Orange Mobile Network coverage reduced in NI

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in N. Ireland
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BigAl94BigAl94 Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in N. Ireland
My wife and I have been Orange mobile customers for many years. We now spend a considerable amount of time in Co Fermanagh where mobile phone coverage is poor, particularly Orange. Our main billing address is in North Down.

Where we go, there was virtually no Orange coverage and we were going to leave Orange and move to o2 who provide good 2g coverage there. We held back on the promise from Orange that their link up with T Mobile would improve things and that turned out to be true, when the T Mobile masts in NI were opened up to Orange customers early last year we were getting full signal from the local T Mobile mast including 2g email and web browsing. Because of that, we stayed with Orange and in my case renewed contract 8 months ago and my wife more recently.

When we were down last weekend we had virtually no network coverage, one bar going to zero when you tried to make a call. We were unable to make or receive calls. A manual search of available networks showed Orange, o2, and Vodafone but no T Mobile . When I got a signal elsewhere, Orange customer services told me there shouldn't be any problem and maybe the local cell was down temporarily.

When I returned home, further searches still did not show up any T Mobile Network, spoke to customer services again and they knew nothing about any issues and were basically useless.

Since then, I have discovered that the entire T Mobile network in NI was switched off on Wednesday 11 April 2012. Virgin Mobile, who used T Mobile masts advised their customers on their website that changes were coming and that they would be using Orange masts from that date

I spoke to staff in local Orange shop yesterday who were not fully aware of what was happening but they did show me an email received yesterday morning telling them to remove T Mobile dongles from sale as "they no longer work in N I" They told me that the Orange network is being upgraded fro 2g to 3g but were incredulous that masts would be turned off which would reduce service.

I have had another lengthy discussion with customer services who are to get back to me today. I have told them that we went into new contracts on the basis of enhanced network coverage due to the T Mobile tie up (which is still being vaunted on Orange website)

My view is that their coverage has been mis represented to us and that we want out of our contracts to move to another provider.

The most annoying thing is that no one in Orange is prepared to admit what is going on, provide customers in NI with meaningful information on what is happening, how it will impact on them and what the future plan is.


  • getzlsgetzls Forumite
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    I live in Bangor and Orange seems to have got worse lately. I have to go up-stairs to get a bar. In fact at my age i'm lucky to get anything up-stairs, but that's a different story. :D
  • dmxdavedmxdave Forumite
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    getzls wrote: »
    I live in Bangor and Orange seems to have got worse lately. I have to go up-stairs to get a bar. In fact at my age i'm lucky to get anything up-stairs, but that's a different story. :D

    But at least you have a bar upstairs....:beer:
  • irishjohnirishjohn Forumite
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    The Orange mast is inside the spire of the church on Hamilton Road and is not functioning thus there is very poor functionality in Bangor. Apparently there is a dispute between the church and Orange which is preventing the problem being resolved.
  • Money_Grabber13579Money_Grabber13579 Forumite
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    I seem to remember getting a text message from T-mobile 1-2 months ago saying some changes were being made in Northern Ireland. They didn't say what, but I guess this was what it related to...
    Northern Ireland club member No 382 :j
  • BigAl94BigAl94 Forumite
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    Reply from Ofcom


    Thankyou for your web form of 27 April 2012.

    Ofcom understands thatEverything Everywhere (Orange and T-Mobile) recently announced some networkinvestment in Northern Ireland. As part of this network consolidation, most ofthe legacy T-Mobile sites are being turned off during April 2012. We also understandfrom Everything Everywhere that they are contacting customers who are likely tobe impacted. These customers are being offered alternative solutions, or theability to terminate their contracts.

    In relation to your particularcase, if you have already contacted Orange and are unhappy with their reply,you should ask them to take your complaint to a higher level within thecompany.

    Although Ofcom cannot getinvolved in individual complaints, I can confirm that we have formally recordedyour concerns which we will be used for industry monitoring purposes.



    ConsumerContact Team
  • redpedredped Forumite
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    Hopefully Orange will do the decent thing, and allow you to cancel the contract. I must say, it doesn't seem like a good move on their part - I can certainly understand companies improving their coverage, but this all seems like a big step backwards.
  • GreenteaGreentea Forumite
    495 Posts
    From yesterday there have been problems with the coverage for Orange in Belfast City Centre. I have been unable to make calls. Phone immediately disconnects. Orange Shop in Belfast claim to be unaware, but calling 150 they acknowledged there is a problem they are working on.

    If you are experiencing a problem I would advice you register the issue by calling 150, the problem may continue for some time and if thats the case i certainly will be looking compensation.
  • arkonite_babearkonite_babe Forumite
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    I too have had issues with orange over the past 2 weeks. I spent over 2 hours today in the orange shop. The staff were very good, pity about the tech support team on the phone :(
    Tech support have admitted the mast in my area has been switched off which means I'm now lucky if I get one bar of signal at home, never mind 3G

    Here's what the tech support supervisor offered me on the phone today as compensation:
    A reduced price tarriff - yea fine still doesn't help my signal issues
    My iphone to be unlocked immediately so I can use another network sim - hmmm but I'm stil going to have to pay you for my non-existant signal aren't I?

    shop manager spoke to cs guy again and he agreed then that he would contact me via email after he'd spoken to a manager. (I had asked to speak to a manager after speaking to cs rep initially, I got a supervisor) cs guy comes back on the phone to me and then proceeds to ask me what time he can call me at to discuss my problem. WTH????? Didn't I just spend ages on the phone with you outlining the fact I have no signal at home and my phone is useless?????????

    As of 5pm I still have no email from cs dept so im now off to phone them again. As BigAl outlined in his reply from OfCom, Orange certainly didn't inform me that the mast switch off in my area would affect me, nor have they been able to offer a satifactory resolution to my issues with signal.

    Will update here with what happens!
  • I live in Spain and am having same problem plus other weird things so it's definitely Orange doing something as I have absolutely nothing to do cwith any masts in UK
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