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Maybe connectivity isn’t as important as I thought

So this past week I’ve been having problems with Verizon DSL, my ISP. I decided to turn lemons into lemonade and have a serious attempt to switch over to Virgin Mobile. They have a pay as you go broadband plan with unlimited internet for $40.

Other than the Kindle, this was my first wireless plan. I liked the price, and I liked that I could take the connection with me. I’ve been using it since Monday (yes, my Verizon connection has been down for 3 days). BTW, this is the second time I used it. I also used it on my trip to Philadelphia last month, with similar speeds.

Virgin Mobile are using the Sprint network, and supposedly have good data coverage in my area.  Would you be surprised to find out that good coverage means a download speed of 20KBps? I was. Let me give you some details to compare it to. An old dial up modem can download at 56KBps. My Verizon DSL had a download speed of 200KBps (when it worked).

I can’t beleive anyone is actually paying for this.  Yes, it’s great to get information whenever, but I think of it this way: I’m paying how much for how little?

This is giving me a whole new understanding of 3G data networks. I really don’t understand why anyone would get a 3G equipped iPad or tablet. The benefits do not outweigh the cost.

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Baldur Bjarnason December 15, 2010 um 11:16 am

When I’m in the UK I use 3G (well, HSDPA) data connections a lot.

My speeds are usually over 200 KB/sec and peak at around 300 KB/sec.

Sounds like you’re getting EDGE speeds there, I doubt you’re getting a 3G connection at all.

Nate the great December 15, 2010 um 11:39 am

I’m just going based on what VG have on their website. They say I have 3G coverage. Obviously it’s not true.

Mike Cane December 15, 2010 um 2:16 pm

See if @svinge on Twitter can help you.

Darryl Adams December 15, 2010 um 2:31 pm

3g is relative. It also depends on reception and line of sight. You may get better speed outside or down the street

igorsk December 15, 2010 um 4:08 pm

Make sure you’re not confusing bits and bytes. The dial-up 56K was 56 kilobits, which resulted in around 5 kilobytes per second of the actual download speed.

Nate the great December 15, 2010 um 4:25 pm

Whoops. I thought it was the other way. (Can you tell it’s been a while since I used dial-up?)


Luqman December 16, 2010 um 8:10 am

Virgin Mobile can be very slow depending on where you are at. At my home it was decent (youtube videos downloaded at a respectable rate). At work it was horrendous. T-Mobile was quite good as was Sprint itself. It depends on the carrier.

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