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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    Way to go Apple and China Unicom! You have overcome a great obstacle in perception in China. May the sales keep rolling in!
  • Reply 2 of 27
    eaieai Posts: 417member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 27
    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?
  • Reply 4 of 27
    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!
  • Reply 5 of 27
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member
    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!



  • Reply 6 of 27
    amoryaamorya Posts: 1,103member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 27
    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!
  • Reply 8 of 27
    maccrazymaccrazy Posts: 2,657member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 27
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,148member
    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 ...
  • Reply 10 of 27
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 27
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 27
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 27
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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 don?t agree that the 18x increase of O2?s data traffic and the 50x increase of AT&T?s 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. You?ve accounted for no patents, infrastructure upgrades, maintenance fees, zoning and land rental/purchase, etc. You?re justing throwing out a number that sounds fair to you as a consumer without considering any other aspect of doing business. These aren?t Legs, we can?t 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?
    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 don?t know where AT&T started in relation to O2 and we don?t know exactly how much more the iPhones are taxing AT&T?s network to make that statement. I don?t buy the argument that they stopped selling phones online, but not in their B&M stores to ease their network congestion. That simply doesn?t make sense.



    What we do know is that O2 has only added a fraction of the additional data usage that plagues AT&T?s 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, I?d like a carrier to say that they want to supply a certain level of QoS to their customers and so they won?t 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.
  • Reply 14 of 27
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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. IT?s 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.
  • Reply 15 of 27
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 27
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 27
    eehdeehd Posts: 137member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 27
    ilogicilogic Posts: 298member
    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
  • Reply 19 of 27
    Clearly the iPhone has phailed in China and Apple is d00med!
  • Reply 20 of 27
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,385member
    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?
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