Getting the low down on mobile broadband?

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what..the? | 16:48 Tue 08th Dec 2009 | Technology
15 Answers
I am interested to get mobile broadband, but don't know anything about it. Im in the countryside in cornwall so I dont get too much mobile signal, with my virgin mobile I do get some signal in certan areas in the house..

I am renting so I want a short contract or no contract at all, as I may move house in Jan. I am a technophobe so it would have to be easy to set up. I have to pc's running xp and vista both modern but I may get a laptop to help move round the house to get a signal

Is there anyway of checking if I get a signal with different providers will they tell me on their website and is this information reliable?

It looks like you pay like £39 for a month unlimited mobile broadband is there a catch? I am looking into a cheap landline contract with a 3 month contract but I am unsure about the quality and it would mean signing up, it costs more being short term as well.


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I very much doubt you will get decent mobile broadband where you are, but by all means chack






Keep in mind it's 3G coverage you are interested in
Question Author
thanks im having a looky now
Question Author
t-mobile - 2G

o2 - high, possibly into standard (seems the best as looks like dark blue where i live)

orange - good - moderate

vodaphone - limited to outdoor

3 - outdoor
If you don't want to sign up to a 12 month contract, but have a landline, could you cope with dial up?

No good for surfing the net at speed, but could be used for e mails.

You can get pay as you go dial up, eg from Tesco

Sorry, link didn't work right. Try this

Still no good, but from the page that displays, click on 'Back'
errr, panic

Nobody else will be able to click back on that page!
Question Author
i can cope with dial up if I have to we had in before with aol until they stoped doing dial up. Is it a long term contract

Chuck what do you think about o2 them seem to be possitive of the 3g?
Well I have cleared my history, and it still works Chuck.

Try it, using the 'Back' button at the bottom of the page, not the browser's back button.
Question Author
On-street coverage prediction for your selected location is:


(This is based on the nearest postcode ' ').

On-street coverage prediction for your O2 services:

High - Video Calls / News

Standard - Voice/SMS/MMS/ Music, O2 Active

Variable - Voice calls, SMS (quality of service may vary)

No Coverage - No services available
Question Author
well I have had a look at dial up with tesco £12 aprrox a month anytime not bad ???

not sure what to do now?
what do I think of O2?

the same as I do of all mobile broadband.

OK for occasional use, they have sketchy coverage at best and the speeds are normally nowhere near that which is claimed and if you go over the allowed download limits they will cost you a small fortune. (I'm not a fan of mobile broadband)
Another point of view: I use mobile broadband just about all the time these days and it's costing me £15 for 15GB per month with 3 mobile and that limit is more than enough for all the many hours of internet use that I make every day.

The speed is claimed to be 3.6 Mbps but doesn't get anywhere that; however for general surfing it is very usable (not that much slower than a 55 Mbps wireless connection that I also have available). For large downloads/uploads the higher speed obviously makes a significant difference in times but for general surfing not that much.

The signal strength is nearly always 2 out of 5 occasionally reaching 3/5 - so not the greatest but the connection stays ok for hours on end.

All things considered I would recommend it to other people.
Why not sign up to a 12 month landline contract?

If you move house, just transfer to the new house landline.
Any mobile broadband shop should look up your address or postcode and will tell you if you can get a signal or not and how strong, when I was in England T-mobile did this for me and all's well.

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