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Standard User jsp21c
(member) Thu 17-Mar-11 10:31:59
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3 Mobile Broadband Seems To Be Working Quite Well


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Hi, just received my 3 dongle yesterday on their 15GB/Month package for £15.99 (2 year contract).
I'm in a fairly rural area and my land lines are pretty poor & worn out. I've been wondering about mobile broadband for a while and finally made the leap firstly as a backup because there's a fault on my adsl line and secondly for mobile Internet when visiting elderly relations who don't have broadband.
On my land line I'm currently getting 2.2 meg down and 0.6 up with TalkTalk but there's a fault on the line and it used to do 3.2 meg down. it seems until the fault is total loss that TalkTalk aren't going to do anything about it. There's constant clicking noise on the line. It's a bad connection in one of the junctions which happens every year or so, last time it was a squirrel eating through the cable.

Any way, with 3 mobile I'm getting 94ms ping, 4.71 meg down and 1.35 up at 09.56 in the morning. I know these rates may change at busy periods but I'm not in a densely populated area. The speed was 5.24 meg down and 1.54 meg up with a 74ms ping last night at 22.35.
I've got the dongle plugged into powered USB hub on a short extension allowing the dongle to lie on its side pointing towards the mobile tower. The dongle in a vertical position isn't as effective even though there are still 5 full bars of signal strength.

If the dongle keeps delivering the way it currently is then I'm going to buy an Android phone on 3's One Tariff (unlimited data) and tether it to my PC. This could work out faster and more reliable than worn out land lines for very similar money.
I'm currently paying TalkTalk £26/month including line rental for their Pro package. 3 mobile Androids are available on the One Tariff starting at £25/month for unlimted data (yes of course I wouldn't want unlimited to suddenly become limited though). Something like a Samsung Galaxy S costs £32/month and I'm going to wait to see what the Galaxy S2 is going to cost before making a decision.

There are some new satellite services launching soon which probably won't be affordable for general use but it's good to have some alternatives for rural areas and there's another satellite being launched next year too, so there might be some competitive pricing.

If 3 mobile proves reliable then I'll cancel my dedicated PC land line, after all it's not worth paying line rental for useless old lines if a viable alternative become available. I'm probably going to be able to go totally wireless years before there's any land line upgrades in this area. I'll feel a lot better not paying rental for BT's obsolete infrastructure particularly when they keep raising line rental charges.

You can view this morning's speedtest here; http://www.speedtest.net/result/1206198224.png
and here's an even faster one at 11.02 am; http://www.speedtest.net/result/1206273341.png
2pm speedtest; http://www.speedtest.net/result/1206509316.png
4pm speedtest - network gets busy when schools close ? http://www.speedtest.net/result/1206696318.png

ASUS P7P55D-EVO
Intel Core i7 860
8GB Corsair DDR3
Windows 7x64

Edited by jsp21c (Thu 17-Mar-11 16:25:15)

Standard User Sandgrounder
(knowledge is power) Thu 17-Mar-11 11:29:38
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Re: 3 Mobile Broadband Seems To Be Working Quite Well


[re: jsp21c] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by jsp21c:
There is constant clicking noise on the line.
If this is the case even when your ADSL is disconnected, you should not have any trouble getting it fixed.

Do not mention broadband/internet when you report it.



Line One:- Zen - DrayTek Vigor 2600VG
Line Two:- EntaNet - DrayTek Vigor 2600
Standard User jsp21c
(member) Thu 17-Mar-11 11:57:35
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Re: 3 Mobile Broadband Seems To Be Working Quite Well


[re: Sandgrounder] [link to this post]
 
No, I've raised an issue with TalkTalk on their phone line forum and it's taken weeks if not several months to get them to the stage where they now say that they are monitoring the line. No more than that.

I've had line faults before and I'm aware it's not worth mentioning that adsl sync has dropped too otherwise departments keep trying to hand off the fault to each other.

If 3 mobile continues to be fast then I'm going to drop TalkTalk and the line when my contract expires in July. Mobile broadband might have become the best solution for my location & I'll be very happy to stop paying line rental for lines that providers don't want to fix.

------------------------------------------------
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8GB Corsair DDR3
Windows 7x64
Fractal Design R3 Black Case


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Standard User jsp21c
(member) Sat 19-Mar-11 10:17:49
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Re: 3 Mobile Broadband Seems To Be Working Quite Well


[re: jsp21c] [link to this post]
 
Saturday morning speedtest update.
http://www.speedtest.net/result/1209602251.png

I've found what appears to be the best location for my dongle and the speeds are staying pretty good. The dongle is now plugged into a usb port on the top of my PC case which sits just under my desk & nicely out of the way to avoid being knocked.

I'm getting twice the download and more than twice the upload speeds which my land line can achieve. I'm also considering buying a 3g router to share the connection with my laptop, create a home network and hopefully also plug in a tethered 3g phone (when I get one). I've watched some tethering clips on youtube and the Froyo Andriod 2.2 software appears to turn the phone into a modem for usb tethering, hopefully this could then be plugged into a router. I could of course just use wireless tethering too, but I like a router to run the home network.
That would enable me to manage my data allowance between two 3g devices.

If 3 keep their One Plan unlimited data option available then I may well dump the dedicated computer line and go completely 3g for data.

------------------------------------------------
ASUS P7P55D-EVO
Intel Core i7 860
8GB Corsair DDR3
Windows 7x64
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Standard User NilSatisOptimum
(learned) Sat 19-Mar-11 10:33:38
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Re: 3 Mobile Broadband Seems To Be Working Quite Well


[re: jsp21c] [link to this post]
 
This is good news OP. Perhaps a warning to all the lined ISPs, your days are well and truly numbered now and will come quicker once 4G arrives. I shall support the lined companies the same way they showed interest in my exchange.

My views are my experiences.
Standard User 5km
(knowledge is power) Sat 19-Mar-11 11:13:45
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Re: 3 Mobile Broadband Seems To Be Working Quite Well


[re: NilSatisOptimum] [link to this post]
 
You have to remember that mobile broadband has very limited capacity. Just a handful of Mbps per sector or mast (depending on configuration). So while it can provide a reasonable service for a few hundred mobile phones using on average less then 500MB per month each there isn't anywhere near enough capacity if lots of people started switching from fixed line broadband to MBB.

4G will increase capacity but at the same time user numbers will have increased and their expectations and usage will have also increased resulting in only a small performance boost. LTE will probably deliver something like 10Mbps real throughput to an end user once contention and signal strength are taken into account. So that's only about double what we have from HSPA+ today.

So don't get too excited yet.

O2 Broadband Premium LLU
Now on twitter @timmay2

Edited by 5km (Sat 19-Mar-11 11:15:47)

Standard User Supatramp
(member) Sat 19-Mar-11 12:38:26
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Re: 3 Mobile Broadband Seems To Be Working Quite Well


[re: jsp21c] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by jsp21c:
Saturday morning speedtest update.
http://www.speedtest.net/result/1209602251.png

I've found what appears to be the best location for my dongle and the speeds are staying pretty good. The dongle is now plugged into a usb port on the top of my PC case which sits just under my desk & nicely out of the way to avoid being knocked.

I'm getting twice the download and more than twice the upload speeds which my land line can achieve. I'm also considering buying a 3g router to share the connection with my laptop, create a home network and hopefully also plug in a tethered 3g phone (when I get one). I've watched some tethering clips on youtube and the Froyo Andriod 2.2 software appears to turn the phone into a modem for usb tethering, hopefully this could then be plugged into a router. I could of course just use wireless tethering too, but I like a router to run the home network.
That would enable me to manage my data allowance between two 3g devices.

If 3 keep their One Plan unlimited data option available then I may well dump the dedicated computer line and go completely 3g for data.


Very interesting post!

I've been using a '3' dongle for a couple of years now, when I'm away in the caravan, and other than a poor situation over a couple of months on the outskirts of the "oil capital of Europe", Aberdeen, the dongle has worked great. It regularly gets a signal in areas where at best, coverage is supposed to be borderline. I also now use it with a 5m extension cable which has improved things noticeably.

This might be of interest to you, it's almost half price: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item...

David
Standard User NilSatisOptimum
(learned) Sat 19-Mar-11 13:32:08
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Re: 3 Mobile Broadband Seems To Be Working Quite Well


[re: 5km] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by 5km:
So don't get too excited yet

What users of broadband you sound like a smarty pant ISP provider, " non profitable exchange you are only Mrkt 1" (with lots of distain in tone). I'm alot more excited than any lined provider can give me, that is for sure.

My views are my experiences.

Edited by NilSatisOptimum (Sat 19-Mar-11 14:01:00)

Anonymous
(Unregistered)Thu 24-Mar-11 00:33:43
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Re: 3 Mobile Broadband Seems To Be Working Quite Well


[re: jsp21c] [link to this post]
 
We upgraded from ADSL to 3G and doubled the speeds achievable.

The line here is apparently only 3.6km long but the quality of it is so poor - it's so knackered and decrepit - that it can't even do 2 meg.

That was about 3 years ago now. These days line rental and a reasonable ISP like Zen might set you back forty or fifty quid a month for a meg or two of bandwidth on a market 1 exchange (inc. the line rental, which doesn't apply on 3G), it's insanity.

As you say, the network is obsolete from a broadband perspective unless you happen to be lucky with both the length and quality of the line, if not, the house is simply a not spot and may remain that way in perpetuity unless Virgin Media get round to cabling it or a FTTC service is 1. viable (lines again) and 2. actually happens.

The performance here is only 3 meg as the cell is 3.6 meg and we're 2.8km from it. The signal strength (2 or 3 bar) doesn't seem to hugely affect speeds, I think 1.4meg is about the worst I've seen (ADSL speeds!); it used to slow down circa 3:15pm (schools) and circa 5pm ("can you pick me up from the train station" calls?) but it doesn't do that noticeably now.

What would improve it noticeably is when the cell is upgraded to 7.2meg which is meant to be this year, so I should be looking at about 7meg which isn't too bad for a rural area, when I see the speed improve I plan to fit a directional antenna to the chimney and use GPS to align it to the cell.

Take a look at Sipgate.co.uk - works fine on a decent 3G connection - this will get you a landline number if you want one and it's less than six quid for 1000 minutes of calls.
Standard User jsp21c
(member) Thu 24-Mar-11 17:59:24
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Re: 3 Mobile Broadband Seems To Be Working Quite Well


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for the comments Anon.
For people in certain locations 3g has to now be a serious alternative to decrepit BT infrastructure and ever increasing line charges.
The next generation of Samsung phones on 3 which I'm considering such as the Galaxy mini or S2 are rated up to 21 meg downstream and about 5.7 upstream. While 3 has only recently upgraded its towers to 7.5 meg the next step should be pretty good when it comes.

------------------------------------------------
ASUS P7P55D-EVO
Intel Core i7 860
8GB Corsair DDR3
Windows 7x64
Fractal Design R3 Black Case
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