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3G(s) Broadband

Nick_w Plus
10 4.3k 99 England
27 Sep 2010 6:43PM
I'm currently with BT Broadband, but I live in a rural area - I'm having continuous broadband connection issues. The fastest connection I've had is 0.5Mbs - but the average is about 128kbs (I check the speed regularly) - on a weekend connection to the internet is a "challenge".

Theres not much hope with the existing system - we are about 4 mile from and aging exchange. The local community is looking at a system - but as it stands it looks like our village will be overlooked (the cut off is about 200 yards away!)

At home I can get a 3G signal in parts of the house. Is it possible to amplify the signal with aerials etc, and if I went 3G what data transfer rates could I realistically expect to get - and whats the difference between 3G & 3Gs ?

Any help with equiptment etc would be much appreciated - its driving me round the bend!

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cambirder 14 7.2k England
27 Sep 2010 11:29PM

Quote:Is it possible to amplify the signal with aerials etc,

Yes, but it is illegal to amplify mobile network signals but a passive repeater may work and is perfectly legal.

Quote:and if I went 3G what data transfer rates could I realistically expect to get -

It varies and according to some reports i have seen download speeds are often well under 1mb, however I just did a couple of speed tests using my Android phone and got nearly 5mb

Quote:and whats the difference between 3G & 3Gs ?

Thats an iPhone thing so not really relevant to your issue.
samfurlong 11 2.5k United Kingdom
28 Sep 2010 9:01AM
If you are out in the sticks then there are probably not that many people on your mast using 3G services so I would expect you to be able to get in the upper reaches of 3G speeds.
Most 3G devices now are actually 3G+ or HSDPA enabled (think of it as 3.5G) which can go upto 7.2mb/s, dropping back to 3G > EDGE > GPRS as the signal worsens.
If you only get regular 3G then 3mb/s (ish) is about as good as you'll get.

You mention that you get 3G in parts of the house so I take it you have a 3G phone already. What I would do is to buy for one month on your contract the data option so you can sync your phone to your pc / mac and use it as a 3G modem and test whether it is satisfactory. These add on packages are generally no more than 5-10 for the month which will give you so much data usage - but do not go over this as you get heavily charged if you do.

If this is satisfactory you could then get one of these 'MIFI' devices which hold a 3G sim to provide an internet connection but broadcast a wireless network so you can position the device wherever you get the best signal and then use computers anywhere in the house over the WIFI . link

Or if you have a compatible smartphone (I've just had an HTC widfire) you can do exactly the same thing using your phone, setting it up to broadcast a WIFI hotspot. I that case just make sure data is enabled on your mobile phone service plan.
Bellie 11 507
28 Sep 2010 12:14PM
I use a USB stick plugged into my mac for mobile broadband, and get HSDPA and 3G signal. My speeds vary between 1.5 and 3mb/s which are fine for upload and download.... and viewing on iplayer.

When I used to take it into my office it touched on 5mb/s and beat my BT office broadband hands down which only ever rarely touched 1mb/s

My neighbour is on Sky Broadband and the signal after six is worse than the old analogue modem speeds.

So I would say give it a try. You can pick up a stick cheaply enough. I get a month of broadband for 15 and although I often go over my 3GB limit, you can still browse in the evening and have full access in the day if you do.
Carabosse 14 41.0k 269 England
28 Sep 2010 2:47PM
Probably not overly helpful, but my Kindle ebook reader has both a wifi and 3G facility for internet use.

The 3G is slightly slower than connection to my home wifi.... but not by much. Even though I am in a very poor reception area. I was pleasantly surprised.
cambirder 14 7.2k England
28 Sep 2010 4:24PM
My mum lives in a small village, so I thought I would do a speed test when visiting this afternoon, was not too impressed with the 25kb download speeds I was seeing.
Paul Morgan 16 19.0k 6 England
28 Sep 2010 7:17PM

Quote:The fastest connection I've had is 0.5Mbs

Not that good is it, you might get a faster conection using some body elses service, a bit naughty though Smile
Nick_w Plus
10 4.3k 99 England
29 Sep 2010 1:16PM
Thanks everyone for the help it really is appreciated, sorry its taken a while to get back and say thanks - but I've had one of those days from hell. Arrived in Brussels yesterday for a 1 hour meeting, only to be told that Air traffic control had gone on a lightening strike - decided to make my way to Germany, only for high speed train to break down in a tunnel for an hour with no power, and only emergency lights, got to hotel late who charged accordingly (300 !!!) but thankfully German efficency today and I've just got home.

To the points- yes I have a 3G phone and can just about get a 3G signal - tho being an iPhone I know they havent got a great reputation for the reception.

What I will do is talk to Orange about one of their plans - they do a basic one for 5 - plus 20 for a dongle - see how that goes then if all is OK try that.

Quote:Not that good is it, you might get a faster conection using some body elses service, a bit naughty though

I've been known to drive to a motorway service station 15miles away to send work e-mails / database replication to do just that. Tho I cant comment on using other unsecured networks, I wouldn't want to give the impression I would know how to do that Wink

Right I will now check out the links kindly inncluded in the messages above.
Fujiconvert 13 1.3k England
3 Oct 2010 4:54AM
Go to the Golden Arches and use their free wifi when you can. Smile

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