[Gllug] Internet connection through mobile phone

general_email at technicalbloke.com general_email at technicalbloke.com
Sun Dec 13 12:26:47 UTC 2009

Christopher Hunter wrote:
> On Sat, 2009-12-12 at 18:54 +0000, general_email at technicalbloke.com
> wrote:
>> Well Jason the op said he wanted something fairly cheap for a bit of web
>> surfing, specifically not streaming (so dropouts aren't a huge issue to
>> him) and not downloading ISO's (so bandwidth isn't top priority either).
>> Given his requirements, 3G may actually be a 'better' solution than
>> 'fixed line broadband'. I wouldn't suggest it is an appropriate
>> 'replacement' for most use cases but he was quite clear about what he
>> wants and 3G would seem to fit that.
> No!!!  3G is largely unavailable (in 80% of the country, it's a figment
> of the "service" provider's imagination).  Where it does actually exist,
> it's flaky as hell - it's not reliable enough for even the most casual
> use.  It's also seriously expensive, when you compare data rates and
> download allowances with other media.  Don't go there - it'll just lead
> to tears!

Yes coverage IS patchy on a national level but I'm guessing OP lives in
London where you've got a better shot than most places, see this ofcom


My experience is that flakiness is more to do with the building you are
in than where in London you live.

Anyway if you only have modest needs it IS a cheaper option. How
recently have you checked the data tariffs anyway? They're not nearly as
harsh as they were even 12 months ago. If your needs are such that you
can stay within their download allowances and you don't do anything else
that triggers higher charges like roaming outside the mainland then it's
not that bad. What's more, you can use PAYG so no need for a contract
and the setup costs are tiny in comparison so it's not even risky or
expensive to try.

    Line installation £122
    Line rental ~£13/mn
    ASDL contract ~£13/mn (low use tarriff)

    Dongle £20
    PAYG £15/mn

Year one cost   ADSL: £434   3G: £200
Year two cost   ADSL: £312   3G: £180

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