Vodafone Live!, not available on the N86 [UPDATED]

POST UPDATED 12/10/09 – Scroll to the bottom of the article for the latest…

Vodafone, oh Vodafone, why do you upset me so?

Regular readers of my work will know that I have an ongoing love affair with Vodafone UK, or ‘Big Red’ as I affectionately call her.

Voda-moan
A mini Voda-moan

We’ve had our ups, our downs and our fallings-out, but over the years we’ve grown to appreciate our mutual quirks and subsequent relationship demands. Lo and verily,  today we have another… hurdle to overcome.

Some of you may remember me wondering just where my handset of the moment, the N86, would land when it reached these shores. I speculated that it would be land on the lap of Big Red, but alas they passed and plumped instead for the N97.

Ah well.

So far, so what eh?

Being the Nokia aficionado that I am however, I wasn’t going to let a small thing like no carrier support prevent me from owning my handset of choice, so I promptly went out and bought one.

End of story, right? Wrong.

Thing is, among the myriad of reasons for me having been a Vodafone customer for the best part of 15yrs, one of them – today at least – is its home portal, currently going under the name of Vodafone Live!

It’s through this portal that I find music, games and mainly, my train times. I don’t drive and when I make plans, I keep them. I often plan my journeys with an almost military-like precision and Vodafone ‘My Trains’ is an invaluable service that I use pretty much every day, without fail.

From here I may choose to visit different parts of the Live! service… but this particular saved bookmark is nearly always my jumping off point.

Now, look at these two pictures….

Vodafone Live Vodafone Live on the N86

Something’s wrong with the one on the right, right? Of course there is.

Even worse though is this, the Vodafone Live Homepage:

Vodafone Live Vodafone Live on the N86

Both pages are from http://live.vodafone.com, both are connected using the Vodafone Live APN. The only difference is the handset I used; my old N95 8GB is on the left and on the right, my beloved N86.

I asked @VodafoneUK about a possible fix on Twitter, to which they replied (over three tweets):

Using the WAP access point will give you best chance of it rendering properly however it maybe a case of it not being Vodafone Live! compatible if it’s not rendering normally through the WAP access point. It may be worth posting your settings on the eForum to make sure everything is set up as much as it can be bearing in mind the N86 isn’t a phone we stock. Thanks.

The first part is fine. Naturally I’d check to make sure I was using VF Live as the default access point. I did. I am. The latter part, ‘bear in mind isn’t a phone we stock’… hmm. This was backed up and re-iterated by a couple of Vodafone staffers who also said ‘we don’t support phones we don’t range’.

This is also fine. A perfectly justifiable reason for not rendering your web pages. However, to me at least, this is EXACTLY the reason that you should be doing just that for these devices. Here I am, with a T-Mobile exclusive device (for argument’s sake) and I’m looking for a new network. I decide on Vodafone and sign on for a SIM-only deal. Then I discover that my phone isn’t supported on their webpages, so I decide to go somewhere else.

You see where I’m going with this, right?

The N86 is a similar screen size, build and design to the not-too-shabby (and Vodafone supported) Nokia N85. If it’s a simple case of switching the user agent* sniffer to present the N85 screens for the N86, then this is not a big job. Nor is it complex. Quick fix. Done.

*For the uninitiated, a user agent is basically the identifier string for the browser that you use when you browse the web (mobile or otherwise). For instance, the user agent string for the N85 looks something like this:

NokiaN85-1: Mozilla/5.0 (SymbianOS/9.3; U; Series60/3.2 NokiaN85-1/11.047; Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 ) AppleWebKit/413 (KHTML, like Gecko) Safari/413

Whereas the N86 user agent string looks a little something like this:

NokiaN86:  Mozilla/5.0 (SymbianOS/9.3; Series60/3.2 NokiaN86-1/10.086;; Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 ) AppleWebKit/525 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 BrowserNG/7.1.13380

(Thanks to friend of Really Mobile Richard Hyndman, CTO at Mippin for that extra detail)

A final thought…

Back in my youth, while working through college, I had a friend who spent a his time working at a rather large chain of fast-food restaurants. The Manager of which had a policy that meant that for any food voucher or special offer coupon presented at the counter, no matter for which chain (be it for McDonald’s, Burger King, Wimpy etc), if they could fulfil it then they would honour the voucher.

As he told me at the time:

“It is better to please someone else’s customer who might come back another day than to tell them you’re not interested and never see them again.”


————- UPDATED – 12/10/09 ————-

A member of @VodafoneUK’s PR team has literally just been in touch to let us know that the Vodafone Live! pages have now indeed been provisioned for the Nokia N86.

Here’s a screen shot to prove it…

Huzzah! Its a-Live!
Huzzah! It's a-Live!

Congrats Vodafone, you’ve just earned 20 ReallyMobile points.

Keep it up! 🙂

Last updated by at .

129 thoughts on “Vodafone Live!, not available on the N86 [UPDATED]”

  1. I must say Lee (and it's something I've expressed privately to Terence too), even though a solution is yet to present itself, I do appreciate the time and effort Vodafone are taking to engage with this issue.

    I'm looking forward to VF360, much.

    [Reply]

  2. Serves me right for liking Vodafone so much? Eh? I pay Vodafone a *shed* ton of cash every month to use their network, surely I – as the paying consumer – should be able to use whichever handset I choose.

    [Reply]

  3. Serves me right for liking Vodafone so much? Eh?

    I pay Vodafone a *shed* ton of cash every month to use their network, surely I – as the paying consumer – should be able to use whichever handset I choose.

    [Reply]

  4. Like I said…in an ideal world your love affair with 'Big Red' may bear fruit. But we don't and the only love you'll get from an MNO will be fraught with trauma for quite some time to come.Good luck though. Looks like Voda's CSR are observing. Keep up the pressure!

    [Reply]

  5. Like I said…in an ideal world your love affair with 'Big Red' may bear fruit. But we don't and the only love you'll get from an MNO will be fraught with trauma for quite some time to come.

    Good luck though. Looks like Voda's CSR are observing. Keep up the pressure!

    [Reply]

  6. Hi Ed,

    Thanks again for the kind comments. It’s always nice to read appreciative words about the work of the Web Relations Team.

    The eForum is great place where customers can go to for help with a whole range of technical queries and while the assistance the guys on there may sometimes be limited when dealing with phones which we don’t range they are always willing to help in anyway they can.

    As I don’t know whether you’re aware but there is some information on the eForum which takes customers through the set up processes for WAP and Internet settings however we naturally can’t guarantee the same experience on all phones.

    As I wasn’t aware that you were having problems with MMS service I’ll pick this up and come back to you once I’ve taken a look at closer look at things.

    We always aim to provide value for money and our price plan offerings are always being reviewed to ensure they’re competitive. While we don’t push settings to phones at the point the SIM is inserted all of our phone do come pre-configured for WAP, Internet and MMS.

    All the best.

    Lee

    Web Relations Team

    Vodafone UK

    [Reply]

  7. Hi James,

    It’s a pleasure as always.

    Be sure to let us know what you think about Vodafone 360 once it’s been launched.

    All the best.

    Lee

    Web Relations Team

    Vodafone UK

    [Reply]

  8. Hi Ed,

    I just thought I’d come back to correct something in my last post.

    Earlier this year Vodafone did embark on a project whereby Over The Air (OTA) settings were sent automatically to a customer for Vodafone Live! and MMS after they had put their SIM in a new phone.

    Of course, this would only work in the event that we had OTA settings for the phone which mainly covers phones we’re currently stocking and have previously stocked.

    Thanks,

    Lee

    Web Relations Team

    Vodafone UK

    [Reply]

  9. Hi Ed,Thanks again for the kind comments. It's always nice to read appreciative words about the work of the Web Relations Team.The eForum is great place where customers can go to for help with a whole range of technical queries and while the assistance the guys on there may sometimes be limited when dealing with phones which we don't range they are always willing to help in anyway they can.As I don't know whether you're aware but there is some information on the eForum which takes customers through the set up processes for WAP and Internet settings however we naturally can't guarantee the same experience on all phones.As I wasn't aware that you were having problems with MMS service I'll pick this up and come back to you once I've taken a look at closer look at things.We always aim to provide value for money and our price plan offerings are always being reviewed to ensure they're competitive. While we don't push settings to phones at the point the SIM is inserted all of our phone do come pre-configured for WAP, Internet and MMS.All the best.LeeWeb Relations TeamVodafone UK

    [Reply]

  10. Hi Ed,

    Thanks again for the kind comments. It's always nice to read appreciative words about the work of the Web Relations Team.

    The eForum is great place where customers can go to for help with a whole range of technical queries and while the assistance the guys on there may sometimes be limited when dealing with phones which we don't range they are always willing to help in anyway they can.

    As I don't know whether you're aware but there is some information on the eForum which takes customers through the set up processes for WAP and Internet settings however we naturally can't guarantee the same experience on all phones.

    As I wasn't aware that you were having problems with MMS service I'll pick this up and come back to you once I've taken a look at closer look at things.

    We always aim to provide value for money and our price plan offerings are always being reviewed to ensure they're competitive. While we don't push settings to phones at the point the SIM is inserted all of our phone do come pre-configured for WAP, Internet and MMS.

    All the best.

    Lee

    Web Relations Team

    Vodafone UK

    [Reply]

  11. Hi James,It's a pleasure as always.Be sure to let us know what you think about Vodafone 360 once it's been launched.All the best.LeeWeb Relations TeamVodafone UK

    [Reply]

  12. Hi James,

    It's a pleasure as always.

    Be sure to let us know what you think about Vodafone 360 once it's been launched.

    All the best.

    Lee

    Web Relations Team

    Vodafone UK

    [Reply]

  13. Hi Ed,I just thought I'd come back to correct something in my last post.Earlier this year Vodafone did embark on a project whereby Over The Air (OTA) settings were sent automatically to a customer for Vodafone Live! and MMS after they had put their SIM in a new phone. Of course, this would only work in the event that we had OTA settings for the phone which mainly covers phones we're currently stocking and have previously stocked.Thanks,LeeWeb Relations TeamVodafone UK

    [Reply]

  14. Hi Ed,

    I just thought I'd come back to correct something in my last post.

    Earlier this year Vodafone did embark on a project whereby Over The Air (OTA) settings were sent automatically to a customer for Vodafone Live! and MMS after they had put their SIM in a new phone.

    Of course, this would only work in the event that we had OTA settings for the phone which mainly covers phones we're currently stocking and have previously stocked.

    Thanks,

    Lee

    Web Relations Team

    Vodafone UK

    [Reply]

  15. Rather late in the day, but I had this problem with a nokia n95-3 made for the american market. My solution was to change the user agent string via the x-plore option. (google user agent). It is still used via python these days to enable my n97 to see pages as if it were an iphone as the pages are rendered in a more readable option.

    [Reply]

  16. James… I had a feeling something was wrong. I returned to Big Red (i also call them) in June with a Samsung tocco ultra. Got fed up with the battery and bought an N86 (white) Vodafone live! Just wont load. I’m yet to call Big Red to talk about this.

    [Reply]

  17. Rather late in the day, but I had this problem with a nokia n95-3 made for the american market. My solution was to change the user agent string via the x-plore option. (google user agent). It is still used via python these days to enable my n97 to see pages as if it were an iphone as the pages are rendered in a more readable option.

    [Reply]

  18. Rather late in the day, but I had this problem with a nokia n95-3 made for the american market. My solution was to change the user agent string via the x-plore option. (google user agent). It is still used via python these days to enable my n97 to see pages as if it were an iphone as the pages are rendered in a more readable option.

    [Reply]

  19. James… I had a feeling something was wrong. I returned to Big Red (i also call them) in June with a Samsung tocco ultra. Got fed up with the battery and bought an N86 (white) Vodafone live! Just wont load. I'm yet to call Big Red to talk about this.

    [Reply]

  20. James… I had a feeling something was wrong. I returned to Big Red (i also call them) in June with a Samsung tocco ultra. Got fed up with the battery and bought an N86 (white) Vodafone live! Just wont load. I'm yet to call Big Red to talk about this.

    [Reply]

  21. Umm… OK people. I just tried again on my N86. And it does actually work! lil confused. It did fuss a lil about it but I have the Live! home page.http://www.live.vodafone.comit showed page error…Click on “Back”it takes us to web & email page…just click Home.Let me know if anyone else gets this please.

    [Reply]

  22. Umm… OK people. I just tried again on my N86. And it does actually work! lil confused. It did fuss a lil about it but I have the Live! home page.
    http://www.live.vodafone.com
    it showed page error…
    Click on “Back”
    it takes us to web & email page…
    just click Home.

    Let me know if anyone else gets this please.

    [Reply]

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