But What If 3G Doesn't Work?

from the the-difference-between-theory-and-practice dept

It's sometimes amusing how much the wireless industry hypes up every new wireless technology that comes out. The first time I heard about GPRS, it was from someone telling me that it would be a DSL alternative and would take the world by storm. Yes. GPRS. Ignoring the dialup-like speeds, the questionable coverage and the ridiculously high latency... this person was sure it would be an effective DSL replacement. Lots of wireless technologies have promise, but actually living up to that promise is another thing altogether. So, it's not that surprising to hear people who are now testing out some of the new 3G services out there talk about all the problems and glitches they're facing. The hardware has compatibility problems with their computers, or causes crashes. You can't always see the network. When you can see the network, it's not always easy to connect to the network. When you do connect to the network you may not get the bandwidth that you were promised. When you do get the bandwidth you were promised, the latency may make everything seem much slower. That's not to say these technologies don't have promise -- and many of them will work out the initial glitches. It's just a good reminder that all of these wireless technologies (not just 3G) are still fairly immature, and won't be perfect out of the box. Now, if only the industry would learn to stop giving people the impression that these technologies will all perform in the ideal way.
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  1. identicon
    Keith Spragg, 26 Nov 2004 @ 7:09am

    3G Testing

    A lot of the carriers are using the same 3G datacards, which would explain why Mr Bailey and his cohort's are having the same problems.

    Speaking from experience of having had a 3G mobile (Nokia 7600) on Vodaphone since the service test piloted, I can say that the experience has been 90% good so far - a couple of issues here and there with limited numbers of people being allowed on the network in certain locations (South Bolton was the worst for this - the number of missed calls or 'network unavaliable' messages I got there was rediculous, on more than one occassion). The speed of GPRS over UTMS is just fine, and hooking it up to the PC gives me the same functionality as a Mobile card, just without all the one-up-manship involved in a 3G Data Card.

    So far my only problems involving the network (Bolton aside) have involved the lack of coverage. I live in a coverage rich area (South Manchester, namely Stockport), but when areas such as Sheffield and Hull aren't covered, it makes owning such a phone semi-pointless. Thankfully this is an issue that is already well underway to being taken care of, and new base stations are springing up all the time.

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