Have you experienced poor signal since the Three / 02 merger? Here’s why

Many listeners and readers have been in touch with us since the merger

Back in June 2013, it was announced that Three had purchased the 02 network in Ireland for €850 million. The changeover from 02 to Three was never going to be an overnight process. There’s a number of stages to this merger. I met with David Hennessy, Chief Technology Officer at Three to find out more about those steps. 

Step one was the front of house stuff. This meant all branding, billing and even the little logo on your phone had to be changed from 02 to Three. Once that was done, the team then conducted an audit of the masts and data centres around the country. This helped them identify areas of overlap or weak points.

It’s worth noting at this point that 02 was a mobile network built upon voice calls. Three is a newer network that has always positioned itself as the data provider. So the makeup of their technical equipment was very different. 02 customers may well have had access to 3G but the capacity was not there for 4G. This is important because it needs to be understood that the merger did not mean twice the amount of masts thus twice the signal. Some of the masts were powered off.

So what did happen?

Picture a Venn diagram - one circle is Three and the other is 02. The goal is to expand the overlapping bit in the middle as that represents those who have been fully moved onto Three.

This is a slow process. Three acknowledge that, but say they would rather do it right than have constant outages from now until the end of time. They want to ensure stability on the network and offer a consistent service.

If you are a Three customer - regardless of whether you were an 02 customer before or not - you should not have consistent issues with your service. Three say that there are upgrades and works taking place the entire time, but customers affected will receive a text message to notify them beforehand. If you visit Three.ie/TheBigUpgrade you will be able to see what works, if any, are taking place around your area. It means you can be prepared for an outage.

I have repsonse from Three for some of the queries which we received in and I will pass those onto the listeners. If you believe that your issues with the network are ongoing, email patkenny(at)newstalk(dot)com with the details and we’ll get on it.