Stop, stop, stop, hardly go with Three dongle

Discussion in 'Broadband' started by CJB, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. CJB

    CJB Guest

    Just recently at home (top floor flat in tall block) I've noticed that
    during the day I get 5 bars, but at night, say at 3.00 am, I only get
    three (or less).

    However the big irritation right now is that for the last few months
    and for most of the day and night I get a steady dark blue light on
    the dongle which means that it is basically disconnected (although the
    Three 'dashboard' continues to show that it should be connected).

    Then when I click on a link, the link times out, with a 404 page not
    found even for something generic as I try and refresh
    the page and again the blue light remains steady and then times out
    with a 404. This is repeatable - too many times.

    Then after about 5 minutes say the light on the dongle turns to light
    blue and eventually the page I want displays. But then as I read it
    the light goes back to dark blue and I have to wait an age for the
    next page after repeated refreshes.

    This makes browsing or surfing a tad tedious, nay impossible. In fact
    I get a new page about once every 5 minutes which is hardly broadband
    speed. Indeed it is just like I used to get from a modem on an
    analogue BT line in the early days of the Internet.

    The situation is dire during the mornings, but also it is bad late at
    night. Is this an indication that Three is becoming saturated with
    users and their network over-loaded?

    Thanks - CJB.
    CJB, Feb 19, 2013
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  2. CJB

    Graham. Guest

    Heavy hand upon my collar throws me in the street.

    Sounds like par for the course, as experienced by a lot of mobile
    so-called "broadband", including my own.

    I expect your dongle is connecting to various BTS sites, some of them
    perhaps are just GPRS.

    Do you rely on mobile Internet even when at home?
    Graham., Feb 19, 2013
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  3. CJB

    CJB Guest

    Yes - because I ditched BT and landlines years ago - thank God.

    I see Three are advertising an ultra-fast dongle broadband service. I
    might raise this with the ASA - because my 'ultra' service is really
    ultra slow. It used to fly up until last year. Now its the pits.

    CJB, Feb 20, 2013
  4. Two things suggest themselves here: -

    1. Config in your PC - it [unnecessarily] drops the link when it thinks it
    is finished with it for now (my phone does this, although without the side
    effects you mention).

    2. Poor position for dongle. Try using on the end of 1m or 2m USB extension
    R. Mark Clayton, Feb 20, 2013
  5. CJB

    chris Guest


    3. one or more people in your vicinity have also got themselves 3G
    dongles and are saturating your cell.

    This is the main downside for 3G 'broadband' it's far too easy to
    saturate in densely populated areas, i.e. in a block of flats.
    chris, Feb 21, 2013
  6. CJB

    Graham J Guest

    It's a fundamental limitation of any radio system, particularly one
    originally designed for about 12kbits/sec to carry one heavily
    compressed voice channel. If you want megabits/sec then you are going
    to have to share the spectrum (and backhaul) with all the other punters
    on that cell.

    At least with a copper pair you get the full bandwidth from you to the
    exchange (possible not very much, depends on you distance from the
    exchange); after that it depends on the service provider. Also,
    reliability and customer service depends on the provider.

    So go back to a landline supplier; there are good ones out there, and
    although they are definitely more expensive than the heaviliy advertised
    rubbish you will get better performance and and probably pay less than
    you are currently paying for the 3G dongle.

    I can't imagine how they cope in 3rd world countries where there are no
    landlines and everybody has to use mobiles!
    Graham J, Feb 21, 2013
  7. I use a landline at home because it is inexpensive and works very
    well. I have a mobile as well but usually forget it as I don't want to
    be contacted when I'm out.

    Stephen Wolstenholme, Feb 21, 2013
  8. CJB

    Phil W Lee Guest

    When I set up a network in Namibia, the telco guaranteed installation
    of a fixed isdn line within 48 hours, anywhere in the country,
    regardless of the existence (or more likely not) of any existing

    The further it is from existing cables, the more people they hire to
    string new ones, and beyond a certain distance (probably just less
    than the most they can cable in 2 days) you get a directional wireless
    link instead.

    Now, that was in the days when 128kbit isdn was advanced, and I've no
    idea what higher bandwidth demands have done to their network, but
    given that telephone poles have to be elephant proofed, overhead cable
    runs tend to be short, and you don't need to be far off the fixed
    cabling to get a fixed wireless link, and what's the bandwidth limit
    on that?

    I was very impressed.
    They mostly skipped the analogue stage of telephony, which is now
    yielding benefits.
    Phil W Lee, Feb 22, 2013
  9. CJB

    Graham J Guest

    I've read elsewehre that other 3rd world contires jut use mobiles. How
    is the cable infrastructure in Namibia funded?

    There was a company in Cambridge (Ionica?) that sold directional
    wireless links but they didn't survive. In rural Britain this would be
    an ideal solution...
    Graham J, Feb 22, 2013
  10. CJB

    Phil W Lee Guest

    Like most things in Namibia - it's subsidised by tax income from
    diamond mining (although I believe that only really applies to central
    infrastructure, not local loops).
    The other thing is that unskilled labour is (or was at the time - this
    was a while back) very inexpensive, so if you needed more telephone
    poles you just hired more telephone pole erectors (along with people
    to elephant-proof them by laying jagged boulders in a solid circle for
    3 metres around each pole - elephants won't walk on jagged boulders,
    even for a good scratching post).
    Not ideal enough to survive though, against BTs monopoly.
    Phil W Lee, Feb 23, 2013
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