Dongle or mobile handset?

Discussion in 'Broadband' started by David W.E. Roberts, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. The 3G/mobile broadband offerings seem to come as packages with a dongle.

    A lot of handsets also come with 3G capability and the ability to act as
    'modems' for PCs.

    It it practical to use a 3G handset instead of a dongle, and are the tarrifs

    Or is the real deal that the tarrifs for data use are bundled with dongles?



    David W.E. Roberts, Jan 21, 2009
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  2. David W.E. Roberts

    Abo Guest

    I checked this out a few days ago. Beware the small print; the data
    bundles on 3 handset tariffs did not include using the phone as a modem.
    So it was browsing/email on the phone *only*...
    Abo, Jan 22, 2009
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  3. There are two 'addons' you can buy on Three:
    Internet addon: 5 pounds per month. This is only intended for data on your
    Mobile broadband: minimum 10 pounds per month (for 1GB). This can be used for
    browsing on your phone, using your phone as a modem, or with a dongle.

    You can buy either addon from using either a phone or

    As far as I know, the dongles are on the standard Flat12 PAYG tariff.
    There's no difference in tariff between using your Three SIM in a dongle and
    on a phone: a dongle is just a phone without a screen or voice facilities.

    Other networks may be similar, I don't know. Some seem to offer xxGB/year
    (or whatever) packages with their dongles (ie dongle comes with a data
    package and your bandwidth allowance doesn't disappear at the end of each
    month) which might not be available to handset users.

    There /may/ be a difference in speed in that the SIMs supplied with dongles
    support HSPA, but I've yet to have a definitive answer as to whether HSPA
    requires a different SIM from plain 3G/UMTS (I have a hunch it doesn't, but
    don't know for sure).

    You can use a phone as a modem just fine. In fact, if you're in anywhere
    like a bad signal area I'd recommend it: put your phone in the optimal
    position, and connect to it by Bluetooth from wherever you want to be.
    Bluetooth is only 921kbps max so will limit the speed of HSPA connections,
    but it's easier than a long USB cable.

    In fact it's a good way to test out the likely speed you'll get before
    signing up to a data contract. (Free dongle or not - given there's very
    little inside a dongle I suspect they'll be dirt cheap before too long)

    Theo Markettos, Jan 24, 2009
  4. David W.E. Roberts

    Bob Eager Guest

    Also, unless it's been withdrawn....2.50 a month with a 10 GB limit.
    Quite enough for me!
    Bob Eager, Jan 24, 2009
  5. I don't think there is a difference. My phone supports HSPA and, with
    a perfectly ordinary payg SIM I bought for voice service, I often get
    data rates above 1 Mbps to my laptop when tethered to the phone.

    Dennis Ferguson
    Dennis Ferguson, Jan 24, 2009
  6. David W.E. Roberts

    nimbusjunk Guest


    O2 will quite happily sell you 3 G Blackberries 8707 which they
    promise will work as thethered modems

    Of course they dont on Dells top of the range d430 latitudes either
    on XP nor on Vista

    I would check carefully before comitting yourself

    HTH Phil
    nimbusjunk, Jan 30, 2009
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