January 27, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Blog | No comment

These days I find myself using the train a lot. I travel frequently at weekends to Bristol or home, the odd once or twice to London or somewhere where I fancy going. If I’m going to Bristol and back, I’m most likely to have my laptop on me which has a built in 3G card. So great! I can browse and do stuff on the internet while travelling.


(This could beg the question why First Great Western don’t provide wifi on their HST trains, CrossCountry do, but it’s no good if it’s as reliable as I’m about to describe).

You would think networks would strategically place their masts along a busy Great Western Mainline from Bristol to London wouldn’t you. There are lots of people using trains, a lot of businessmen and women using laptops who want to get onto the internet. Evidently that’s not the case.

Signal is patchy, at the best of times. This is not just in the more rural Bristol to Swindon stretch, but say between Didcot and Reading as well. I will frequently travel past a cell, get perfectly clear 3G signal, only to find about a minute later I’m suddenly on 2G or on nothing. What I find the most annoying though is sometimes even though I’m connected and have a perfectly strong 3G signal, I still have no internet and have to physically disconnect and reconnect to get things working again. By then I’ve lost the signal anyway. Great.

My experiences are based on using a combination of 3 and EE (T-Mobile/Orange). Both are patchy. I’m not sure what O2 or Vodafone are like but I bet they’d be similar experiences.

This is frustrating to me mainly because the main reason I have a 3G contract still is the fact I use my laptop on the rail as it were. I’m sure many other people who use 3G may have similar thoughts, as in why is signal patchy on a busy main rail line. It’s not a nice user experience.

Sigh… at least I had signal to post this Open-mouthed smile

January 27, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Blog | No comment

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