Ed Andersen

Software Developer and Architect in Japan

iPhone O2 – how to fix the image compression

Ed Andersen Avatar


in ,

O2 in the UK butcher images while using GPRS/3G/EDGE – seriously effecting the iPhone. Images are recompressed to horrendous levels – look at the App Store here:


As you can see, the Facebook and Super Monkey Ball banners have been recompressed. This effects webpages aswell – meaning downloading new wallpapers or browsing Flickr is a waste of time. However, if you change the username for the O2 access point under Settings > General > Network > Cellular Data Network to “bypass” from the default “vertigo” like so:


The compression is now turned off! Now the “whole internet in your pocket” is actually the whole internet in your pocket.


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Hi! 👋 I’m a Software Developer, Architect and Consultant living in Japan, building web and cloud apps. Here I write about software development and other things I find interesting. Read more about my background.

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7 responses to “iPhone O2 – how to fix the image compression”

  1. Nicholas Avatar

    Good find, thanks!

  2. Hi Ed,

    Please be aware its not just image compression you will be disabling if you do this. It will disable all optimization which can slow down all Internet traffic, try and run some tests and see for yourself.


  3. Doesn’t work on P+G for 02 in the UK…

  4. BigglesZX Avatar

    Sorry to comment on an ancient post (thanks for the info btw), but do you know if there’s a similar trick to disable image compression on O2’s Mobile Broadband PAYG service? I do a lot of work on the road and it’s really annoying at times.


  5. James Stevenson Avatar
    James Stevenson

    I have the same image quality issue when browsing wile connected to O2 Mobile Broadband.

    But EVEN WORSE, when the O2 Mobile Broadband is disconnected and I’m back on WiFi connection the image quality is still not back to normal in Safari (it’s fine in Fireforx).

  6. Alastair Avatar

    reply to james’ post. the reason why you get the image compression after you’ve reconnected to wifi is that safari (and every other browser) has cached the images and loads them out of cache rather than re-downloading them.

    Usually hitting the reload button will completely download all images anew. Worst case scenario you need to clear you cache and then reload.

    dull, i know.


  7. squashboy Avatar

    great tip – however this breaks tethering.

    Does anyone know a way to disable image compression and keep tethering working.

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