Broadband News

On 3G 128Kbps is apparently enough according to O2

3G mobile data cards and even higher speed services using HSPDA are gaining momentum, but it would appear O2 has yet to embrace the full potential of giving people access to the full speed of 3G let alone the faster speeds other companies can provide.

The Register has the detail on this limit to 128Kbps, which apparently applies to all 3G connections even if you are getting a signal that would support a 384Kbps connection. Some business users are upgraded to 384Kbps, though how you request this or what the criteria are has not been explained by O2.

For someone just checking email on a mobile phone, 128Kbps is possibly plenty, but one of the big advantages of internet access when mobile is access to online maps which can involve fairly large images. One apparent irony of this 3G limit appears to be that the Edge connection which iPhone uses may out perform an O2 3G connection.

Some websites detect the browser being used to access the site and adjust content appropriately but with the use of 3G data cards on laptops you would get served the full fat version. When the main frontpage of a fairly simple site like Channel 4 News weighs in at 200KB, this would take around 12 seconds to download on an O2 3G service, dropping to potentially 4 seconds if the signal is good enough on other networks.


Do people really use the net seriously on there mobile phones anyway? By serious i mean for feature rich content that needs a decent cconnection speed? I certainly due to the costs that can be involved wouldnt, may use to it check my email etc like the story mentions, but that would be about all.

  • over 12 years ago

There's a [url=]post[/url] in the Apple forum confirming the slow speed. I'm baffled why O2 believes even 384kbps is enough - what are they thinking?

  • bosie
  • over 12 years ago

"One apparent irony of this 3G limit appears to be that the Edge connection which iPhone uses may out perform an O2 3G connection."

Irony ? or deliberate to encourage users onto the iFawn ?

  • herdwick
  • over 12 years ago

"Do people really use the net seriously on there mobile phones anyway?"
The article is talking about data cards that you put in your laptop to get internet access anywhere.
I use a phone / PDA for emails, and GPRS is fine for that. However if I want to use the PDA as a modem for the laptop - 3G is what I need. I use T-Mobile and have good speeds almost anywhere, and the costs are very low.

  • sidbarker
  • over 12 years ago

quote"The article is talking about data cards"
That is unclear the first paragraph mentions data cards the second says all 3G connections.

I wouldnt use a mobile data card for anything sensitive let alone as my only connection.

  • over 12 years ago

The way o2 have handled this issue is a complete joke.

Carpetburn, people are increasingly using the net on the phone. The capped speeds I receive on o2, are not sufficient enough to stream youtube. If o2 had said before people signed up, "we restrict all regular tariffs to 128Kbs" than no one would have an argument against them.

  • danman7_200
  • over 12 years ago

I have to wait 2 weeks for broadband in my new flat... so right now the speed I get through my (T-Mobile 3G) phone acting as a modem for my laptop is REAL important, just to get work done at home when my other office (the local cafe with wifi hotspot) isn't open...

  • brett7
  • over 12 years ago

Why do Carpetburn & others think 3G data is expensive? Add a data option to your tariff & it's around £7-8/month for 'all you can eat', within the limits of any fair-use policy. Only need it for a limited period? Add it for the month & stop it when you've finished.

  • caterps
  • over 12 years ago

As caterps says 3G doesn't have to be expensive. I get 'unlimited' use 7pm to 7am M-F and all weekend for just £4/mth. Using phone as a modem. When you work shifts it's very handy!

  • brucie245
  • over 12 years ago

Carpetburn sounds to be a tad behind the times! Using a 3G adaptor on my laptop I can get in an extra 2/3 hours work a day while traveling between Norwich and London and back via an excellent Vodafone 3G connection for £15/month. There is a 3Gb monthly cap but, for me, that's absolutely fine.

  • wlchubb
  • over 12 years ago

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