Plan to boost rural mobile signal falling to bits

Plan to boost rural mobile signal falling to bitsSlightly melodramatic headline there, but the George Osborne-backed £150 million project to boost mobile signal in rural areas has hit a couple of speed bumps.

Firstly, Three Mobile is having second thoughts, while the number of people expected to benefit from the project has been lowered significantly.

The news comes via The Guardian, revealing that Three Mobile is “concerned it will not have enough spectrum to deliver a good service”.

Three reckons its signal would work indoors, but not necessarily for customers on the move.

What’s happening is, see, the government will soon contract some guys to erect (*titter*) a number of masts across the country, ultimately providing mobile service in no-spot areas.

The project had originally hoped to benefit some six million people, but that figure has been revised to 60,000 premises or less. The decision was made that money can only be used in places where there’s no signal at all – from any of the major networks.

An estimated 900,000 homes and small businesses in the UK have only partial coverage (at least one of the Big Four being absent), while a tad under 1% have no signal whatsoever.

Read more about: 3 Mobile

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5 comments

JanSt / MOD  Aug. 13, 2012 at 11:53

Hahahahaha...
Welcome to Ireland.
Same happened here.

I guess if it's not at least about a billion, it's not worth the effort?

Where I live there's plenty of government owned land. Loads. So, it's not because people protest against new masts on their land.
Under Ireland's "Rural Broadband Scheme" very little has changed.
Three - who got the deal - excluded all difficult properties.
The people who 'benefitted' could get broadband before. With a dongle. Just nobody had bothered to tell them. The scheme simply advertised what was already there - a crappy, low-speed band aid.
Three must be laughing their a*se off.

matt101101 / MOD  Aug. 13, 2012 at 13:07

Hahahahaha...
Welcome to Ireland.
Same happened here.

I guess if it's not at least about a billion, it's not worth the effort?

Where I live there's plenty of government owned land. Loads. So, it's not because people protest against new masts on their land.
Under Ireland's "Rural Broadband Scheme" very little has changed.
Three - who got the deal - excluded all difficult properties.
The people who 'benefitted' could get broadband before. With a dongle. Just nobody had bothered to tell them. The scheme simply advertised what was already there - a crappy, low-speed band aid.
Three must be laughing their a*se off.

Is 3G/HSDPA coverage in Ireland as much of a joke as it is here in the UK?

JanSt / MOD  Aug. 13, 2012 at 18:16

Hahahahaha...
Welcome to Ireland.
Same happened here.

I guess if it's not at least about a billion, it's not worth the effort?

Where I live there's plenty of government owned land. Loads. So, it's not because people protest against new masts on their land.
Under Ireland's "Rural Broadband Scheme" very little has changed.
Three - who got the deal - excluded all difficult properties.
The people who 'benefitted' could get broadband before. With a dongle. Just nobody had bothered to tell them. The scheme simply advertised what was already there - a crappy, low-speed band aid.
Three must be laughing their a*se off.

Is 3G/HSDPA coverage in Ireland as much of a joke as it is here in the UK?

Absolutely.

An Illustration: couple of years ago I tried my dusty old 3 dongle; to my surprise it worked.
So, I get a big top-up. Next day: nothing. Modem software shows "full bars high speed"...
I walk into 3 Store. They make a spiel, ring tech support and say, "the mast is currently getting some routine maintenance done". And with a jovial "give it a week" I'm sent on my way.
Nothing improves for 2 more weeks. I experience short bursts of normal speeds interrupted by hours of nothing. I ring customer care in Mumbai. They tell me, no, that mast is fixed.
I'm told to reinstall the modem software. I explain that I use Linux and don't need the software which isn't Linux compatible anyways. That shuts them up.
A week later I get a call from 3 Mumbai. They offer me a free phone for my trouble.
I explain that I have a lot of drying paint to watch before I can deal with a 3 phone.
They call back, and I explain that I haven't had coverage for 3 weeks. The lady puts me on hold to talk to tech support. She gets back with the good news that my lack of coverage is no problem because, you see, I shouldn't have any coverage. Yay. Their maps show that my location only gives 'out and about' coverage - I suppose that is like free range in the food world?
So, I point out that she has a different map than the shops in Ireland or tech support in Ireland. She replies, yes - our maps are much more detailed. Great...

Anyhow, 3G coverage on the left side of Ireland is pathetic, but even in Dublin or Galway there are so many black spots... But because they pretend to be buying into their own hype, neither 3 nor Vodafone offer EDGE. So, you have a very patchy 3G coverage or next to nothing at all...

And seriously, the National Rural Broadband Scheme has been a farce. To the best of my knowledge Three have NOT improved their infrastructure ONE bit. They merely sold more state subsidised 3g dongles. Coverage has not improved. Nor has Vodafone's or O2's... In ten years in this location (and in town where I work) signal strength has not improved.
Heck, there are 2 phone shops in town that have no 3G!

matt101101 / MOD  Aug. 13, 2012 at 18:27

Hahahahaha...
Welcome to Ireland.
Same happened here.

I guess if it's not at least about a billion, it's not worth the effort?

Where I live there's plenty of government owned land. Loads. So, it's not because people protest against new masts on their land.
Under Ireland's "Rural Broadband Scheme" very little has changed.
Three - who got the deal - excluded all difficult properties.
The people who 'benefitted' could get broadband before. With a dongle. Just nobody had bothered to tell them. The scheme simply advertised what was already there - a crappy, low-speed band aid.
Three must be laughing their a*se off.

Is 3G/HSDPA coverage in Ireland as much of a joke as it is here in the UK?

Absolutely.

An Illustration: couple of years ago I tried my dusty old 3 dongle; to my surprise it worked.
So, I get a big top-up. Next day: nothing. Modem software shows "full bars high speed"...
I walk into 3 Store. They make a spiel, ring tech support and say, "the mast is currently getting some routine maintenance done". And with a jovial "give it a week" I'm sent on my way.
Nothing improves for 2 more weeks. I experience short bursts of normal speeds interrupted by hours of nothing. I ring customer care in Mumbai. They tell me, no, that mast is fixed.
I'm told to reinstall the modem software. I explain that I use Linux and don't need the software which isn't Linux compatible anyways. That shuts them up.
A week later I get a call from 3 Mumbai. They offer me a free phone for my trouble.
I explain that I have a lot of drying paint to watch before I can deal with a 3 phone.
They call back, and I explain that I haven't had coverage for 3 weeks. The lady puts me on hold to talk to tech support. She gets back with the good news that my lack of coverage is no problem because, you see, I shouldn't have any coverage. Yay. Their maps show that my location only gives 'out and about' coverage - I suppose that is like free range in the food world?
So, I point out that she has a different map than the shops in Ireland or tech support in Ireland. She replies, yes - our maps are much more detailed. Great...

Anyhow, 3G coverage on the left side of Ireland is pathetic, but even in Dublin or Galway there are so many black spots... But because they pretend to be buying into their own hype, neither 3 nor Vodafone offer EDGE. So, you have a very patchy 3G coverage or next to nothing at all...

And seriously, the National Rural Broadband Scheme has been a farce. To the best of my knowledge Three have NOT improved their infrastructure ONE bit. They merely sold more state subsidised 3g dongles. Coverage has not improved. Nor has Vodafone's or O2's... In ten years in this location (and in town where I work) signal strength has not improved.
Heck, there are 2 phone shops in town that have no 3G!

Sounds familiar, oh yeah...it's the same here in England. Thankfully, I live close enough to Nottingham to be on the edge of the 3G coverage for what is a pretty big city. Unfortunately, that 3G coverage is limited to Three and T-Mobile (and any other networks which run off their signals), so that basically limits me to T-Mob, as 3 have no 2G, so I refuse to rely on them.

Vodafone, O2 and Orange all get patchy 2G (at best) where I live, their 3G networks stop closer to the city centre, it's an absolute joke.

Coverage maps are sh*te, what's the point in giving customers maps which don't represent anything useful at all. In my experience they just don't work. According to T-Mob's map, I should get weak 3G, I in fact get 5 bars HSDPA - I know that's not something to moan about, but my point is that the maps just don't work.

At least here in the UK, most of the big cities I've visited have had 3G coverage, allowing somewhere like Dublin to have 3G blackspots is unforgivable in this day and age, there's just no good reason for it.

When are Ireland supposed to be getting LTE? We're looking at H2 2013 for even the big cities here in England, it'll be 2020 before more rural areas get anything like a 4G signal....who am I kidding, rural areas will forever be stuck with 2G or nothing at all, they're not worth the financial outlay to either the Govt. or the networks.

/rant

JanSt / MOD  Aug. 13, 2012 at 18:31

True...
And LOL (not) I can't even get fixed-line broadband at home. Too far from the nearest hub!!!!!!! 2012, yep.
Now, Three and Vf entered a joint venture to improve the customer experience - in other words: neither will invest in a better infrastructure...

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