Orange admits to capping 3G speeds in France

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Following an uproar on the part of disgruntled iPhone customers, French wireless carrier Orange will reportedly raise an unpublicized cap on 3G download speeds next month.



The exclusive iPhone service provider in France began feeling the heat of irate iPhone 3G customers after several of them began comparing their download speeds on an internet forum with those achieved by users in neighboring countries.



In particular, they found that iPhone users on Germany's T-Mobile network -- recently cited as the best performing 3G network by iPhone users -- were routinely able to achieve download speeds of 1800Kbps, while those on France's Orange network struggled to reach a mere 400Kbps.



Calls began pouring into Orange's technical support lines. In some of these cases, technicians voluntarily altered the APN (Access Point Name) and other parameters tied to subscribers' iPhones. The result was a dramatic increase in speed for most of those subscribers, with some reporting that their speeds suddenly surged in excess of 3Mbps.



Almost immediately, iPhone 3G users discarded the notion of flaws in the Apple handset's hardware and began suspecting Orange of intentionally capping 3G download speeds. Many were furious, arguing that artificial limitation was in direct violation of the service agreements shared between the carrier and its iPhone customers, which theoretically should have allowed HSDPA speeds approaching 7.2Mbps. A petition was also formed.



A video comparing an uncapped iPhone 3G to an capped iPhone 3G on the Orange network



When contacted by FranceInfo, an Orange representative reportedly confirmed that that the carrier has been deliberately limiting speeds for all 3G capable phones on its network to 384Kbps, saying the move was aimed at 'preserving the stability of the network.'



Following a meeting on Monday at its Paris headquarters, Orange said it will raise the download cap for iPhone users from 384Kbps to 1Mbps by September 15th.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 84
    It's amazing how much cell companies get away with around the world. False advertising, price gouging, and breaking contracts.



    How much longer until some serious change? I thought Apple was going to provoke it when they first released with AT&T, but now even Apple has fallen in line.
  • Reply 2 of 84


    iPhone is still ahead of the times... Relying so heavily on the Internet connection and 3g, the cell companies can't keep up. It's sad. But this should get the cell companies in gear to improve their speeds, availability.

  • Reply 3 of 84
    I suppose their only saving grace is that they did it for all the phones and not just the iPhone. I wonder however - have they had many/any problems with dropped calls etc in France? Isn't it quite possible that the whole of 3G users have a better general overall experience with 3G because the lines aren't being maxed out?
  • Reply 4 of 84
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Following an uproar on the part of disgruntled iPhone customers, French wireless carrier Orange will reportedly raise an unpublicized cap on 3G download speeds next month.



    The exclusive iPhone service provider in France began feeling the heat of irate iPhone 3G customers after several of them began



    I would suggest that this is not unique to Orange.



    I did comment on a previous discussion that my carrier has capped and is gradually increasing the level to ensure stability. Right now my test run is showing nearly 1500kbps.



    I would also suggest that some due diligence on how wireless works would help to negate some of the comments that are being stated on the subject. Anybody who knows anything about the factors that can affect cell service will appreciate the issues that cell phone manufacturers, carriers and users come up against.



    Dropped calls for example are a fact of life no matter where you are. Even on the space shuttle! And if you still need more proof, go down to your local VFW or American Legion hall and ask the vets about dropped calls.



    Here is a great read on the subject: http://www.phonedog.com/cell-phone-r...rop-calls.aspx.



    And one more point, cell phone manufacturers and carriers have to go through extensive testing under some of the most stringent standards in the world, e.g., as set by the US FCC. Sure when you manufacture millions of units at a time, some will fail at times. But then don't we all.



    Perhaps we can save ourselves from looking stupid, just by doing some homework.
  • Reply 5 of 84
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,384member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macapptraining View Post


    iPhone is still ahead of the times... Relying so heavily on the Internet connection and 3g, the cell companies can't keep.



    It is not, there are other phones more than capable of putting through more data than an iPhone
  • Reply 6 of 84
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jfanning View Post


    It is not, there are other phones more than capable of putting through more data than an iPhone



    Could you please elaborate and supply references?
  • Reply 7 of 84
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post


    I would suggest that this is not unique to Orange.



    I did comment on a previous discussion that my carrier has capped and is gradually increasing the level to ensure stability. Right now my test run is showing nearly 1500kbps.



    I thought you said that they had all of this calculated ahead of time.
  • Reply 8 of 84
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post


    I would suggest that this is not unique to Orange.



    O2 was capping some iPhone users to 128kbps last year. I'm not sure if it was on purpose or by accident but I agree that this probably more common than we realise.



    I wonder if we'll see more carrier testing coming out now that iPhone 3G is in over 40 countries and has a better browser than other phones for doing a quick bandwidth test. "3G-gate scandal"?



    Quote:

    Perhaps we can save ourselves from looking stupid, just doing some homework.



    These forums would be empty if we all thought before we wrote.
  • Reply 9 of 84
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,384member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post


    Could you please elaborate and supply references?



    Well I would say all the phones that support 3G, and BT.



    A couple of examples are at http://www.nokia.eu
  • Reply 10 of 84
    crebcreb Posts: 276member
    Providers run caps for a reason...I am surprised people here have not figured it out. There are also agreements between service providers and mobile phone providers for various aspects that will affect speeds.
  • Reply 11 of 84
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post


    Could you please elaborate and supply references?



    I wouldn't bother with that conversation - we've already had the discussion that the iPhone has, by far, the fastest processor of any smart phone currently available (the Bold is going to have a 624 but that's assuming they don't scale it back) so you're right - don't worry
  • Reply 12 of 84
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,384member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bigmc6000 View Post


    I wouldn't bother with that conversation - we've already had the discussion that the iPhone has, by far, the fastest processor of any smart phone currently available (the Bold is going to have a 624 but that's assuming they don't scale it back) so you're right - don't worry



    Fast processor, leads to faster battery drain...



    But still, that wasn't the statement they made, they said "Relying so heavily on the Internet connection and 3g, the cell companies can't keep.".



    That has nothing to do with processing power of the device.
  • Reply 13 of 84
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jfanning View Post


    It is not, there are other phones more than capable of putting through more data than an iPhone



    Yes, it IS ahead of other devices, and pushing more data as a result. "Ahead" doesn't mean some arbitrary theoretical maximum throughput, it means ACTUAL data usage. What's "ahead" is the usability of the device: OS and software, especially the browser. Look at browser usage stats and you'll see that iPhone users make up the biggest chunk of mobile phone browsing, despite being only a small slice of phone ownership. People CAN transfer data with other phones, but they ARE transferring far more with iPhones.



    http://marketshare.hitslink.com/report.aspx?qprid=8



    http://marketshare.hitslink.com/repo...pcustom=iPhone



    I think it's quite reasonable to suggest that all that browsing, unprecedented for a phone, plus app downloads, relies heavily on the network. And that carriers may be having trouble keeping up with that sudden increase.
  • Reply 14 of 84
    The processor isn't running at at full speed, the iPhone processor is scaled back. Go check your phone.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bigmc6000 View Post


    I wouldn't bother with that conversation - we've already had the discussion that the iPhone has, by far, the fastest processor of any smart phone currently available (the Bold is going to have a 624 but that's assuming they don't scale it back) so you're right - don't worry



    I hope you really do know that there are phones that have been available that have much faster 3G.
  • Reply 15 of 84
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jfanning View Post


    It is not, there are other phones more than capable of putting through more data than an iPhone



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jfanning View Post


    Well I would say all the phones that support 3G, and BT.



    A couple of examples are at http://www.nokia.eu



    The iPhone has Infineon radios capable fo 7.2Mbps downstream. This is pretty standard. The only commonly released 3G devices that have the 14.4Mbps downstream are in EC or USB sticks for computers. They require more power and are larger so they are no go for most phone needs, though Korea may be using some there. Not to mention that only a handful or carriers, at most, currently support more than 7.2Mbps.



    So if they all have the same bandwidth capabilities what facts do you have to back up that "other phones [are] more than capable of putting through more data than an iPhone"?
  • Reply 16 of 84
    Do you think that more people are using the iPhone's 3G network over all other 3G enabled phones, which many offer tethering support?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post


    Yes, it IS ahead of other devices, and pushing more data as a result. "Ahead" doesn't mean some arbitrary theoretical maximum throughput, it means ACTUAL data usage. What's "ahead" is the usability of the device: OS and software, especially the browser. Look at browser usage stats and you'll see that iPhone users make up the biggest chunk of mobile phone browsing, despite being only a small slice of phone ownership. People CAN transfer data with other phones, but they ARE transferring far more with iPhones.



    http://marketshare.hitslink.com/report.aspx?qprid=8



    http://marketshare.hitslink.com/repo...pcustom=iPhone



    I think it's quite reasonable to suggest that all that browsing, unprecedented for a phone, plus app downloads, relies heavily on the network. And that carriers may be having trouble keeping up with that sudden increase.



  • Reply 17 of 84
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    I thought you said that they had all of this calculated ahead of time.



    Could you please elaborate? Calculated what ahead of time?



    Thank you
  • Reply 18 of 84
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,384member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    So if they all have the same bandwidth capabilities what facts do you have to back up that "other phones [are] more than capable of putting through more data than an iPhone."



    Because you can tether other phones via BT to a PC, or other device and download as much stuff as you like.



    That is a fact, you do not have to install a 3rd party hack to do this



    And don't say this is a violation of your AT&T agreement, I don't live in the US, so don't care about that.
  • Reply 19 of 84
    Regardless of which phone is the fastest... it's should be criminal for any carrier to do this. I wonder is ATT is doing the same thing.
  • Reply 20 of 84
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,384member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post


    Yes, it IS ahead of other devices, and pushing more data as a result. "Ahead" doesn't mean some arbitrary theoretical maximum throughput, it means ACTUAL data usage. What's "ahead" is the usability of the device: OS and software, especially the browser. Look at browser usage stats and you'll see that iPhone users make up the biggest chunk of mobile phone browsing, despite being only a small slice of phone ownership. People CAN transfer data with other phones, but they ARE transferring far more with iPhones.



    That only means they are using the device itself, if you tether the phone you can transfer data from other devices, which people have been doing for a number of years.
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