Why 4G broadband just isn’t good enough

No mobile signal lgI’ve been away for the last week, I took a weeks holiday and spent it with friends wandering around Dorset, Somerset and Devon. The weather was heavenly with a few showers on one day. The company was of course amazing, but there was one real bug bear the whole week.

Mobile broadband is shockingly bad!

One day it took over two hours to download 40 emails because two of them had modest attachments (about 1gig) and the signal kept getting lost. GPRS or Edge was the best I could get most of the week and half the time I couldn’t even get that. 3G was only available in the larger towns might as well have not existed as far as I was concerned.

Now I admit I was in some of the most beautiful parts of the countryside (or on the beach!), but the government and all the mobile phone companies have been shouting about 4G. Everything Everywhere would have you believe that all you need is to sign up with them and you’ll have blisteringly fast mobile broadband, but after a year it’s still only available in 95 UK cities. Vodafone and O2 are only just about to launch 4G in 10 cities.

I don’t want or need 4G (although I do of course have a 4G handset ready for the day it might be available). 3G would do me just fine. The trouble is that outside towns and cities 3G appears to be generally unavailable.

If the government really want to help small businesses they should be focused on getting 3G networks to cover the entire country. Plenty of Tamebay readers have complained in the past that there’s little point getting a smartphone as there’s no coverage where they live and work. Even travelling south from Newbury to Winchester on the A34 there’s a black spot with no coverage, as there is going north to Oxford.

What is your mobile signal like? Mine’s great at home or most of the places I work, but that’s not where I need it. I’ll have WiFi or broadband available. I want a mobile signal in the places I don’t have WiFi or broadband and 4G in a few conurbations really isn’t going to make any difference.