Data Centre

Networks

O2 admits to throttling network bandwidth for EU data roamers

'Temporary measure' to cope with demand, apparently

By Kat Hall

43 SHARE

O2 has admitted to deliberately throttling its network as a "temporary measure" to combat the demand of Brits using free data roaming abroad.

The issue was first pointed out by a punter in the UK mobile network's support forum, who noted that within a month of the EU abolishing roaming charges on June 15, he was unable to use 4G services and was experiencing speeds of 0.5Mbps in Dublin, Ireland.

After carrying out a series of speed tests with different operators in the Emerald Isle, he concluded O2 was the worst for data roaming.

"You could see the phone trying its hardest and on many occasions starting the speed test I was getting 10+ Mbps, however throttling kicked in and it went straight to 0.50 mostly," he said. "I’m appalled that it’s still throttled badly and it's shocking that 4G is still not available."

He called on O2 to enable 4G roaming and stop throttling: "It's making you look like cheapskates and bad as a network for overseas."

O2 said European mobile networks impose traffic shaping and throttling measures to protect their services and keep at least some bandwidth available for everyone, particularly when people stress a network with data usage.

In response to the demand on its network, O2 said it has temporarily imposed similar controls.

"Data roaming surpassed all expectations," a spokeswoman told The Register. "We therefore have put temporary measures in place to protect the service experience for customers roaming in our Europe Zone. These firewalls are temporary and we are working to have these controls removed within the coming weeks."

Earlier this week Virgin Mobile customers complained their roaming isn't working on the continent. ®

Sign up to our NewsletterGet IT in your inbox daily

43 Comments

More from The Register

Vodafone sues Ofcom to reclaim 'overpaid' mobe spectrum fees

EE set it up, now Voda's shooting for goal

UK comms watchdog Ofcom pokes probe into Vodafone and EE over network coverage numbers

One may have said too much, one may have said too little

Ofcom asks networks, ISPs: Hey, wouldn't it be nice if you let customers know the best deal once their contract's up?

You know, they've paid for the phone a few times over now...

Ofcom to probe Three and Vodafone over network throttling

Telcos may have breached EU net neutrality rules

Mobile networks are killing Wi-Fi for speed around the world

And that means smartphones will need to get smarter

Brits whinging less? About ISPs, networks and TV? It's gotta be a glitch in the Matrix

Happy now? For realsies?

Vodafone pinches mobe network nerd metrics from the mighty EE

Surgical investment pays off for performance in three UK cities

Ofcom to networks: Want this delicious 5G spectrum? You'll have to improve 4G coverage

Better LTE for bumpkins wedged into mobe operators' bids

Ofcom: More spectrum for all the good boys and girls. Except you, EE. You've had your fill

UK mobile networks had better open their wallets

Brit mobile phone users want the Moon on a stick but then stay on same networks for aeons

How does that work?