3G / 4G problems - the wrong company's SIM? (1 Viewer)

quilkin

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Apologies in advance if this post gets a bit technical, but I hope that any outcome will help others (especially non-technical people who want to use the internet abroad).

I've had a BT monthly SIM for my phone for a while; it gives me a small amount of data which is all I normally need ('cause I'm at home with landline broadband most of the time).

When I'm away in my van I need more data, and I also want to get the best signal in remote parts, so I installed a MiFi device with an external antenna. And I fitted it with a '3' pay-as-you-go SIM. I chose this because it allows you to buy large chunks of data on an ad-hoc basis (so I can buy a month's worth, for example as much as 30GB, for £25; it should cover my time away in France and I don't need to spend that much every month when I'm at home.)

The problem is that the '3' SIM is far worse at getting data than the BT SIM. I've tried now at three different locations in central France. Each time the BT SIM gets 4G downloads whereas the 3 SIM gives me only 3G (if I'm lucky; often nothing at all).

It's nothing to do with the phone or the MiFi device because if I swap the SIMs around, the problem goes with the SIM.

I spent a long time on an internet 'chat' with a support guy from Three the other day, who couldn't offer any reason for this. I asked him if Three didn't have a 4G roaming arrangement with OrangeF (which was the service both SIMS were connecting to) but he couldn't answer. I asked him to tell me with what French services I could get 4G with my SIM but he couldn't answer and said it would take him 24 hours to find out. 3 days later and he hasn't called me back as promised.

So, to summarise, I'm in a very rural area of France. I can download a 60-minute TV program from Netflix in 5-10 minutes with the BT SIM, but it fails completely with the Three SIM, even after trying all night, using the same hardware. But I can do that only once a month with the BT SIM because I only have a small data allowance on that.

Has anyone else had any luck with '3' PAYG SIMs in France? I've paid for 30GB of data but can't use it because the connection is so poor. If others have made it work then at least I can go back to Three support with a different story.
 
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Robert Clark

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Three won’t allow you to stream TV anywhere we’ve been in Europe as they throttle back the speed considerably

The best carrier for roaming in Europe is now Vodafone, who appear to offer unthrottled 4G everywhere we’ve used it in France, Italy and Greece
 

Lenny HB

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Three PAYG data Sims only work on 3G when roaming but often a lot slower. If you have a particularly slow connection try changing network you often get a significant improvement. Also bear in mind with Three PAYG you only get 60 days roaming over a 12 month period and you have to remember to reset it by using it in the UK when you come home or it thinks you are still roaming.
Reset after 29 days counts as zero days, reset after 59 days only counts as 30 days, go over 60 days you are stuffed.

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quilkin

quilkin

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Three won’t allow you to stream TV anywhere we’ve been in Europe as they throttle back the speed considerably

Thanks, that may be true but if so the shop where I bought the SIM should have told me; I told them what I wanted to use it for. Also shouldn't the support guy have mentioned it?
It's not only streaming, web pages are slow to load as well. Not surprising comparing 3G to 4G.
 
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quilkin

quilkin

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Three PAYG data Sims only work on 3G when roaming but often a lot slower. If you have a particularly slow connection try changing network you often get a significant improvement. .
Hmmm, to use the 30GB that I purchased , during the month it's valid, will be impossible at the poor 3G speeds.
 
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When going around Europe on my Three SIM, I often find that manually selecting a different network can make a massive difference in speed. It will only give you a connection if there's a roaming agreement, so I don't think you've got anything to lose.

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Lenny HB

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I've given up with Three it's the uploads speed that are more of a problem and I upload a load of stuff when traveling.
 

Lenny HB

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When going around Europe on my Three SIM, I often find that manually selecting a different network can make a massive difference in speed. It will only give you a connection if there's a roaming agreement, so I don't think you've got anything to lose.
Suggested that in my post, I've found the same, but still rubbish compared to Vodafone or EE on 4 G.
 
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2657

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Three won’t allow you to stream TV anywhere we’ve been in Europe as they throttle back the speed considerably

The best carrier for roaming in Europe is now Vodafone, who appear to offer unthrottled 4G everywhere we’ve used it in France, Italy and Greece

Suggested that in my post, I've found the same, but still rubbish compared to Vodafone or EE on 4 G.

I am currently in a very poor reception area at our static caravan in the Loire Atlantique.

I recently signed up to a 60Gb a month deal with Vodafone for my Samsung A6 smartphone, this will not pick up a signal on F SFR and is connected to Orange F, supposedly 4G, the speed is rubbish, 0.4 Mb/sec, obviously nothing will stream.

I also have a '3' PAYG sim in a Huawei mifi with no signal amplification, this connects to Orange with a strong 3G signal with download speeds up to 10 Mb/sec and I can download programmes from BBC iplayer without difficulty and quickly. I can stream You Tube clips without problem, I have not attempted to stream iplayer as we can get UK TV on satellite here.

I hope the Vodafone works better in Portugal as streaming TV was the main reason that I signed up for the package.

Not had a problem with throttling on 3 since last June when roaming rules changed.

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JockandRita

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At Teruel (Spain) earlier this year, using a Three 12Gb data sim, we streamed 2 x hours of UK TV, without any problem. (y)

Cheers,

Jock. :)
 

DBK

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I'm using a Three SIM card in France and have never experienced so many problems. It was always slow, 3g at best but the connection keeps dropping out despite a strong signal. This was connected to Bytel but I'm now trying it on Orange 3g and first indications seem ok which reinforces the point you have to try a different network and see both what it will connect to and how good the connection is.
I should be back on Vodafone next week and on on my previous experience the connection should be much better.
We had a good connection on Vodafone in Portugal earlier this year @matamoros
 
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I had the same problem with 3. Here is a screenshot of the answer when I asked why no 4g

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Three PAYG data Sims only work on 3G when roaming but often a lot slower. If you have a particularly slow connection try changing network you often get a significant improvement. Also bear in mind with Three PAYG you only get 60 days roaming over a 12 month period and you have to remember to reset it by using it in the UK when you come home or it thinks you are still roaming.
Reset after 29 days counts as zero days, reset after 59 days only counts as 30 days, go over 60 days you are stuffed.

has this 60 day roaming just started? when we were away from August last year we managed to use the one three PAYG SIM until we returned to the uk in March this year-it only stopped working a day after the 1 year we installed it. We used the 3G sim almost daily, at worst every other day?
 
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2657

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has this 60 day roaming just started? when we were away from August last year we managed to use the one three PAYG SIM until we returned to the uk in March this year-it only stopped working a day after the 1 year we installed it. We used the 3G sim almost daily, at worst every other day?

The clause in the agreement has always been there but the application seems to be a little haphazard to say the least.

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quilkin

quilkin

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I had the same problem with 3. Here is a screenshot of the answer when I asked why no 4g
Thanks telsdog , at least you got an honest answer from your support guy.
So now we know, if you want a decent speed in rural France don't use a 3 PAYG SIM.
Thanks to al others for input as well.
p.s. I have tried changing network providers, it's easy enough on the phone but is there a simple way to do this when the SIM is in a MiFi (Huawei e5577cs)?
 
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2657

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So now we know, if you want a decent speed in rural France don't use a 3 PAYG SIM.

I have used 3 sims for a few years now and nearly always managed to get a reasonable signal on one of their authorised networks and we do stop in some rural locations.

There are black spots on all networks.
If yours is a Huawei device try 192.168.1.1 to access settings, user name and password both admin, some devices have a slightly different number.
 
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2657

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Downloading is often ok but I find they really fall over when uploading.

You may well be correct but I do very little uploading, strangely the Vodafone sim I am using at the moment is giving me better upload speeds than download but both very poor at 1.4 Mbs and 0.4 Mbs.

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Brucek

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I have a dual sim phone, currently iD and giffgaff. In Spain and France this year I noticed that iD was regularly on H+ and giffgaff was 3G while they were both connected to the same local network. Odd isn't it? Sort of suggests that different providers have different arrangements with European networks
 

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