Top Tips for Improving Mobile Broadband Performance - ISPreview
Top Tips for Improving Mobile Broadband Performance
By: Mark Jackson - November 16th, 2009 : Page 1 -of- 7
"In reality the average performance is much more likely to be in the 1-2Mbps region than the dizzy heights of 7-14Mbps"

mobile broadband base station mast Anybody who has spent any amount of time with a Mobile Broadband connection knows that reception is one of the most frustrating aspects of the service. Good reception means your operator will switch you to its fastest network platform and be more stable. Bad reception forces you to tolerate slower and increasingly unstable links that have more in common with the Internet of 10 years ago than today.

Furthermore most mobile operators advertise headline Mobile Broadband speeds that, in the majority of cases, are simply unattainable. In reality the average performance is much more likely to be in the 1-2Mbps region than the dizzy heights of 7-14Mbps. This is one of many reasons why current technology is best viewed as a compliment to existing fixed land-line services and not a replacement.

The good news is there are some handy tips, tricks and tweaks you can make to improve your chances of getting a good Mobile Broadband signal. During our testing we found that some solutions were more effective than others and there were a few surprises. We have written about our experiences below in the hope that others will benefit from it and maybe even avoid making a costly mistake or two.

Understanding the basics

mobile reception bars

I’m sure we’ve all done it, glanced down at our mobile phone or laptop screens to see what those four or five tiny vertical reception bars are doing. These are an easy and commonly identifiable way of quickly seeing whether you’re in an area of low/poor (1 bar) or very high/extremely good signal quality (4 or 5 bars).

It’s important to recognise that this is not a perfect way of determining the kind of service quality you may receive (more on that later) but it does have the most significant bearing, especially in terms of power usage and connection stability. For example, when the signal is poor most mobile devices will attempt to automatically boost their power output in an effort to improve reception; this can also lower the battery life of your device.

Mobile networks also operate several different technology platforms and signal quality can vary depending on which you are on. One moment you can be on a 2G voice network with an excellent reception quality of 4 bars and the next you might cross onto 3G, which could see the quality reduce (note: 3G also consumers more power than 2G).

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Posted 524 days ago
Quote - "Sit near the window, preferably an open one upstairs"

Point 1, The signal attenuation factor of domestic glass inc. double glazing unless it has a metalised coating is so low that opening the window will make no difference whatsoever other than to let in insects, the neighbours BBQ fumes and Jack Frost, you should if possible choose a window facing the direction of your networks local mast. (find it here )

Point 2, Sitting upstairs is not always essential, you should always check to see if the signal is stronger at ground level for the following reason.
When a Cellular Base Station is being designed it's configuration is determined by the specific area to be covered, this is achieved by using antennas with an "electrical or mechanical downtilt / beamtilt" usually of around 3 degrees, this declination of the signal earthwards and not in a horizontal plane also serves to eliminate interference to distant cells.
Posted 542 days ago
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Dan Brady
Posted 1544 days ago
I suggest you try the WiBE (Wireless Broadband Enabler) if you are on the periphery of 3G coverage. This makes use of a 360degrees intelligent antenna to pull in the best DATA THROUGHPUT. It will operate where dongles don't even register a signal and provide 2Mbps+.
Posted 1609 days ago
Coverage is a useless measure of performance. Only average contention data rates for each cell will do.

You can have perfect coverage and 0b/s

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