I have turned 3G back on. The reason is simple. With the mobile companies pushing the data traffic towards LTE (“4G). The amount of data traffic passing over 3G has been dropping at fast rate. This means that in most places using 3G for voice communication is now again option. In some high usage area voice calls might get pushed back to 2G. Same goes for areas with poor 3G coverage.
I am going to keep 3G on from now on. But I might turn it off in areas where coverage is extremely bad. But using GSM in such areas often brings better connection signal then 3G (it also because of lower frequency that GSM uses in most cases). This has everything to do with more GSM transmitter then 3G transmitters today. Why this is the case I do not know. But I do not expect it to change any time soon.
There is a new bubble ongoing in the tech world. It is an mobile bubble. This can be seen in increased numbers of mobile devices. Be that from mobile phones to pad computers of all types and sizes. This mobile bubble has also lead to shortage in spectrum for high-speed mobile devices. This has some solved up to a point by re-allocating former frequencies that where once used to broadcast television signals. But at current rate, that is only got to work for next five years or so. Based on current speed of the mobile bubble.
Other problem with current mobile bubble is the fact mobile phone companies have not started to phase out older technology. In this context I mean 2G (also known as GSM) mostly. As 3G is rather new technology and 4G specs are not ready yet (LTE-advanced, true 4G network). The current frequency shortage is not because of lack of frequencies. But because mobile phone companies have not been phasing out older GSM technology. Until the older and obsolete technology that is GSM is started to be phased out slowly. The current situation is not going to improve frequency and technology wise.
It is also a problem that mobile companies have over sold the broadband ability of the 3G network. That has resulted in slower connection for the end user. Phone calls that should have gone over 3G get’s redirected to 2G transmitter (with following battery drain on the mobile phone). But that is something that I have seen during past few years when I have been using 3G on my mobile phones. This does not happen in low usage areas. But such areas are uncommon in most countries. This over selling of 3G abilities has forced the mobile companies to go over to next 4G like technology. Even if is far from being ready by the 4G standard. But when it comes to mobile broadband. The formula is always number of users and number of available transmitters in the area that can be used. For that reason, when there are too many users and too few transmitters. This problem is also going to plague users on 4G when the time comes, even if it has not already started to do so. At current time I do not use 4G and I do not own any 4G capable mobile device. It is also a fact that mobile data is way more expensive then data over ADSL/Fiber or Cable. That is something most users do not know when they start to use mobile broadband full time in there homes.
Many mobile users have solved the problem of slow 3G systems by going back to ADSL/Fiber/Cable internet connections. But that way they can bypass slow 3G network and data cost that also follows them. This has made mobile companies a bit unhappy. As they are in fact loosing money over this fact. But I doubt there is anything that they can do about it. As for current problems. I do not expect them to be solved any time soon. As there are no signs of the mobile phone companies are going to start and phase out GSM phones and stations any time soon.
As for my self. I did turn off 3G on my Nokia N8 and Nokia C2-01 phones. The reason being that I mostly use my mobile phone for voice, rather then data. While the mobile phone companies are directing voice calls to GSM. I do not see any reason to have it enabled while current situation is ongoing (voice calls being directed to GSM). I am just going to turn on 3G when I do need to use my mobile phone as a modem. But that is going to happen once in while. The reason why I don’t turn off GSM and just use 3G is because when 3G transmitter is overloaded with data. Voice call quality drops fast, in fact. It drops so fast I have got into the problem that people cannot even hear what I am saying over the phone. At least until my mobile phone switches over to GSM network. For that reason I do not use 3G network only.
I am one day going to switch on 3G setting, along with GSM setting. But I guess a lot needs to change before that happens I guess.
I am currently using mobile broadband until I get connected to 20Mbps ADSL connection. This time while I have been connected to 3G mobile broadband has shown me one thing. Mobile broadband for home use is an bad idea. Only for that reason it is expensive given the data amount that is needed to buy, compared to ADSL for instance. Speed is slow, because 3G/4G transmitters are overloaded with users and signal noise in the area of the transmitter only gets higher with more users.
It is my personal recommendations that people only use mobile broadband if they are travelling, or if they are not heavy internet users (in all cases, it is unlikely). Mobile broadband can also be used while waiting for proper connection with ADSL/Cable or fiber.
So if you are thinking about getting 3G or 4G internet connection. Don’t do it. Get ADSL or Cable (it depends on your country how well cable or ADSL performs. But here in Denmark they offer 100/50Mbps over cable today and up to 40Mbps ADSL connections in some areas). As 3G or 4G solutions are in fact no good, as stated before. Unless it is on mobile or while during travel.