I have a confession to make. About a year ago I tested the Sony Ericsson Z1010 on the Orange 3G network just a week before Orange 3G was launched. It was terrible – not just the phone, that alone was bad enough – it would freeze half-way through booting. It was the network, there just was no coverage. I couldn’t get a 3G signal anywhere – I had to drive to a neighbouring town and virtually park next to the transmitter to make a test video call.
This led me to do a test – I drove to work with the phone and glanced at the 3G (UMTS) signal strength to check where the signal dropped out. My journey takes me along the M6 Toll and then from Junction 12 of the M6 up to Junction 15. At the time, the signal was non-existant. I got a 3G signal at Stafford (Junction 13) and then it vanished. That was it – that was the only place I could get a 3G signal on my journey.
However, today I plonked the Orange SPV M5000 on my dashboard and did exactly the same journey. Result ? It only dropped out once – and that was at Junction 15 on the slip-road. I had 3G coverage all the way – the “U” symbol only went off for about 30 seconds on the slip-road, then popped back on. This is a vast improvement! Orange, you’ve done a fantastic job of improving coverage on 3G and it’s far, far better than I expected. However my home town of Burntwood isn’t covered with 3G yet, so … Orange, if you’re not busy this week – could you stick a transmitter up ? ;)
Keep an eye out for my Orange SPV M5000 review, coming soon!