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Topic # 113738 26-Jan-2013 15:33

Hey guys, as you may have noticed over the years I have been a bit of a 2degrees fanboy. Okay I admit it, but only because it was an interesting journey to see an organisation start up from the early days of Econet to what we have today.

I have spent the past 2 years on their network and this week have finally decided to leave. I love the companies drive, attitude and value. And that’s where it stops. 2degrees service is horrible when it comes to reliability.

Call quality is good but there are two major issues:

1)      Often my phone will not pickup calls, even when in full range.

2)      Text messages are  super un-reliable, from 2degrees and other networks.

Cellphones are a luxary and SMS should not be considered a guaranteed service. One lost text is annoying but 5-10 a week is just silly; I have missed meetings, outings and been late because I just never got that text.

Friends around me who are on 2degrees and have started to complain of the same issue. Texts just don’t arrive. A year ago I would say that 50% of my friends were on 2degrees, whereas now I would say 1/3rd have switched or are thinking of switching.

A friend of mine has a good contact who works with 2degrees, and it looks like they are hainvg real issues with their core network. 2degrees is one of only 2 (?) networks worldwide built with Huawei almost end-to-end.

This is has two major issues

1)      The core infrastructure is not well tried and tested

2)      The switch is unique, be-spoke and unreliable. To the point where “2degrees don’t know how to operate it properly”.

I may be wrong here, the information could be wrong, but hes not the first person to tell me this.

Their customer care told me that they want to see points in time where texts have gone missing so they can investigate, I find this silly. I’m not asking my friends to do this for me. Their network should just work.

Anyhow, I have fixed the issue and am very happy.

I moved to telecom.




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  Reply # 751227 26-Jan-2013 16:28 Send private message

I don't agree that 2degrees' network infrastructure is dodgy. Their billing certainly seems to be fraught with various problems, but as far as core service delivery goes I have found phone calls fine and the only problem I have had with data is the widely experienced but highly intermittent issue where the connection 'jams' and requires the device to be restarted - this hasn't happened now for a while.

I agree that SMS is a problem because a couple of years ago I found that so many messages were getting lost that I just gave up on using it altogether. In my view SMS is inherently an unreliable and archaic technology and I'm not convinced that you won't have problems with it on your new provider, but it will be interesting to hear how it pans out.

ajw

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  Reply # 751246 26-Jan-2013 17:27 Send private message

Huawei sells reliable, good quality equipment.

The fortunes of China's two biggest—and most controversial—telecommunications-equipment suppliers are diverging, with Huawei Technologies Co. expecting a hefty profit for last year, and ZTE Corp. 000063.SZ 0.00% warning of a sizable loss.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324624404578255141560838214.html

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  Reply # 751305 26-Jan-2013 21:19 Send private message

SteveON: Their customer care told me that they want to see points in time where texts have gone missing so they can investigate, I find this silly.

It may seem silly, but what other avenues do they have to investigate?
Obviously they'll have call (event) records that they can go over, but without knowing which texts were delivered successfully and which were not, it seems like they'd have nothing to go on.
Inherent in your post seems to be an assumption that there is a general problem with their network, or at least that there is a problem that is not isolated to you. Who knows if that is true - I've never noticed a problem - but if everyone reacted to their support in the same way as you appear to have reacted then they'd have nothing to go on.

My point is that it seems like you're complaining about their service but have tied their hands so they can't help you. To be quite frank, I'm a little curious about why you decided to post about this in the first place if you've already transferred to Telecom.

alasta: I don't agree that 2degrees' network infrastructure is dodgy. Their billing certainly seems to be fraught with various problems...

Don't Telecom and 2degrees run software from the same vendor?

ajw

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  Reply # 751310 26-Jan-2013 21:29 Send private message

mm1352000:
SteveON: Their customer care told me that they want to see points in time where texts have gone missing so they can investigate, I find this silly.

It may seem silly, but what other avenues do they have to investigate?
Obviously they'll have call (event) records that they can go over, but without knowing which texts were delivered successfully and which were not, it seems like they'd have nothing to go on.
Inherent in your post seems to be an assumption that there is a general problem with their network, or at least that there is a problem that is not isolated to you. Who knows if that is true - I've never noticed a problem - but if everyone reacted to their support in the same way as you appear to have reacted then they'd have nothing to go on.

My point is that it seems like you're complaining about their service but have tied their hands so they can't help you. To be quite frank, I'm a little curious about why you decided to post about this in the first place if you've already transferred to Telecom.

alasta: I don't agree that 2degrees' network infrastructure is dodgy. Their billing certainly seems to be fraught with various problems...

Don't Telecom and 2degrees run software from the same vendor?


Yes thats what I'm wondering, the OP made his mind up to transfer to telecom so that should be the end of the matter.

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  Reply # 751359 26-Jan-2013 23:56 Send private message

ajw:
mm1352000:
SteveON: Their customer care told me that they want to see points in time where texts have gone missing so they can investigate, I find this silly.

It may seem silly, but what other avenues do they have to investigate?
Obviously they'll have call (event) records that they can go over, but without knowing which texts were delivered successfully and which were not, it seems like they'd have nothing to go on.
Inherent in your post seems to be an assumption that there is a general problem with their network, or at least that there is a problem that is not isolated to you. Who knows if that is true - I've never noticed a problem - but if everyone reacted to their support in the same way as you appear to have reacted then they'd have nothing to go on.

My point is that it seems like you're complaining about their service but have tied their hands so they can't help you. To be quite frank, I'm a little curious about why you decided to post about this in the first place if you've already transferred to Telecom.

alasta: I don't agree that 2degrees' network infrastructure is dodgy. Their billing certainly seems to be fraught with various problems...

Don't Telecom and 2degrees run software from the same vendor?


Yes thats what I'm wondering, the OP made his mind up to transfer to telecom so that should be the end of the matter.


In fact, all three mobile networks use the same vendor.




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  Reply # 751361 27-Jan-2013 00:02 Send private message

Might be a bit off topic as I only skimmed through the OP, but it took 10 minutes for a txt to arrive from VF-2degrees about a week ago.

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  Reply # 751369 27-Jan-2013 00:14 Send private message

jpollock: In fact, all three mobile networks use the same vendor.

Didn't think VF used that vendor [yet?], though my understanding is that TCL does so I guess that counts.

I'm aware of your expertise in this domain and wondering if you might share your thoughts.
Could such a problem as the OP claims exist?
How would a telco using this software such as 2d catch undelivered SMSes?
Would there be CDRs, or would the switches have useful info?

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  Reply # 751371 27-Jan-2013 00:21 Send private message

jpollock:
ajw:
mm1352000:
SteveON: Their customer care told me that they want to see points in time where texts have gone missing so they can investigate, I find this silly.

It may seem silly, but what other avenues do they have to investigate?
Obviously they'll have call (event) records that they can go over, but without knowing which texts were delivered successfully and which were not, it seems like they'd have nothing to go on.
Inherent in your post seems to be an assumption that there is a general problem with their network, or at least that there is a problem that is not isolated to you. Who knows if that is true - I've never noticed a problem - but if everyone reacted to their support in the same way as you appear to have reacted then they'd have nothing to go on.

My point is that it seems like you're complaining about their service but have tied their hands so they can't help you. To be quite frank, I'm a little curious about why you decided to post about this in the first place if you've already transferred to Telecom.

alasta: I don't agree that 2degrees' network infrastructure is dodgy. Their billing certainly seems to be fraught with various problems...

Don't Telecom and 2degrees run software from the same vendor?


Yes thats what I'm wondering, the OP made his mind up to transfer to telecom so that should be the end of the matter.


In fact, all three mobile networks use the same vendor.


jpollock how did you come to his conclusion? Vodafone NZ use a few different vendors depending what it's for but for Core mobile and RAN we use Nokia Siemens networks, 2Degrees and Telecom use other vendors so it's not all the same,

John




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  Reply # 751374 27-Jan-2013 00:52 Send private message

mm1352000:
jpollock: In fact, all three mobile networks use the same vendor.

Didn't think VF used that vendor [yet?], though my understanding is that TCL does so I guess that counts.



Vodafone proper uses the same vendor, different product line (I think, they might have changed?). :)  Splitting hairs, but I'm showing off. :)


mm1352000:
I'm aware of your expertise in this domain and wondering if you might share your thoughts.
Could such a problem as the OP claims exist?
How would a telco using this software such as 2d catch undelivered SMSes?
Would there be CDRs, or would the switches have useful info?


SMS messages are like email, there can be problems with delivery at any point along the way.  I'm not familiar with the interconnection agreements that 2Degrees have, so I can't really say where the problems would be.

Tracking the problems down would be done using CDRs.  Pretty much every device in the network records CDRs, particularly SMSCs (mail server equivalents for SMS transmission) since SMSC vendors typically charge per message.

However, all these CDRs are not necessarily brought together into the same system (that's a lot of data!), and they also don't necessarily have the same timestamp or even enough information to correlate them.  That means that without some place to start, it can be very hard (read expensive) to track this stuff down.

NOTE: If you're a person who's keen on privacy - this is "a good thing".

SaltyNZ wrote an amazing set of posts on how SMS works:

http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=85&topicid=58680

He goes through it in great detail.  However, I'll add another couple of reasons that might be resulting in delays.

SMS messages are typically stored on the originating network and then sent directly to the receiving device (NZ offnet is probably different because of SMPP).  Typically, if your phone isn't there to receive it, it will register a "tell me when they're back" request on another machine in the network (the HLR - Home Location Registry).

I have noticed that my 1st gen iPhone would miss SMS messages, particularly if it had been in standby mode for a long time.  My wife and I learned that if she _really_ wanted an SMS to get there, she would send the SMS and then follow up immediately with a phone call (ring, no answer required).  The call would force the device to wake up, which would force the SMS through.

Finally, time of day also matters.  Any link in the network might be congested, particularly around when people are leaving work/picking up kids/etc.  SMS is not a real-time transport.  It isn't meant to be.  Like email, it can be delayed for any reason, and might never make it.




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  Reply # 751378 27-Jan-2013 01:11 Send private message

johnr: 
jpollock: In fact, all three mobile networks use the same vendor.


jpollock how did you come to his conclusion? Vodafone NZ use a few different vendors depending what it's for but for Core mobile and RAN we use Nokia Siemens networks, 2Degrees and Telecom use other vendors so it's not all the same,

John


Yep, for core and radio, everyone's different.  Billing's seen a consolidation though, I think everyone's on the same vendor, albeit different product lines.

However, my information about VF is very old and rusty, so I'm more than willing to accept that I'm talking garbage!




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  Reply # 751459 27-Jan-2013 12:39 Send private message

jpollock:
johnr: jpollock how did you come to his conclusion? Vodafone NZ use a few different vendors depending what it's for but for Core mobile and RAN we use Nokia Siemens networks, 2Degrees and Telecom use other vendors so it's not all the same,


Yep, for core and radio, everyone's different.  Billing's seen a consolidation though, I think everyone's on the same vendor, albeit different product lines.

However, my information about VF is very old and rusty, so I'm more than willing to accept that I'm talking garbage!


As far as billing is concerned it's not really relevant whether the telcos are using the same solution because in my experience billing issues mainly tend to arise from problems with configuration or back end data quality rather than the 'billing system' itself. 

It was my understanding that as of a few years ago Vodafone were using Siebel as their CRM, but I'm not sure whether that handles billing or whether it would be handled by some other component of the Oracle suite.

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  Reply # 751470 27-Jan-2013 13:22 Send private message

I have noticed that my 1st gen iPhone would miss SMS messages, particularly if it had been in standby mode for a long time.  My wife and I learned that if she _really_ wanted an SMS to get there, she would send the SMS and then follow up immediately with a phone call (ring, no answer required).  The call would force the device to wake up, which would force the SMS through.



that sounds more like a issue where the device was not being seen by the network. i would think any voice calls would be missed as wel the  call going straight to voice mail. sending the sms & making the call is forcing the phone to re-auth back on to the network, once that happens as you said sms would come through

i am sure 2d would use something else rather then billing records to see where the issue was. how could a billing tool tell you if something was wrong in the radio network. also would a billing record be made for a sms you are receiving as it is only the sender that pays...

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  Reply # 751473 27-Jan-2013 13:27 Send private message

jpollock: ...

Thanks for your comments. :)

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  Reply # 751482 27-Jan-2013 13:38 Send private message

NZFINEST: i am sure 2d would use something else rather then billing records to see where the issue was. how could a billing tool tell you if something was wrong in the radio network.

Billing records can't inherently tell you anything about radio network problems... though their absence would indicate a problem further up the chain. The nature of the alleged problem is not clear. SMS delivery can fail in many ways as jpollock (and Salty) have explained. 2d would have to check the full chain of delivery.

also would a billing record be made for a sms you are receiving as it is only the sender that pays...

"Billing record" probably isn't an accurate way to think of a CDR. Yes, CDRs from some systems do contain info that is pertinent to billing. However in my experience CDR (or EDR) is used as a generic term for a generic record. In other words the contents of a CDR will depend on the system or module that generates it. CDRs from some systems contain connection/traffic details.

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  Reply # 751655 27-Jan-2013 21:01 Send private message

I know another couple of people that are leaving 2degrees, one to skinny and one to vodafone because of issues with SMS being delayed and one of them also has a massive problem with calls not making it to the phone when it is on and shows signal. They have an iPhone and are also getting annoyed at the constant slow edge connections.





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