UK speeds O2 vs Orange vs T-Mobile vs Vodafone

im thinking of getting Blackberry Bold 9700 and would like to decide which provider/carrier to get it from based on which network provides the best data speeds and coverage.

im considering O2 or Orange or T-Mobile or Vodafone in the UK. Given my handset supports HSDPA, which also comes at different speeds, how fast mobile data connection do these networks provide in England and Wales? do you know which is the fastest and whether these speeds are generally available across England and Wales?
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

All of the mobile networks over differing levels of coverage depending on where you are.

In the big cities, 3G coverage will be excellent.  In the countryside and deepest, darkest Wales, 3G covereage could be poor.

In the big cities where 3G covereage is good, you will find certain areas where performace is excellent and others where it won't work - this is simply down to network saturation on the cell mast you are currently connected to.

Each operator will have a graphical display on their website showing coverage - have a look at them and decide which one fits your needs best.  

But which ever one you choose, you will not be 100% happy 100% of the time.
KristjanLaaneAuthor Commented:
Im mainly interested in Cambridge and Abergavenny, Wales.

are you saying all teh networks have good "3.5G" in big cities and that HSDPA is provided at all speeds or at least all the networks provide the same speed (Current HSDPA deployments support down-link speeds of 1.8, 3.6, 7.2 and  14.0 Mbit/s. ) ?
All the networks will claim to have good coverage - but you will find areas where you will get no signal what so ever.  Take O2 as an example.  I work in Canary Wharf in London and I get very intermittant coverage at my office.  One side of the building - full signal, the other side - nothing!

Please - check out the networks websites and see what they claim for coverage and talk to them.  I'm on O2 so can only comment about O2 coverage in the areas where I have been.  I've never been to Cambridge or Abergavenny so any statement I make about any of the networks will not be based on personal experience in those locations.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
KristjanLaaneAuthor Commented:
thanks! i found great additional discussions and metrics at


probably going for vodafone, but t-mobile and 3 are contenders as well. need to look if they have other issues such as small data cap or other restrictions on smartphone data-use ...

It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Wireless Networking

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.