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How do I get the Best 3G Coverage?

By S. Gonzales
Updated May 16, 2024
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With mobile devices, a user can remain connected to the Internet without having to be at home. Recent technological advances in mobile networking bring high speed Internet connections to the average user without restrictive wires. Using a 3G network, a user can work, play, and keep digital connections alive while on-the-go simply by signing up for 3G service. The following tips can aid a user in obtaining the best 3G coverage at his disposable.

Researching carriers before signing up for 3G service can help subscribers get the best coverage. Pull up and compare coverage area maps, and make sure that you will receive a steady and strong 3G signal in any areas where you anticipate using 3G services. For example, if you plan on using 3G at work, at home and other spots that you may frequent, verify that those places fall within the carrier's coverage maps. It is important to remember that 3G coverage does not apply to all areas.

Determine what happens when you and your device roam outside of a 3G coverage area. Many carriers switch to a 2.5G network like EDGE when the device leaves the 3G area. If the device will default to 2.5G, study the 2.5G network maps to verify that you will always have coverage, even if you are out of a 3G area.

Find out what extra equipment you will need to access a 3G network. Inspect your device and determine whether it requires an ExpressCard™, a USB device, or if the necessary hardware for a 3G connection is already integrated into the device. Some carriers may require that you download software to connect to their 3G services. Be aware that this equipment and software may cost extra.

Optimizing a device's network settings can significantly increase network speeds. Users should not make the mistake of thinking that they automatically have the best speeds possible because they are in a proven 3G coverage area. In reality, different devices can vary in network speed. This can be easily remedied by optimizing the network speeds. Downloading third-party, free software can help users make sure that their connections are as fast as they can be.

Once a user signs up for 3G coverage, it's best to take advantage of any return policies that the carrier may offer. Taking devices into 3G areas and making sure that they function properly can save a user from having to deal with low signals or faulty equipment. Test upload, download and network speeds by using any website designed to do so.

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Discussion Comments
By anon63389 — On Feb 01, 2010

the part that talks about defaulting to a 2.5G network, if 3G is not available is important, especially because this is usually not posted on cell phone coverage maps.

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