Top Tips for Improving Mobile Broadband Performance - ISPreview
Top Tips for Improving Mobile Broadband Performance
By: Mark Jackson - November 16th, 2009 : Page 3 -of- 7
"the busiest time to use a Mobile Broadband service is during peak usage hours, such as when people come home from work"

Note that some operators also share network infrastructure (e.g. T-Mobile and Three / O2 and Vodafone), though this does vary; always check the coverage maps above first.

2. Try before you buy

The worst decision anybody can make is to rush out and buy a Mobile Broadband contract without really knowing whether the service for your area is any good. Intelligent consumers may look at the quality of reception on their phone and use this as a basis for buying a Mobile Broadband contract from a specific operator, which as we hinted before (Understanding the basics), is not always representative; performance is also influenced by local capacity.

vodafone payg mobile broadbandOne solution to this dilemma is the “try before you buy approach”, where you purchase a cheap NO-CONTRACT pay-as-you-go (PAYG) or pay-per-use (PPU) Mobile Broadband package from a chosen operator prior to buying a full contract. This will allow testing of the service without locking yourself into a lengthy agreement. Note that many of these packages come with a bundled USB Modem (Dongle) but most operators can still send you a simcard on its own when you decide to upgrade (check with them first).

In addition it is often also possible to buy an unlocked (sim-free) USB Modem separately, which means that you will only ever need one dongle regardless of the operator you pick. Just be aware that this is often far more expensive than buying as part of a package and the operator may not offer full software and or support for the modem you buy. We therefore do not recommend this method unless you know what you are doing.

3. Try to avoid surfing during peak periods

In general, the busiest time to use a Mobile Broadband service is during peak usage hours, such as when people come home from work (usually between 5pm and 10pm). During these periods your service speed is likely to be noticeably slower in comparison to the early morning or very late at night. Most operators will also give priority to voice traffic over data connections.

Take note that the current generation of HSPA (3.5G) based Mobile Broadband technology is not hugely effective at coping with a lot of demand being placed upon its local node/capacity. This can result in a greater chance of disconnection and unstable speeds.

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