Monday, September 22, 2008

Dongle Down

The promise of mobile broadband is still a distant dream, if my experiences with 3's dire service is anything to go by. Here's a list of where it doesn't work at all:

Wales, including most of Swansea - a city of a quarter of million people and a country of 3 million
In the Starbucks next door to the 3 store in Hampstead

My average connections speed elsewhere - around 10Kbps I'd guess.

On London's South Bank I once got 1Mbps, but only for five minutes or so. Here in Camden, just north of the city centre, I have 10Kbps.

In its defence, it seems to work well on 70% of the rail line from London to Swindon, but my local train in rural North Wales has free WiFi...

The mobile industry is so full of hype and so short of delivery it's untrue. I reckoned by now we'd be reliably getting 1Mbps or so in most of the UK (and at least GPRS speeds in rural areas), but no, the mobile companies are over-promising and under-delivering. Instead, I'm still struggling with voice calls in central London...

But with hotels and Starbucks charging a dongle's monthly fee for a day's connection I just have to persevere. I suppose it's like parking regulations, just one of those things we put up with because we're the little guy.

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