Is Orange's network fit for the iPhone?

The waiting is over and the iPhone is now available on the Orange network, but what has Orange been doing behind the scenes to make sure all is well? We find out...

"I can't tell you the specifics about the iPhone but it isn't as if all of the network is in big trouble," said Smith. "We're doing a load of stuff all over the network for data. The iPhone compared to other devices consumes a lot [of data] but not compared to data cards and dongles and that's what we need to prepare for."

He added: "It's not just an iPhone story. You've got to have a holistic approach, not just about the iPhone but about data."

Andy Sutton, principal design consultant and network architect at Orange, was quick to interject about Orange's network capabilities as far as the iPhone is concerned. "We're talking about the iPhone in a network that is HSDPA enabled," he said. "We're probably better positioned."

Provisioning is also a big deal for Orange. That is, ensuring once customers buy an iPhone, or any other phone for that matter, they can get up and running on the network as soon as possible. Historic activation issues are not something Orange is keen to repeat, its staff stressed during the SMC and TMC visit as they pointed out that strict service level agreements (SLAs) are in place.

The iPhone aside, Orange dedicates a great deal of time, effort and resources into ensuring it is ready to handle the latest technologies. A great deal of kit testing, for example, goes on in its top secret labs to ensure it is ready for the next big mobile trend before it becomes a hit.


Orange's labs.

LTE, being a prime example of what the future may hold. "LTE has evolved. We have been very active in participating in the standardisation [of LTE]," said Carlos Leira, head of technology at mobile network operator Orange.

So, as to the question as to whether Orange's network is fit for the iPhone, the answer is probably yes. But the real answer to that will come as more users jump onto the network and test it to its limits. Only time will tell.

Will you be buying an iPhone? Take a look at our vox pops video and take part in our survey to let us know and find out what other people think.

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