS etc), did you mean CSD, or HSCSD, or CDPD instead of WAP?
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by adamw View Post

Way to go Apple and China Unicom! You have overcome a great obstacle in perception in China. May the sales keep rolling in!

the rumor i was told is that grey market iphone from hong kong will not work in mainland china. by the way, one of must-have features for folks in china is text messaging capability on iphone, as they care less about high speed 3g. any one can comment on chinese text messaging on iphone?
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

May I ask why you are comparing an Application (WAP) to wireless services (GPRS etc), did you mean CSD, or HSCSD, or CDPD instead of WAP?

i think he meant WAP over CSD/CSD-like
post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by eehd View Post

I continue to believe that no single network is capable of handling the bandwidth demand from iPhone's users.

It may not be just the bandwidth. iPhone's air interface apparently has issues and it's overly aggressive power saving features cause problems for the networks, which expect specific behaviour from devices. This comes from the mouths of several operators' radio network guys. And mind you, they're not complaining about BW usage (although undoubtedly that's an issue as well in many cases).

I don't have exact technical details as the info came from coffee table discussions. To be honest, I was surprised about it when I first heard. But similar comments from different countries different operator personnell have lead me to believe there's some truth to it. But regard this as rumour until more reliable technical data is published somewhere.

Regs, Jarkko
post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by anakin1992 View Post

i think he meant WAP over CSD/CSD-like

Well if he did, it makes his post just a bunch of rambling nothingness.
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by tgilbrea69 View Post

I have an iPhone in both the UK and the US, and I would agree that ATT service is pretty bad, but it is no where as bad as O2. The UK consumer is so used to poor levels of service, they do not know how bad they have it. There are ton of 'DROP ZONES' inside the city limits of London itself which is pathetic. 3G, if your lucky to get it at all, usually drops within a minute or so. If you are on a train, forget it, 99% chance you will not have coverage. So in short, O2 service is pathetic, but their APOLOGIES are fabulous and frequent.

Can you be specific about which areas of London you have no coverage? I'm on Orange but my mother's on O2 and she's had little to no problem when out and about in Central London.

I'm intrigued by the reception on the trains. Technically it's more difficult to provide a usable connection to a moving phone than to a stationary phone. Furthermore there are plenty of tunnels and bridges in London which mess around with the signal. Nevertheless when I'm on the train within London I have good 3G reception on Orange; I have poor reception on one particular line between London to Portsmouth.
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

10 years ago there was 14.4k WAP, then 56k GPRS, 384k 3G around 5 years ago, 1.8Mbps HSDPA around 3 years ago and now that's up to 14.4Mbps in some places.

The pace of innovation in mobile technology makes Moore's Law (computers) look like snail's pace.

Building mobile networks is a constantly evolving enterprise which doesn't really suit businesses who built copper line infrastructure then used it for 100 years.

14.4 Mbps? Ha! What total BS! This is a THEORETICAL PEAK data speed that can only be achieved in a lab, or by sitting still next to the base station w/ absolutely NO LOADING....

A friend & I are constantly testing the competing 3G networks, and just like in the PC World tests run around the country, Verizon outperforms AT&T on 3G data speed on a pretty consistent basis. (in the few locations AT&T actually has 3G).

It has to do w/ the fact that CDMA2000 runs circuit-switched voice over a separate RF carrier (3G-1X) while data is run over EV/DO. (This is why you can't use 3G data & voice at the same time - a somewhat useless feature anyway) Therefore, data speed on EV/DO is not effected by voice loading on the RF carrier (as there is none).... This was shown in the PC World tests that were performed during busy hour... Verizon's data speeds were barely effected.... AT&T slowed to a crawl...

Also, EV/DO doesn't use the creaky, old GPRS packet core network... EV/DO uses straight Mobile IP into a standard PDSN.. Therefore there are no delays as what's experienced on a GPRS core network...
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by wirelesstestman View Post

14.4 Mbps? Ha! What total BS! This is a THEORETICAL PEAK data speed that can only be achieved in a lab, or by sitting still next to the base station w/ absolutely NO LOADING....
Also, EV/DO doesn't use the creaky, old GPRS packet core network... EV/DO uses straight Mobile IP into a standard PDSN.. Therefore there are no delays as what's experienced on a GPRS core network...

Ahem. Creaky old GPRS packet core network? The main delay components come from the air interface (talking with 10+ years of practical experience with the systems). The GPRS core network delays should be well below 10ms (usually under 2-3) range in a well dimensioned network.

If you are using EDGE, the delays are long due to the architecture of the air interface (originally designed for Voice only). But if you compare that with the current flat network architecture in 3GPP WCDMA networks, the delays go down to 30-50ms (even seen below that) end-to-end. And some of these networks have already been deployed. That compares quite nicely even to WLANs. And still the GPRS core network is not the issue. The latest WCDMA networks connect the base station directly to the GGSN for user plane.

For the 14.4Mbps being just theoretical, you're right and wrong. For category 10 UE's you're right. It's theoretical air interface throughput. But HSPA+ networks are already deployed and experiencing faster real speeds than that. Sure you won't get it at a local ice-hockey game, but in more lightly loaded areas you can.

Regs, Jarkko
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