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Very slow 4G speeds (even with full signal)

Joining in


I moved from Vodafone to VM a few months ago, on the basis that I'd always had good network coverage and speeds with Vodafone so presumed that wouldn't change, given that VM uses Vodafone's network.

I did notice a drop in speed when using cellular data after moving to VM, but it was still acceptable so I didn't think too much of it.

Since last week though, I've been seeing terrible speeds on my iPhone when using cellular data. I first noticed it at work, where the signal is excellent. My work mobile (on Vodafone) gets 150Mbps when I tested just now using Testing on my personal mobile though, it often comes out at less than 1Mbps, and occasionally (if I'm lucky) it hits 10-15Mbps. I'm seeing the same issue at home and in other locations too, so it's not caused by a localised issue with a cell tower.

I've also tried swapping sims between my work phone (cheapie Samsung A20e) and my personal one (iPhone 13 Pro), and the speed issue moves with my VM sim. So there's nothing wrong with my iPhone.

As far as I can see, there must either be an issue with my VM sim, or this is simply network congestion. I work near the New Forest and live in Poole, so there is a large influx of people into this part of the world at this time of year.

I'd appreciate any thoughts from someone at VM, as my phone is almost unusable when not on Wi-Fi. I'm really hoping this isn't just down to network congestion, with no quick fix, as otherwise I'd never have left Vodafone.



Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person

You may have been moved over to O2.

Do a manual network search. If O2 is missing (it will be replaced by 'Virgin') then that has happened 

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Thanks for the reply.

I think you might be correct, as I don't see O2 listed, only:


234 32 (which Google suggests is EE's emergency services network)




The ony reason I chose Virgin to move to was because they use (used?) Vodafone's network. So are they gradually moving all customers over to O2, even if that comes with a significant drop in cellular speeds?

Hi @dannyboyy75,

Thanks for posting, and welcome to the Forums.

Sorry to hear you're experiencing extremely slow speeds on your 4G signal. As mentioned by @enlli, our network is currently in the process of moving from Vodafone to O2, as part of our merger.

Any new SIM cards will automatically be placed onto the O2 network, so this will most likely have been the case for you. So I can look into this further, I'm going to drop you a private message.

Please look out for it in the top-right of the Forums, in the purple envelope.


Reece - Forum Team

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Hi there,

I have the same issue - you sent me a new SIM that now piggybacks off O2 and my speeds are so slow!

I am lucky if I get over 1mbs at times. - in the centre of Wolverhampton on 5G and can't get over 7mps!

Please Help! 

Hi neilshannon27

Thanks for posting and welcome to the community.

Apologies for the issues with the signal/speeds. Is this just in one area or all?

Best wishes,

Forum Team

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wherever I go it's the same - don't think I've ever seen it hit over 6mb.

I was in the centre of Wolverhampton city outside the train station with full signal and 5G and couldn't get more than 3mb on - speedtest wouldn't even load.

I used to get up to 40mb on 4G with Virgin over a year ago - since I updated my plan it is just horrible and most times when I need to google something when I'm out and about it's like I'm on dial-up!!

I called up to complain and they said that I need a new SIM and it will resolve the speed issues - I have put the new sim in and it's exactly the same- have tried the SIM in different phones- iPhones and Andriod with the same results.

I need this resolved otherwise I need to cancel my contracts. I'm paying for data I will never use as it never loads anything.

please help!

Thanks for replying neilshannon27

I can look into this for you in a bit more detail.
If you don't mind, I will need to send you a private message to pass security. 
If you can check the purple envelope top right of your screen that would be great. 

Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person

These are speeds I regularly get at home. One is O2 the other Vodafone.

I'll leave you to guess which one is O2



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