3G USB Broadband Modem Review Follow-up

Three USB 3G Modem Black & WhiteBack in November Keith Doxey posted his Review of the 3G USB Modem from Three.  As promised, here’s his follow-up post with how he’s found the device and service after a few month real world use.

“Having had the device for a couple of months now I have been able to give it a damn good thrashing!

I have noticed that in the short time I have had the unit, the service has already been improved. My local areas were only 3G when I got it but now are showing as HSDPA….. Which is nice 🙂

I have recently had to travel to Dunstable on a couple of occasions and although the upper part of the A11 has some non 3G area, basically from Mildenhall all the way through to Dunstable I had a constant 3G signal and was able to listen to my favourite Americna Radio station whilst driving.
When I was a passenger I was also able to surf graphics intensive websites without affecting the streaming of the radio station.

Provided you stay in the 3G reception area the connection will transfer from Cell to Cell but occasionally there is a momentary break in the radio stream when switching between 3G and HSDPA although the connection is maintained so no user intervention is required.

The one BIG downside I have discovered is 2G. As I understand it, Three don’t actually have a 2G service but use the Orange Network to provide coverage. Whilst I can get a connection on 2G I rarely seem to have any luck accessing data. Fortunately most of the places I travel to now have excellent 3G/HSDPA coverage.

The biggest problem with 2G is that you cant chose to ignore it. As you travel out of a 3G area the connection will be maintained until it is lost totally and you then have the choice to connect to 2G, which as mentioned above is basically useless so I don’t bother. However, if you turn the car round and drive back towards the 3G area the modem will not detect 3G until quite a distance after the point where you lost signal. It seems that because it has detected a 2G network it will stay with that until such time as the signal is too weak and the 3G signal is stronger.

For example I lost 3G coverage when I headed north from home and was about 10 miles away, turning round, I couldn’t receive 3G again until I was about
5 miles from home. Probably not a too much of a problem though as network coverage seems to be getting better and most main roads seem to have excellent coverage.

EDITI – In true UKHA style I evaluatd this product without RTFM and have just dicoverd an option in the SETTING >> NETWORK tab to select between “3G Preferred” and “3G only”.
I have to travel to Dunstable again next week so will see if that improves my 3G coverage by allowing me to connect to 3G networks earlier after losing the signal.

All in all I have to say that I am very impressed with it. Superb bit of kit.”

Three’s 3G USB Broadband Deals

2 Comments on "3G USB Broadband Modem Review Follow-up"

  1. we got the 3 / Huawei E169G USB stick on-contract a few days ago & last night I finally got around to giving it a go – plugged it in, for the first time, and in less than thirty seconds ‘was surfing away – dead easy … a lot faster than our previous 3G set-up (tethered Nokia E61), too – about twice as fast, so far, measured on an iPhone 3G connected by Wi-Fi to the laptop (MacBook Pro) … that’s slower than I expected / hoped, though maybe the network was busy (must check the Wi-FI settings, in-case it’s the limiting factor) …

  2. I find 3 / Huawei E169G USB generally very good when on the road, especially when doing installs and you need to access manuals e.t.c. I do find that it drops connection quite frequently, which is a little annoying but generally speed it reasonable and I would probably be quite lost without it.

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