3 Mobile Broadband Review

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With the clue being in the name, 3 Mobile was one of first companies to really push the 3G mobile internet broadband market to the public. Offering a range of services from a no-contract 'Pay As You Go' right through to a 7GB monthly allowance for £25 per month. Three also offer a couple of options in terms of the actual 3G modem device - using either the 'traditional' usb dongle, or a USB modem stick - which looks very much like a regular usb memory stick.

3's offerings promise "no more wires, no more hassles, no more waiting for a line to be installed. Just plug our USB modem into your computer and within five minutes you're on the web. You can even swap modem dongle between different computers. It's your broadband, so take it with you." We at mobilebroadband123 have tried the 3 USB dongle modem, and we were online in less than 60 seconds.

3 have been busy rolling out their 'Turbo network' in 2008, and the website claims that up to 85% of the UK population now lives within the Turbo Network Coverage. This figure will likely increase as time goes on.


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On 31st May 2011 Dan said:

I recently got back into online gaming. Not PS3 or Xbox but text based browser games. I had to give them up though. Not because I lost interest, they weren't very good or I didn't have time but because 3 picked up on it and slowed my speeds down so much that pages didn't load or took too long. I couldn't be competitive in the games anymore because of this. This is what 3 do when they pick up patterns of regular usage so thanks 3 for screwing that up. Stay away from 3!

On 20th May 2011 Darryl said:

I get a full signal where I live. For months, the service worked fine, and was nice and speedy, but now the speed is worse than dialup (that's no exaggeration), despite the fact that I get full bars. It has been this way for over a month now. Something is badly wrong with 3's infrastructure. The only blessing is that I'm on Pay&Go, which means I can quit anytime. I would never buy a 3 product again.

On 05th May 2011 Darren said:

Karen Cutler writes how she cannot believe there are so many negative reviews. Well, I cannot believe there is a positive one - they make me suspicious because my experiences with 3 and mobile broadband have been something of a nightmare and I'm clearly not alone. 3 are dire and just do not improve or show any genuine willingness to improve. The customer 'care' is of a very poor standard as is very well documented online. The service itself is no better.

On 30th April 2011 Steve said:

I'm waiting for the day I have 24 hours without any issues using this service. It worked great during the first 2 weeks, when I could have cancelled. Funnily enough many other customers report the same thing. It's been horrible lately for many customers, including me and as usual we're all waiting for our ISP to stop blaming anything and everyone else and tell us what the problem is. Read real reviews from real customers and stay well away from this awful service and network!

On 06th April 2011 karen cutler said:

I have been using 3 dongle on the monthly 5GB for the past month and it is abs brilliant! I had been using vodafone but you only got 2GB for the same price as 3 so although I live in a very rural area I thought I'd give it a go as its a monthly rolling contract. Well the service is brilliant, its fast and you get so much useage for your money, you can keep a check on what you are using properly too unlike vodafone who suprise you with huge bills. Great, don't understand why there are any neg revs

On 10th January 2011 Mark Woods said:

Apart from the first 2 weeks (the time I could cancel) I've had problem after problem and issue after issue. It's only free credits which have kept me going. This service is oversubscribed, under maintained, customer services are appalling (see more below), 3 don't improve as a company year on year (as seen in online reviews). Far too many customers of which I am one are getting a totally unacceptable level of service. In December 2010, respected consumer magazine 'Which' named 3 as having the worst customer services of all of the UK networks. 3 ranked 69th out of 75 across all industries. An already miserable experience for many looks set to worsen in 2011 as 3 push their new unlimited downloads package for smartphone users. While the leading networks have opted to maintain a responsible approach which doesn't penalise mobile broadband customers paying for fixed allowances, 3 have chosen to once again demonstrate a complete disregard to customers by "spotting a gap in the market". Furthermore, 3 will permit tethering - which is the ability to use a sim card in any device, such as a pc or laptop. In other words, users have computer access to unlimited downloads and so this will inevitably worsen a service which is currently the poorest rated in the UK and subject to more negative reviews by customers than any other network in each year since its inception, which was 2008. It's therefore clear that the only sensible advice to give to fellow consumers is to avoid 3 and take all business to a reputable network who are better equipped to service both you and your needs.

On 04th July 2010 Paul said:

3 in my experience is near useless! vast amounts of dropped connections and hassle! i even end up losing data allowance some months due to "no network" 3 customer services rarely of any use and seem only to have very little technical knowledge for all problems. the set script being "work is being done in your area" why has this company not appeared on the TV consumer programme "watchdog"? are not 3 accountable to someone, very poor and frustrating!

On 01st April 2010 Martin Sellers said:

The reality for many Three customers is no connection possible all or most of the time, connection manipulation and rationing caused by chronic lack of infrastructure and selling to far too many customers than the network can handle. The reality for all Three customers is a very poorly managed company not geared, and evidently not interested in the slightest to aiding the paying customer and a deeply-rooted blame culture where Three blame anything and anyone apart from themselves for slow speeds or no speed at all. Donít be surprised if Three suggest your house may have been built with the wrong type of bricks. There is never any information on the site and customer services are clueless and difficult to deal with. If youíre a Three customer and having problems, not only are you amongst many others in the same boat, but youíre as good as on your own. Three donít wanna know. The article above these reviews praising Three mobile broadband did tickle me. Itís a long way from the truth and hundreds of hundreds of scathing customer reviews posted in the last couple of years, and still being posted, proves it. Disgraceful company, terrible service, appalling lack of customer care. AVOID!

On 12th November 2009 phil said:

no never again poor reception poor service keeps going down .when you can get through to them they tell you its your computer.only to find out there doing work in the area.must be alot off work for the amount of time its off.very slow

On 21st October 2009 Dave said:

100% THE WORST ISP EVER I am lost for words for how terrible they are

On 27th June 2009 Jessica said:

I got a 3 payg dongle and it works well in towns and cities, but you can forget about it anywhere else.

On 23rd June 2009 Lee said:

3 has been pretty good for me during the past couple of months I've had it. I was a wee bit wary about whether I'd get a signal as I live in the country but generally I have got a decent signal.

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What is Mobile Broadband?

Mobile Broadband gives you internet access, without wires, over the air. You do not need a telephone line, or to be in a Wi-Fi area to get mobile broadband - using only a USB Modem with your Laptop or PC you can have access to fast broadband.