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Vodafone announces 3G switch off in 2G/3G only area
No change since my last update. While visiting relatives in Teelin today, my phone mainly connected on Edge 2G in both directions, only briefly connecting on 3G. There was one day I thought there something looked different about their antenna in Carrick, only to see it was a large crow perched on top! Big Grin

No change in Kilcar either, although my phone still mainly connects in 3G mode, whereas it recently seems to cling on to Edge 2G mode in Carrick.

I bought a 5GB add on to see if there any noticeable changes between here and Letterkenny when I visit family there for Christmas. 5GB may not seem like much, but based on how poor their network has been during previous testing through Co. Donegal, I don't think I will use it up, unlike with Eir and Three.

In case anyone is curious about using Vodafone Bonus Credit, it cannot be used for purchasing add-ons, at least not additional Data. I had €5.02 regular credit and €10 bonus credit and it would not let me buy the 20GB add-on for €15, saying I need to top up to at least €15 to buy this add-on.
Quigley's Point previously was served with Vodafone Omni 2G+3G 900MHz but has recently had a marked upgrade including the deployment of a multi-sector multi-operator monopole. Vodafone now has 2G 900MHz, 4G 800MHz and 4G 700MHz at the location. Eir also has a pleasing deployment. Aside from this new site lacking 3G 900MHz for Vodafone, my trip around Carndonagh and Buncrana showed much Vodafone 3G alive. 

I noted that the Muff location has a similar construction monopole near the current omni antenna, albeit lacking antennas. It seems that for at least some of the old omni antennas their time broadcasting is coming to an end! 
[Image: IKIZa3x.jpg]
Thanks for the photo, hopefully they deploy a similar dual 4G band setup in Kilcar.  Eir's mast at Letter, Kilcar which operates both 4G bands is obstructed by a hill from our location, whereas we can pick up a reasonably good 3G signal from the current Vodafone site.

While travelling with my parents to and from Letterkenny, I did not come across any new 4G bands on Vodafone along the way.  However, I did notice my phone maintain a 4G connection for most of the journey, including dipping right down to the -140dBm RSRP threshold in signal blackspots, where previously it would have dropped to 3G.  I never thought of forcing 3G only mode to see whether 3G is still operating in areas along the route.  


I see Vodafone finally operates 5G on the 3.6GHz band n78 in Letterkenny, whereas previously I only had 5G on its DSS based Band n1.  The speed however was not particularly impressive, delivering around 200Mbps after multiple speed tests as we drove from the Tesco shopping mall to the steep incline up the N13 to Ballybofey:


From running speed tests along the way on Christmas day and the 26th, Vodafone appears to have improved its backhaul.  For example, I got multiple speed tests of 50Mbps to 100Mbps in Killybegs compared to getting as low as 2Mbps at times a few months ago.  They are still not as high as I would expect for 10+20+20MHz CA, even for the 200+Mbps (previously under 100Mbps) for the Vodafone mast near the public service building outside Donegal town:

(05/08/2023, 10:05 PM)Seán Wrote: From another look at the Eir pole in Kilcar (picture added below), it turns out it is a steel pole with space for another antenna on the spike on top. 
Hi Sean 

In a area I visit and pass alot rural they have erected one of the steel antenna array identical to yours in the picture,the direction them antennas are facing about 2km there is a three mast located so I guess eir have put there antennas on that mast now as I said in a recent post eir had become available in the area,what is the white antenna and the small round one I'm interested in this any info appreciated have checked siteviewer but none them masts show up.thanks.        
Where is that scannerman?
(29/12/2023, 04:54 PM)pedroc Wrote: Where is that scannerman?

Hi pedroc

This is in Arigna ,Co.Roscommon.
Kilcar site surveying:

Kilcar Vodafone 2G+3G site. Kathrein passive antennas. Please note planning application has been approved for a replacement installation for this.

Kilcar Eir Site Overall view

Kilcar Eir Site Huawei Radio, likely the same (5509t) as on the Eir sites I made a video on.

Kilcar Eir Site's passive Huawei Antenna and Backhaul Link. This is currently a single sector site, with the intended direction of coverage being the more urban parts of Kilcar 

The backhaul link details for the Kilcar Eir site
Ah I was wondering if you were the Peter C from YouTube and Twitter Smile I find yours and Luke Kehoes videos and write ups very interesting and informative.

Eir have popped up sites everywhere in the last few years and almost if not all sites around Cork City and county are now upgraded. I know of a few new sites that are now live around the city still not on comreg site viewer.

Vodafone have really caught up in Cork City and I think the majority of sites are now upgraded. Still waiting for the 3G switch off though which was supposed to happen in September. Hoping you see 900mhz LTE even if it’s just 5mhz
Based on the new Vodafone mast not being built yet in Kilcar, I can presume it will be at least several months before Vodafone brings 4G service to Kilcar.

Thanks for the clear close-ups, especially being able to read the TX / RX frequencies on the microwave transceiver. Nice to see they print the far end ID on it, as 3235 matches their recently upgraded site ID (on ComReg SiteViewer) on Letter just outside Kilcar on the R263 road to Killybegs.
I have pictures also from Malin Beg which will soon follow!

Malin Beg Vodafone Site: on gteic building

A slightly closer up view of the side showing a number of large point to point links and the 1800MHz+2100MHz antenna and radio.

Another view of the above side

High Band Radio: Ericsson ERS 2242: L18 and L21

A view of the other side of the gteic building which has the 700MHz, 800MHz and 900MHz radio and antenna

Closeup of ERS 2238 for 700MHz, 800MHz and 900MHz

Downlink performance
Pedroc really love all the pictures of the rigs and setups,yourself and sean know yere stuff that's why I love this site ya learn something from the info ye give us,would be great to get more pictures up of masts from different areas.thanks for your contribution.
While waiting in line at Carrick Post Office, I noticed my phone showing Vodafone 4G.  Cool

Going by NetMonster, they upgraded the site to 4G on the same 900MHz carrier, i.e. 4G band 8 EARFCN 3725 with 5MHz of bandwidth.  Vodafone 3G is clearly gone there:


On the next good dry day when I remember to take my camera, I'll try to take a close-up picture of the radio hardware below the antenna which pedroc could identify.  Visually I don't see any difference with what appears to the same CB style omni-directional antenna.  Then again it was pouring rain at the time.

The speed is nothing special given that there is only 5MHz of bandwidth, but then again a huge improvement over the former 3G service where one would be lucky to get a WhatsApp text through after 6pm.

The fastest speed I got was about 21Mbps with the NetPerform App around 12pm:

Vodafone finally upgraded Kilcar to 4G, however, it appears to be a quick drop-in radio upgrade like they did with Carrick as I was only picking up 4G band 8 and it appeared rather congested based on the speed tests at the time.  

Our house has a Stella Doradus 900MHz repeater which I bought several years ago due to the issue I had getting 2FA SMS messages, which many services such as VHI, Revenue, etc. depend on to log in.  With Vodafone now operating 4G on 900MHz in Kilcar, it now boosts this indoors as shown on the right:


NetMonster is incorrectly showing the carrier bandwidth as 10MHz, it should be 5MHz as highlighted below in the service menu:

Another trip in order some day me thinks!
Some more photos of various masts from County Roscommon,sligo and leitrim.The cylindrical ones are from carrick on shannon they are on the 4 corners of a building I think they may be three 5g.The mast with the green cabin next to it photo number 2 is in ballyfarnon roscommon and siteviewer says its a vodafone mast but I think there is a eir antenna attached the round one.The photo number 6 is from the top of arigna mountain which has a various number of antennas,from siteviewer it shows eir,three and Vodafone are using this site,picture number 8 is also beside this big tower I'm not sure what's been used on that mast.

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