Nice One, 3!

A while back, I gave the original 3 MiFi (yeah, I know the title of that post - never say never) a try out. Whilst it was a great device, it was useless to me, as I had no coverage whatsoever at the location I needed to use it. So (after much hassle), it was returned and I've never considered using 3 since.

This was until I heard about their new Mobile Broadband offering, claiming to be "Up to 40% faster" and with the proud claim of being the "UK's fastest growing network which covers 97% of the UK population". I checked out their data coverage map for the place I would be using it and the site informed me I could expect "good" coverage, so, given that I've been getting roughly 0.15Mb download speeds with my current dongle, I thought I'd take a gamble and give them another try. I went for the Huawei E367 "premium dongle". Boy, I'm glad I did!

I returned to my accommodation, fully prepared for there to be no signal at all, my backup plan being that I'd probably be able to sell it on eBay. But no, I plugged it in to my trusty Zoom portable router, waited a few moments and there was the connection. Okay, next stop Speedtest.net. First test, 5+ Mb download speed! This is as fast as my home broadband!

Time to fire up iPlayer on the iPad. Wonderfully smooth, zero-lag video playback (ended up watching a 1 hour documentary about Facebook!). More importantly, navigating the web was a wonderfully fast and slick experience. No more dreadfully long page load times. Wow, I can actually get stuff done with this thing!

I've got my laptop, iPhone and iPad all connected via the router and it works a treat.

Data rates are good, too. I was previously paying £15 for 2Gb. That'd buy me 3Gb on 3 or, for another tenner, I can get 7Gb. That should be plenty for a months use. I could go contract, and I'd get 15Gb for about £22, but I never really know where I'm going to be located from one month to the next, so I'll likely stick to the pay as you go.

So, from being a complete non-starter with my first experience with 3, I've gone to being a very happy mobile worker. Well done, 3, on improving the network so much.

If you'd like to grab yourself one, head over to their site, or visit a 3 store, where I got mine for about 40 quid, including 1Gb of data.