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Plusnet Mobile reception not as good as EE

Dabbler
Posts: 13
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎11-07-2017

Plusnet Mobile reception not as good as EE

Have just moved to Plusnet from EE and the signal strength and reception is nowhere near as good in busy places like Oxford Street where my friend on same phone and 3 gets good reception, but also in quite random locations. I gather from previous threads that this may be due to EE prioritising their own traffic, but if this is the case then Plus shouldn’t advertise it as having the same coverage. However, if anyone has any suggestions I’d love to hear them. Thanks.
19 REPLIES 19
Pro
Posts: 560
Thanks: 105
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎03-08-2012

Re: Plusnet Mobile reception not as good as EE

I think this is true for most, if not all, these "piggyback" providers.

I use a provider, owned by Three and using their network. I have found that the performance is nowhere near the same as Three.

I was with Three for quite a while then tried PN Mobile very briefly (minutes!). After finding the same as you and in spite of them using the EE network, it was not good at all.

Pro
Posts: 1,112
Thanks: 136
Fixes: 6
Registered: ‎30-10-2011

Re: Plusnet Mobile reception not as good as EE

Quote from Plusnet's mobile T&C's:

"We cover 99% of the UK population, Proud to be part of the EE network”: Either 2G, 3G or 4G coverage of 99.63% of the UK population as at 30 September 2016. Based on EE data.

That comes close to implying that PN's mobile reception will be the same as EE's but manages to avoid mentioning that Plusnet only has access to 1 of the 2 wavebands that EE uses.

Clearly this means that PN mobile coverage will be inferior to EE's in some circumstances (something that many users will have probably suspected for some time.)

This is of course reflected in the price - caveat emptor... Wink

Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 1,858
Thanks: 201
Fixes: 79
Registered: ‎06-08-2018

Re: Plusnet Mobile reception not as good as EE

Hi there @annew, just to confirm we use EE's network and have the same coverage. Is it just these areas that you have problems? Are they just related to SMS/calls or do they include mobile data to?

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Maddy S
 Plusnet Help Team


Community Veteran
Posts: 2,305
Thanks: 499
Fixes: 52
Registered: ‎13-08-2015

Re: Plusnet Mobile reception not as good as EE

Clearly that is not true, whilst PN has use the EE network, they do not have access to all the frequency bands, therefore coverage is not as good in some areas. The subject has been mentioned many times before, it is very disappointing to see staff members claim they have the same coverage as EE.

Dabbler
Posts: 13
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎11-07-2017

Re: Plusnet Mobile reception not as good as EE

I have been unable to access websites when in busy places. Also texts won’t send. Other than that the connection seems to drop quite randomly. I seem to have no reception when others do. EE was better.
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Plusnet Mobile reception not as good as EE

EE use three 4g bands

800Mhz band 20    1.8 Ghz  band 3   2.6 Ghz  band 7

PlusNet don't use the 800 Mhz

EE allow BT mobiles to use this but for some reason not PlusNet may be cost

This may answer some questions

The 800MHz frequency band is one of two which was auctioned by Ofcom in February of 2013. Previously this band was used to provide analogue television signals, but since TV’s switched over to digital it was freed up to be used with 4G.

The lower the frequency of the band the further it can travel, so the 800MHz band is the most adept of the three at travelling over long distances, which means users can get a 4G signal even when they’re a long way from a mast. This becomes particularly useful in rural areas where masts are likely to be quite spread out.

However, it also has some advantages in cities, because low frequencies are also good at passing through walls and other physical objects. So the 800MHz band is good for indoor coverage and for heavily built up areas where a signal might otherwise struggle to travel.

On the other hand it has a comparatively low capacity, as it was only available in small 5 and 10MHz blocks, which means that it can’t always deal brilliantly with lots of people trying to connect at once, particularly if they’re carrying out demanding actions such as streaming HD video. So even in places with a good connection it may not always deliver consistent speeds, especially in urban areas where there’s likely to be a lot of data traffic.

 

Brian A

 

 

 

 

Dabbler
Posts: 13
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎11-07-2017

Re: Plusnet Mobile reception not as good as EE

Thanks to everyone for their helpful if somewhat depressing replies. Looks like I will either have to live with it or move again.

Rising Star
Posts: 90
Thanks: 23
Registered: ‎17-07-2018

Re: Plusnet Mobile reception not as good as EE


@Mads wrote:

Hi there @annew, just to confirm we use EE's network and have the same coverage. Is it just these areas that you have problems? Are they just related to SMS/calls or do they include mobile data to?


This statement seems just a little bit naughty really, to say PlusNet has the same coverage as EE. For as long as there are locations only served by 4G800 (and they do exist), then it cannot be true..

I could quote examples, but I'm not sure it would achieve anything.

Dabbler
Posts: 19
Thanks: 3
Registered: ‎24-09-2018

Re: Plusnet Mobile reception not as good as EE

I was thinking off moving my mobile to Plusnet as some of the deals are great - but a relative turned up (already on Plusnet mobile) and had no coverage at my address.  This was in contradiction to what the automatic checker said.  I read this thread and spoke to the online chat person about the difference between the bands and how they affected indoor coverage in particular - they were completely unaware that there was less coverage on Plusnet than on EE and tried to convince me it was exactly the same.

 

Is this right that Plusnet indeed has 'less' coverage / bands than EE please?

Rising Star
Posts: 90
Thanks: 23
Registered: ‎17-07-2018

Re: Plusnet Mobile reception not as good as EE

Ok, here goes!!

EE operate their 4G across multiple frequency bands... 1800Mhz is the base layer, 2100Mhz & 2600Mhz additional capacity layers which all the resellers have access to.

They also use 800Mhz for a low-capacity extra coverage layer, this band is better at covering rural areas and indoors but for legitimate technical reasons is restricted to EE & BT-Mobile 4G-calling/VoLTE customers.

It doesn't surprise me in the slightest that CS reps (not just PN, but on other MVNOs too) are unaware of this, I've had a webchat agent from one of the other resellers swear blind to me that they had access to every single EE frequency and specifically included 800Mhz in that.

http://www.matt.qa/ee/ is an entirely unofficial web checker (I'll run the risk of posting this, and hope this post/link isn't deleted) that breaks down coverage at any given area into different frequencies, you can check on here whether there is 800Mhz service at your home that would provide exactly the symptoms you describe. I'm pretty sure the PlusNet & Virgin Mobile web checkers do make allowances for 4G800, but the EE online map has a bug and doesn't currently differentiate.

Dabbler
Posts: 13
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎11-07-2017

Re: Plusnet Mobile reception not as good as EE

There are some useful responses further up the thread. It still slightly astounds me that they just check the coverage in your area - yes you want to use yr phone at home but other than that the clue’s in the word mobile and a map would be more useful. I spend as much time away from home as at home. However the inferior EE coverage does unfortunately seem to be true - Plusnet doesn’t use all EE’s wavebands, and the support people don’t seem to know. Ho hum. Their sim only is cheap though - and way cheaper than EE.
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Plusnet Mobile reception not as good as EE

Hi wickyb 

I think you have answered your own question is your relative is already on PlusNet and gets no signal there is a very good chance you will be the same.

A test you could do is to put their sim into your phone  and see if that works as there is a different between various make/types of phones.

 

Brian A

Dabbler
Posts: 19
Thanks: 3
Registered: ‎24-09-2018

Re: Plusnet Mobile reception not as good as EE

Thank you - wise community friends !  Your comments are much appreciated and my mind is made up to not move to Plusnet Mobile. I had almost believed what the CS agent said that there was no difference (and as I run an EE phone for work know that it gives me good coverage at home).  Now I know why !

Rising Star
Posts: 90
Thanks: 23
Registered: ‎17-07-2018

Re: Plusnet Mobile reception not as good as EE

Ultimately it's in the nature of MVNOs to sell at the budget end of the market, and you really can't blame them. If you don't want all the extra bells, whistles & services of the main networks but just need a plain vanilla calls & texts service, then there's clearly a market for resellers to reduce costs and sell cheaper as a result.

Where they fall down is when the "no frills" includes features such as VoLTE, which has technical implications which aren't made clear. I've just tried a sample postcode where EE 4G coverage is only on 800Mhz (IV22 2JX) and the PlusNet map does correctly claim no 4G coverage, so there's no cause for complaint there.

Ultimately you pays your money and takes your choice, as to whether the "luxury" or "value" option is best suitable for you.