There has long been the question of whether quality is reduced when using an MVNO or using a MNO.
I'm hoping to shed some light on the situation in this short article.
- MVNO - Mobile Virtual Network Operator (GiffGaff or Lebara or Tesco or Sainsbury's Mobile).
- MNO - Mobile Network Operator (Vodafone, o2, EE/BT, 3).
- In September, I had a 4G Handset, with a 4GG SIM, with a 4GG Goodybag in a 4G Area. RESULT: I recieved a gurranteed 3G signal throughout the whole month.
- Also, in september, I had another 4G Handset, with a 4G O2 SIM, on a 4G O2 Plan, in a 4G Area. RESULT: I recieved a gurranteed 4G signal throughout the whole month.
So I dug further and was advised by o2 that even though networks 'run off their network', they simply use their towers to scatter their signal so in esscence it is more of a 'piggyback' then a full nationwide provision. If that makes sense.
I thought maybe this is just a temporary thing with GiffGaff and they will have their 4G signal up and running in no time, to my horror, I discovered that even their 3G signal is not upto the same standard of O2's.
Why? It's not GiffGaff's fault. It's just the nature of MVNOs, they can't be like MNOs, they can only buy MNO products in bulk and sell them cheap.
Don't get me wrong, I myself have been using GiffGaff since 2012, great for making a basic call or two but not up to the match of pure data freedom that other MNOs can give. It may be different in some areas, where an MVNO focuses more on because of a dense population of customers but in broader areas - you will notice a reduction in quality.
This is not just GiffGaff, other MVNO's, in this case Lebara (which runs off Vodafone's Sure Signal Network), has also a difference between itself and the MNO - Quality.
In fact, I'm going to leave you with what a Vodafone Representitive told me about MVNOs, Abz is me and Edd is the representitive:
Abz: I understand Lebara and Sainsbury's Mobile but run on Vodafone's network. They are MVNOsAbz: My question is their a difference in call quality?Edd: Well actually they don't. They just use the Vodafone tower to scatter their network. Moreover, regarding quality definitely Vodafone is a leading brand and we belive in providing the best services for our customers.Edd: Does that resolve your query sir?Abz: I understand that they use Vodafone towers to scatter their network but is it not the same quality service Vodafone provides but on a different SIM?Abz: Is their a reduction in quality?Edd: Well we belive that we provide the best possible services across our customers. Yes may be a little difference might be there. We completely belive in quality service and are proud to say that with the number of our valuable and happy customers across world.Edd: I hope that resolves your query.Abz: Is their a difference in 4G DATA quality amongst the networks who piggy-back off your network or is it the same?Edd: There is a difference. The quality you will experience with Vodafone will be more prominent and acurate compared to other networks.Abz: So the networks that run off Vodafone are second priority, am I right?Edd: Yes sir. Edd: Is there any thing else I can do for you this Christmas?Abz Have some EggNog on me sir... Thanks for your help 🙂