Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Are you receiving me...?

I've posted before about my frustrations of not being able to get a data signal on O2 at the Cardiff City Stadium on match days, and anecdotal comments by various people about the connection being "switched off" on match days, although other people on other carriers seem to do OK.

I got so fed up with this that I sent a "Mr Angry from Barry" email to O2 yesterday.

This afternoon a very nice young lady from O2 rang me to discuss this. Initially she suggested that the lack of connection was due to the mass of people at the match until I pointed out that:
  1. People on other carriers seem to do OK
  2. It's only Cardiff City match days - Wales international matches and Cardiff Blues rugby matches don't seem to have this problem (though admittedly the crowds for both are smaller than Bluebirds games)
  3. I can text/SMS OK but get absolutely no data signal, almost as soon as I'm in sight of the stadium
She seemed genuinely willing to want to help, but was stuck on the "it's the volume of people" approach. I then told her that I'd heard (from two separate sources) that the data signal is turned off by O2 on CCFC match days. This threw her and she said she'd need to speak to someone else and promised to ring back.

She duly did 20 minutes later. She told me that after speaking with the "network infrastructure" team (or something like that) they could "neither confirm nor deny" that the data signal is turned off. Hmm....interesting. Sounds like a government or military sort of response!

She said that the mast was a small one and 0.4km from the stadium and that the most likely explanation was that in order to ensure a continuous connection for existing O2 users who reside in the vicinity when there are large crowds in the area, the likelihood is the connection is reduced (or switched off, but she could neither confirm nor deny that).

It doesn't help me, but at least now I know - I think. In addition she has arranged for a small discount on my monthly bill, as I complained (nicely) that in effect I'm paying for a service which is available but being denied to me in the 8-12 hours a month I probably spend in and around that area. A result!

The other option of course is to switch from O2 to a carrier that doesn't have the signal problems in the area on match days, but I don't want to do that....yet.

Maybe if everyone complains, they'll put a bigger, closer mast up??

1 comment:

Shaun said...

It will be due to contention and it is unlikely that it is switched off because carriers try to scale 'up' for big events rather than down.