Day 103 of the Vodafone Zero-3G Experience in Richmond

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So I’ve been doing a lot of consultancy with a massive, global, huge, big company in Richmond-Upon-Thames for quite a while now. 103 days, approximately.

There is next to no Vodafone signal in the building, despite it being located in downtown PRIME Richmond. Walk outside and wave your handset around and you’ll be lucky to hit 3G for a few moments. All other times, I’m reduced to sitting with an ‘EDGE’ connection which is utterly utterly useless. The network might as well say ‘you must be joking’ rather than bother to hint that there might be a ‘2G+’ signal capable of more than 20 bytes throughput at any one time.

It’s a flipping nonsense.

Telephone calls still work.

That is pretty good.

Vodafone has managed to get that far.

Meanwhile, I’m having a brilliant, brilliant time with the 3 signal. I now automatically pick up my 3 iPhone4 if I want to actually DO something with my mobile devices. I have also got my BlackBerry Torch roaming on the 3 MiFi unit, so that it can actually function beyond the network equivalent of an occasional limp followed by a long draw on a ciggie, a swipe of cheap whisky and another attempt at limping.

Who does one have to sleep with to get Vodafone to actually make their 3G service work in Richmond?

Their service is almost as bad as AT&T in New York or San Francisco. And that is saying something.

Vodafone: The network you can generally depend on.

Total, total rubbish.

I’m not calling on Vodafone to do anything, obviously. I understand that their hands are tied, that ‘things are in motion’, that ‘engineers will be looking at it [for the next eon]’ and that ‘yes, dear me, that must be frustrating for you’.

Meanwhile I’ve got 3G+ in Marlow. When I don’t quite need it.

Am I seriously, SERIOUSLY going to have experience this kind of shit for the next two decades before we get some kind of ubiquitous blanket data connectivity?


[And if you are occasionally really frustrated by your mobile operator, read this post to find out about their next bright (stupid) idea — “ The joint mobile operating system: A risible idea.]

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

5 replies on “Day 103 of the Vodafone Zero-3G Experience in Richmond”

While you are not getting a signal, in shanghai i get 5+ bars with tinfoil wrapped around my head, mobile, hell even house. (then again i think they hid the mast in the mcdonald’s sign) 20 gazillion served..

The O2 signal is very poor in the Richmond area too. One might start to think there’s something disrupting it, as I’ve read it used to be very good.

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