ISPreview - How to Use Mobile Broadband - Vodafone
How to Use Mobile Broadband - Vodafone
By: Mark Jackson - March 2nd, 2009 : Page 3 -of- 6
"in reality most people will only see speeds of between 1 and 2Mbps, which is broadly the same for all operators"

The management software did its job, although for some reason it refused to let us send SMS text messages, but could still receive them. Admittedly this is not openly offered as part of the package, though there is some small print about SMS’s costing 12p each in the details.

We also noted that Vodafone enables parental controls by default, which block access to adult content. This can be removed by registering on Vodafone’s website and verifying your age via a visa card check, though the process itself was somewhat of a choir to complete. Otherwise, connecting is merely a matter of pressing the 'Connect' button.


We proceeded to try Vodafone’s service in a mix of urban (town centre) and rural locations, both of which were within the coverage of their faster HSPA (3.5G/3G+) based Mobile Broadband services. The operator’s current network is apparently capable of delivering download speeds of up to 7.2Mbps, although in reality most people will only see speeds of between 1 and 2Mbps, which is broadly the same for all operators.

For our part we recorded a number of tests, with the average performance being as follows. It should be noted that this will be different for everybody depending on the time of day (network load) and coverage quality at your location. In the Urban area we had 3 of the 5 signal bars lit, while in rural locations just 1 or 2 would light up:

Urban Test Average
Download: 1210Kbps (1.2Mbps)
Upload: 240Kbps

Rural Test Average
Download: 792Kbps
Upload: 228Kbps

We also noted that downstream speeds would drop considerably when attempting to use the service from a weaker signal area, such as in the middle of a building. This resulted in a performance crash to just 232Kbps, which was to be expected and the connection still managed to remain pleasantly usable.

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