Tag Archives: Orange

Vodafone prepare 4G network for launch on 29th August

Vodafone announced the 29th August 2013 will see the launch of their UK 4G network in London.

Unsurprisingly this is the same day as the launch of the O2 4G network, but I guess after seeing EE given special permission to launch their network a year earlier they were not particularly keen to see any of their other rivals steal a march on them.

The network will go live in central London on the 29th August with at least a further 10 cities planned for launch before the end of the calendar year, this will leave Vodafone customers in Surrey and Hampshire waiting a little longer for the new superfast service but it gives us a good opportunity to evaluate its impact on cell sites and therefore signal coverage.

It is important to assess this point first as there are many reports of Orange and T-Mobile customers suffering widespread problems with signal coverage since the launch of the EE 4G network. I wouldn’t want any of our customers experiencing the same unnecessarily.

Let’s look at the positives of 4G:

The speeds achievable are far in excess of current 3G speeds, what does this mean for business? Here are two examples.

1) More productive mobile working as staff can download and access hosted solutions and files much faster

2) A genuine, flexible emergency broadband service for your office if the fixed line system fails.

Get in touch with us to plan how your business can benefit from the 4G network.

Nokia Lumia 920 exclusive to the EE family

I wasn’t totally surprised but I was saddened to see the news that Nokia’s flagship Windows 8 device is going to be exclusive to the EE family of EE for 4G users and Orange and T-Mobile for 3G users for an intial period.

I have been using a Lumia 800 since they launched earlier this year and I am a big fan of the Windows operating platform so I was looking forward to the next generation device and platform, sadly it is not to be as my contract is with Vodafone.

We hear in the news on a regular basis that Nokia are struggling with their handset shipment numbers and that Q3 sales showed a loss of $754 million alongside a decrease in Lumia shipments of 1.1 million compared to Q2. However, there are mitigating circumstances with these shipment figures as we learnt in Q2 that the current Lumia range running Windows 7.5 would not be able to ugrade to Windows 8 when available, (there will be a 7.8 instead) so maybe Nokia buyers were just holding out for the new devices.

But in the UK market, the network share is fairly even with Vodafone, O2 and the EE Family accounting for approximately a third each, so why limit your flagship model, the one that is needed to “save you” (according to some analysts), to just one part of the market.

The marketing power and ££’s behind the 4G network on EE is driving consumers to EE’s door but it is evident that national coverage to the standard the networks always quote of “98%” is unlikely until 2014, are enough people going to be moving away from Vodafone & O2 in that time frame just to get these handsets?

For Nokia, I fear not, and even if they do, Nokia need to then win the hearts and minds battle against two very strong competitors in the apple iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE.

If it was your business, would you have made the same or a similar decision? I would be interested to hear if so and why.

So I will have to sit and wait for it to become available SIM free, but in this market with new handsets out all the time, my head may get turned by a rival.