Don’t Shoot the Messenger (or in This Case the Dongle)

Very often when a new mobile phone is released people rush to buy it thinking that somehow this model will allow them to have fewer dropped calls or hear more clearly. While it is true that the audio output of mobiles can vary slightly from model to model, it is a greater truth that her majesty’s government regulates the ability of all mobile phones and similar devices. Mobile phone transmission and reception output is capped in the UK at 2 watts per phone. Every phone maker in the world tweaks their handsets to the maximum allowable standard. One phone is no more capable than another to receive or send signals.

Dongles for laptops are exactly the same. Popular brands of dongles such as Motorolas and Nokias are limited in their ability to handle data signals. Hence one dongle is pretty much the same as the next. So why then do some work better than others?

Pay as you go dongles are now so low priced that one can purchase them simply as a backup system for business travel or in case of a home landline outage. Prices start as low as ten pounds, and that is without the need for a long term mobile broadband contract. With a sign up expect that dongle to be absolutely free.

These devices are cheap and all about the same in terms of performance. What sets them apart is the company selling them no, not the manufacturer, the mobile broadband provider. Consider that your mobile phone or mobile broadband provider must send a nice clean digital signal to your phone from a tower. That signal must travel through quite a few non wireless connections before it reaches you. At each of these connection points there is both congestion and room for error. Basically the more successful a mobile provider is the more that the ability to process signals is shared. This doesn’t mean the you will get better data streaming speeds from a smaller company. The large telecoms providers have a proportionately larger software and hardware network. What does vary is the amount of relative investment the UK’s largest mobile phone companies put into new technologies and upgrade of infrastructure. A few years back BT sold a million new landline for broadband subscriptions, based a promise that their entire network would soon be fibre optic. They are just now, well over 5 years later getting around to creating that network.

Speed test tools that are available absolutely free on the internet will allow you to judge for yourself which companies are the best for mobile broadband. And low cost pay as you go dongles with no contract allow you to risk just ten pounds to test the speed of any UK broadband provider. Remember, your mobile phone or dongle is not what delivers a slow signal. That poor reception is based on a slow transmission from your mobile broadband provider.


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