Tuesday 13 November 2012

Google Nexus 4 available, Play Store - not so much

08:12 or thereabouts, Google pressed play on the sale of the Nexus 4 in the UK.  From the online noise in the preceding days it was quite obvious there was going to be a rush.  Anyone waiting for the polite "Notify Me" email to tell them the shop was open, has probably missed all the boats leaving today.

The Play Store didn't handle the rush too well to start with, it took me multiple attempts to get the device in my basket and check-out, and even now I have an order number, I'm not totally convinced the order has gone through!

I saw this a lot

Being the self-confessed geek that I am, I was also monitoring the Play Store to get a heads-up on when it opened for business (using PRTG HTTP Advanced Sensor if you're interested).  This graph shows how the server response times were steady all night, right up until the device went on sale!

The scale is in milliseconds response time to download the Nexus 4 16GB product page.

Wish me luck in trying to find out if I have a new phone in the pipeline, or if I have to join the back of the queue...

UPDATE: You'll be pleased to hear, I've received an email confirming my order :)

Sunday 28 October 2012

EE Fails to Launch 4G services in the UK

On Tuesday, the company formally known as Everything Everywhere launches the first wide-scale, commercially available 4G service in the UK.  You might have heard about it.

After announcing monopoly-scale pricing and tiny monthly data limits, Pippa Dunn, Chief Marketing Officer at EE reveals that the logic behind their calculation is flawed in the first place.  She explains they are based on habits of their existing 3G customers!  If that logic were valid, I'd still be typing this on my Spectrum 128 +3 (look it up).

I think someone may have let the accountants at EE over-rule the common sense department because the user backlash has started before anyone has flicked the On switch.   It's not the way to market and run a high-speed carrier service.  Except it's not high-speed is it?

The only thing that is launching this week, is the fact that EE have turned on a higher speed air interface to the user.  That's because the back-haul and core network that connects the 4th Generation masts to the Internet is the same one that users have been moaning about since the 3rd Generation of technology was hitting the headlines.  It's also the same one that the carriers themselves have been moaning about because they know it's already over stretched.  That's why they all offer free WiFi packages - It's called WiFi Offload - EE are already encouraging it before they've even launched!

It's not just me, the launch of 4G in the UK was seen by many other users as a potential saviour for their poor fixed line broadband speeds.  Yet the complete lack of vision from EE seems to have put that idea to bed already.  As far as I can see, it's very much a deliberate move by the company.  They simply don't want to offer a fixed line replacement broadband service because apart from the bit between the user and the mast, the rest of the EE network really isn't 4G ready.

The remaining operators who must wait to buy their slice of spectrum, should watch and learn and do it right first time, if they want to.