The latest dongle technology comes to Three.

I can’t live without my dongle. There, I’ve said it. As head of Mobile Broadband it probably comes as no surprise to you, right? Well more than 1 million of you now have one on Three, so I suspect that I’m not alone.

Though we suspected we were on the cusp of something big when we launched the UK’s first £10 a month Mobile Broadband plan back in 2007, we couldn’t have imagined then how quickly the dongle would become such a staple part of our digital lives.

We’ve tried to stick to two broad principles when it comes to Mobile Broadband, and the first of those is value. We always saw the future of mobile being driven by data, and you’ll still find that our Mobile Broadband price plans offer the biggest allowances on the market – our 15GB plan is still our most popular.

Principle two is quality of service which is key, with network speed being a big part of that. We’ve spent millions over the last three years to bring you a strong and reliable 3G network, so that when you connect to it you get a signal that doesn’t drop and speeds that let you do more of what you love when you’re online.

So now we’ve got an announcement to make; a new addition to our dongle family that I believe supports both of those principles. On 7th April we’ll be bringing a new premium dongle to Three.

The premium dongle comes with the latest HSPA+ technology to give it greater network performance. And a brand new form factor which is its rotating head which allows it to point vertically upwards instead of sideways allowing it to grab hold of our 3G network more easily. The rotating head also acts as a cap so you’ll never have to worry about losing that extra bit of plastic again.

The rotating head coupled with a new chipset has meant that in our own speed tests we’ve seen the premium dongle deliver speeds up to 40% faster than some of our older models. So whether you’re updating your Facebook status or replying to your work emails you can now do it a lot quicker.

Existing Pay As You Go or Pay Monthly customers who are not eligible for upgrade, can purchase the premium dongle for £59.99 from or 3Store from 7th April. Existing Pay Monthly Mobile Broadband customers who are eligible to upgrade can call 500 from a Three handset or 0843 373 0500* from a landline, to hear what offers are available, and order from today. You can find out more about it here.

Matt in the Mobile Broadband team here has made a quick video to take you through the benefits of premium dongle – take a look and let us know what you think…We’ll also be hosting a few competitions over on our Twitter and Facebook pages, so keep an eye out for your chance to win one.

523 Responses to The latest dongle technology comes to Three.
  1. Moderator: John

    @globaljustice – Hi there, the modem that you have at present is not 4G compatible, nor are any modems on the market at present. However, we do stock the Huawei E5756 Mi-Fi device; connecting multiple devices at any one time and is ultra-fast; meaning it is capable of speeds of up to 42mbps. It would be a shame to lose a long-standing customer =( so we hope our team can come up with a plan that suits you.

  2. global justice

    Can the ZTE MF627 USB modem be upgraded to receive 4g?
    If so, how? and can it be done as you advertise ‘at no extra cost’?
    If not, you will lose a longstanding customer

  3. Moderator: Lauren

    @Fran – I’m afraid I can’t comment on any other companies services.

  4. fran

    why has voderpone got a better service for up streaming than you and yet you charge for this. why?

  5. Moderator: Kaz

    @Alan – thanks for you comments and I’ll pass them to our mobile broadband team for consideration.

  6. Alan

    I only have a minor criticsm; Design of the Premium Dongle. The swivelling connecter would be better if it didn’t connect the dongle back to front. At the moment when connected the user can’t see the indercator LED signifying signal strength recieved i.e. whether 3G or HSPA+ without refering to the desktop. Most inconvenient when using the new Wi-Fi Hub.

  7. Moderator: Lauren

    @Tim – I’ve passed your comments on to our Social Media Care team who will be in touch by email to investigate your issues.

  8. Tim

    Thank you for your response Lauren.
    Sorry I haven’t responded sooner, but guess what, the network which according to 3 has “no problems”, has major problems,,, I haven’t been able to connect at all for about a week.

    Please don’t tell me there is a problem with my system, because there quite obviously isn’t,,, unless hardware errors miraculously fix themselves,,, which of course they don’t.

    So quit with the excuses, admit there is a problem with your network and FIX it.

    My guess is that it is seriously congested.

    And no, I haven’t been in touch with Tech Team, because the last time I contacted them, they hung up on me, I was polite and respectful to them, would be nice if they were the same.

    Disgraceful company who have absolutely zero respect for their customers.
    Very professional conduct

  9. Moderator: Lauren

    @Tim – sorry to hear you’re still having issues. Have you spoken with our Mobile Broadband tech team regarding your signal issues?

  10. Tim

    If anyone is still being fed lies by these cowboys,,, just do a search for 3 MBB reviews. If the network and service are as good as they boast they are, than explain the countless thousands of bad reviews by dissatisfied customers.
    And the number of complaints about 3 MBB far outnumber the alternatives,,, do yourselves a favour and avoid this useless company like the plague.

    If I had the funds, I would be dragging them through the courts for breach of service contract and false advertising, unfortunately I don’t have the funds, perhaps if enough of us group together we can tear them apart in the courts,,, but wait, I must be in cloud cuckoo land,,, the regulators say they are on the side of the consumer but in reality these cowboys can ride rough shod over their poorly treated customers,,, profit, profit, profit,,, money is there God.

    /sarcasm on;
    Keep up the good work 3.
    /sarcasm off;

  11. Moderator: Kaz

    @Tim – Sorry to read that you have been having issues. Just checked the postcode you supplied and there are no issues with masts in your area and you should be getting strong indoor and outdoor coverage. I was wondering if you have tired using your MBB SIM in another device to see if that improves signal? Or tried using a phone on our network at this postcode? I can’t see any reason why your coverage should be bad and sorry I can’t really be of anymore help.

  12. Tim

    Excuses, excuses, excuses.
    3 things 3 are good at giving.
    I’ve been told it’s a problem with my dongle, which is of far better quality 3 supply, problems which miraculously fix themselves.
    My house is made from the wrong type of bricks.
    There is a problem with your local mast which will be fixed (when exactly). because If it has been “fixed”, it certainly hasn’t improved anything, network is worse than it has ever been.
    When I first started using 3 MBB the service was good, but it has steadily got worse, never any improvement.
    I know you can provide the service, sometimes, very rarely it actually works as “advertised”, but it never lasts long, disconnects, staying connected but absolutely no traffic downstream, always traffic upstream though, as if my dongle is “shouting” at the mast but the mast ignores it.

    Would love to hear the next excuse,,, please make it original, this is getting very boring now.

    It amazes me how these cowboys stay in business

  13. Moderator: Kaz

    @Melanie – Please can you supply a full postcode and I’ll check for coverage in that area. Alternatively you could use our coverage checker

  14. Melanie

    @Paul did you get an answer to ‘I want to use a dongle in Earls Court exhibition halls, will this dongle give better reception?’ I shall be attending an exhibition in a few weeks and really could do with knowing the answer?

  15. Moderator: Kaz

    @Tim – So to here that you are still having network issues, I’ve just checked and your 2 local masts are not working at 100%. However there is worked planned on both these masts starting this weekend, hopefully by early next week your network issue should be fixed.

  16. Tim

    Well after almost 1 week of perfect operation, I believe your theory that it’s my hardware at fault is complete and utter rubbish.
    Because, correct me if I am wrong, hardware doesn’t suddenly work perfectly and then go back to its previous (in 3′s expert opinion) faulty state.
    Get it fixed, I know you can provide a stable connection, one day last week I managed to stay online, with a useable connection for approx. 10 hours,,, yes TEN hours.
    Now thanks to 3′s incompetence I’m lucky if it stays connected for 5 minutes.

    For what it’s worth here is my postcode yet again,,, (REMOVED)

    I will also repeat myself from a previous message,,, if I sold a product to 3 that “sort of worked as advertised”, they would be chasing me through the courts for breach of contract.
    But us, the customers can damn well whistle can’t they.
    Oh and by the way, the BBC are investigating 3 and the other MBB providers, hopefully they will bring to light the truth behind these despicable companies.

    P.s. 4 disconnects in the time it’s taken me to type this,,, and it’s not a very long message is it ?
    Would you accept a “service” of this quality ?

  17. paul

    I want to use a dongle in Earls Court exhibition halls, will this dongle give better reception?

  18. paul

    I want to use a dongle in E

  19. Moderator: Kaz

    @Greg – Sounds like there is either an issue with your dongle or a temporary network issue. Please can you provide a full postcode so I can check for recent mast problems.

  20. Greg

    Hi, my dongle speeds used to be great. Lately however all the dongle does is flash the green light on and off repeatedly On for 1 second off for 2 seconds over and over. I have tried uninstalling and reinstalling software but no change.

  21. Paul

    Great video. So upbeat, refreshing and straight to the point. I now have one. Even in my poor reception area it works great.

  22. Moderator: Johanna

    @rae – if you post your full postcode I can take a look for you?

  23. rae

    hi i have a big problem i h=got a message from 3 saying they were updating in my area and now i cant get on to the internet at all please help me as i am disabled and cant go out the internet is my life yours not happy rae

  24. eddy

    I have got the same problem, the new huawei e353 performs worse than my old ZTE MF112. The huawei dongle keeps swithing to 3G speed mode (while ZTE will constantly operate in HSUPA), browsing the web is poor, streaming hardly works, and single file download while works (it takes minutes to reach the same speed that ZTE could reach in 10 seconds) the extra speed kicks in when you already downloaded like 80% of the file. I will be swithing back to my old ZTE MF112.

  25. Moderator: Kaz

    @Matt – This does not sound good. There could be two reasons for this issue, there is a faulty mast in your area or your dongle is faulty. Please can you provide a full postcode so I can check signal. If this is OK, then the dongle may need to be looked at by our repair centre.

  26. Matt

    Hi there, have a new 3 dongle, huawei 3e67, i got this during december and started to use it in january! then recently the last, late jan – early feb, to todays date. it has been disconnecting at random times, sometimes a minute after i connect, sometimes a few hours but without fail now, it will disconnect! im a not satisfied with this. i had an older version of this with no problems, but this modem is being a let down! ringing up customer service and getting directed to a step by step guide wasnt the solution i require!

  27. Moderator: Johanna

    @Keith – Can you explain in a little more detail the issues you’re having?

  28. Keith

    Three and the Three networkd are pi$$ poor… never have I had so much trouble with a mobile phone…. still have 12 moths of a 24 month contract to go…..


  29. Moderator: Kaz

    @Tim – I’m really sorry to read that you’re still experiencing connection issues. I have just checked for coverage and any issues in your area and it all looks good. You should have strong indoor and outdoor signal. I am confused why this should be happening. It could be an issue with the dongle and may be worth calling our repair centre and discuss this. I can arrange for someone to contact you if you would like.

  30. Tim

    @ Kaz

    Firstly let me apologise for the delay in getting back to you.
    The reason for the delay was that I received a text message from 3 saying that they were carrying out maintenance in my area, this was just over 2 weeks ago, so I thought I would wait and see what happened.
    But guess what, the situation is worse than it ever was, indicated signal strength (which I know isn’t accurate) goes up and down like a kangaroo on a pogo stick bouncing on a trampoline. This to me would suggest that either your masts are randomly roaming across the countryside or, and this seems more likely, I am being bounced yet again from mast to mast, when this happens I lose all connectivity and have to unplug and then reconnect my dongle to get it working again, although this doesn’t always fix it.
    OK this doesn’t sound like much of a problem to you I’m sure, but when you suffer from a disability which makes standing let alone bending over to the back of my PC extremely painful this gets very tiresome.
    I really am starting to lose patience with 3, their utterly useless and expensive to call Customer Support and there
    pathetic excuses.
    Oh my postcode is (REMOVED)
    Yours disgustedly,

    P.s. In the time it has taken to type this out the connection has dropped out more than 6 times,,, it’s nice to see your maintenance is as reliable as the rest of the service you provide.

  31. Moderator: Johanna

    @Nick Wild – I’m afraid we don’t have the ability to check this for you… But we are still rolling out HSPA+ across the majority of our network.

  32. nick wild


    Can your check whether I can receive HSPA+ from my local cell
    S36 [removed by Mod]



  33. Moderator: Kaz

    @Tim – really sorry to read this, sounds like there could be a local mast issue, please can you supply a full postcode and I will check for you.

  34. Tim

    So there is no maintenance in my area,,, perhaps there should be.
    For the last 3 days I have noticed the signal strength indicator fluctuating from 5 bars down to zero bars, then back upto maybe 3 bars, but fluctuating as if I am being switched between masts.
    When this switching occurs the speed of the connection drops below what it is already, which isn’t good anyway, or I have to unplug the dongle and plug it back in to get any sort of connection again,,, have you any idea how frustrating this is.

    Oh and as far as calling 333 is concerned, yeah that would be great if I had a 3 mobile phone (after the experience I’ve had with your appalling MBB service, do you really think I would own one.) but I don’t and the thought of getting even more frustrated speaking to your utterly worthless customer support team and it costing me an arm and a leg, does not sound appealing.

    I find it absolutely amazing that you are allowed to sell a product that “sort of works” and can get away with it with impunity it seems.

    Appalling company, appalling customer support, fantastic hype, about the only thing 3 are good at.

  35. Moderator: Johanna

    @Tim – There is no maintenance happening at the mo in your area, so if you’re still having coverage issues you’ll need to give the team on 333 a bell so they can run some diagnostics.

  36. Tim

    Well, the promised email from 3 never materialised and the service in the RH19 2AG (Please Moderators, do not remove my postcode,,, I want to warn other potential customers in my area of the situation) area has certainly not improved in any way.

  37. Moderator: Johanna

    @Nick – Sorry to hear your issues haven’t been resolved with the new mast. I’ve checked again for you and another nearby mast is due an upgrade on December 12 – work completed on the 16th, so this could be impacting the signal. With regards to your software update query, I’m going to drop you an email and get someone a little more technical to take a look for you.

  38. Nick

    Still having speed issues with my e367 dongle,my postcode is TQ1 [removed by mod]..Johanna checked for me a few months back and explained that one mast was having maintenance and that a new mast was going to go live within 3 months(this made me very happy)..sorry for not replying sooner and thanks for your swift response before,I just thought that I would wait for the new mast to go live,which I`m presuming it has now as I have checked sitefinder and located a new mast in my postal area,but as of yet I have seen no improvement :( could you check again for me please ;) Also when I connected my dongle Friday morning,a pop up appeared saying that a software upgrade had been downloaded and was ready to be installed,saying that it would be the next time I ran 3 connect..So I disconnected and closed three connect,obviously hoping that this would provide some sort of improvement as it has in the past..but when I reconnected the dongle it just ran as normal,it didn`t install anything,normally get an installation screen etc…Is there any way to run the update agent manually,or is there any-where I can download an offline installation copy..I have checked 3`s support page as I have downloaded the dashboard,firmware etc from there before(for the dongle I previously had),but could not see any updates for my dongle,just a firmware update for the e122,nothing for the e367..This is what it says in the diagnostics log,Display Version:,Product Version from wilog.exe:,Res File version: .not sure the firmware I up to date?Please help,and thanks for your honesty before,it was refreshing I had expected you to deny that my area was congested as the people in the local three store had always told me it wasn`t..The software nearly always reports a full 5 bar signal as well..looking in the log it says this ParseSignalQualityHuawei | SignalQuality( iRSCP = -99 iECIO = -12) = 100
    which leads me to believe that my area is still over-congested but I don`t see how as I only live in a town and if the new mast is live then there are three masts now,this should be enough for a town of our size :( from 7 til 12 in the evening the speeds average between 50-100kb/s,very slow indeed..Only picks up after twelve at night and gets worse again by 12 noon..It progressively worsens as you get nearer to the 7pm mark. Uploading is always much faster than my older huawei dongle though.

  39. Moderator: Johanna

    @Tim – Morning… I’ve just emailed you for a little more info, so we can try and get this resolved for you.

  40. Tim

    Come on 3, how about actually providing a service that works, rather than more excuses.
    If I was to sell a product that “sort of worked” to 3, I am absolutely certain their legal team would be banging on my door demanding action,,, yet 3′s unlucky customers just have to put up with excuses.
    Disgusting way to conduct a business, you should be ashamed.
    Oh no, that’s right, I keep forgetting, profit’s are far more important than anything else, the customers who actually part with their money for a service that does not work as advertised can go whistle.

    @ Andy, don’t hold your breathe waiting for an answer. If you do get one, it wont be 3′s fault, it will be

    (A) A fault with your PC (Been told this so many times,,, even after a completely fresh install of Windows)
    (B) Your house is made from the wrong type of bricks (I was actually told this once by a member of the crack CS squad,,, at least that gave me a good laugh, one of the very few “positive” experiences I’ve had with 3)
    (C) You had to much muesli for breakfast (OK, I made that one up,,, but it sounds like it should be added to “3′s BIG BOOK OF EXCUSES”

    I apologise if this post sounds angry but that’s probably because I am.

  41. Andy

    Reading back through the comments, one common thing emerges, which is that people are consistently getting what would be regarded as acceptable upload speeds for fixed broadband. My fixed line is probably pretty average for an suburban location, around 10Mbps down and 1Mbps up – a ratio of 10:1 seems to be about the norm for ADSL these days, however 3′s mobile broadband ratio seems to be somewhere around 1:3. It really is starting to look like someone got their sums badly wrong, and has allocated way too much bandwidth to the uplink side, leaving nowhere near enough for the downlink side, leading to the very heavy congestion and very slow speeds that people are seeing.

  42. Moderator: Kaz

    @kevin – Sorry to read that you are having speed issues, if you can supply a full postcode I’ll check for any issues in your area.

  43. kevin

    Hi, I have just purchased the latest 3G three dongle model E367u2 and I must say I am very dissapointed with it.
    You promise new speeds of 21mbps, but I can’t get know where near that at all, I have checked my nearest mast which is 500 to 800 yards from my home so I am recieving a good signal. But I am having trouble sometimes connecting, other times no connection at all. When I do finally get connected at first it seems extremely fast and just dies to a snail speed. Just browsing is really pain steaking, every page on ebay is taking so much time to open.
    Any sugestions please i’m at my wits end, I done a speed test and it came back with 0.8mbps downloading and 10mbps uploading. Surely these are wrong figures, but it really isn’t impressive at all. My old dongle E220 was only 3.6mbps and it was a vast improvement on this new edition. I never had one complaint about it, what is going on. your comments would be helpful.

  44. Andy

    Sorry, it is nothing at all to do with what mast I am connecting to, I can get the same set of results in any number of different locations – the best I had was 6Mbps on the train on the way to work, at work and at home I get results varying between 100kbps and 3Mbps. This is with an HSPA+ capable device, a Samsung Galaxy SII that I got on a 24th month contract over my first choice, the Sony Ericsson Arc S, specifically for it’s HSPA+ capability, with the intention of using to replace my fixed broadband. So now I am stuck with a long and expensive contract on a second choice phone on network that does not deliver anywhere near what it claims to be able to deliver.

  45. Tim

    Well it doesn’t surprise me that you claim there is nothing showing as wrong with the local masts,,, same old line from CS,,, then explain to me why has my signal strength dropped from 4 bars down to 2 in the space of 2 days,,, my dongle hasn’t moved, the masts haven’t moved.
    When this service works, it works well, no complaints,,, but when it doesn’t work (9 times out of 10) it is extremely frustrating.
    Britain’s fastest growing network = cram as many people onto over congested cells and then blame customers or their equipment for the problem.
    Fantastic service,,, NOT!

  46. Moderator: Kaz

    @Tim – Sorry to read this, I’ve just checked your postcode and can confirm there are no issues with any local masts and you should have strong indoor and outdoor coverage. I’m unsure how else I can help, the only thing I could suggest is that your phone/dongle/MiFi.

  47. Tim

    I love the fact that 3 keep spouting off about how fantastic they are and the fact that they are “The UK’s fastest growing network”, yet they still can’t provide a reliable service in the (removed) area. Sick and tired of being fobbed off with excuses by 3′s very polite but utterly useless Customer Support.

  48. Moderator: Kaz

    @Andy – sorry to read that. Please can you supply a full postcode so I can check for any issues in your area.

  49. Andy

    Waste of money upgrading to any the so-called premium dongles, 3′s HSPA+ service is a dog. At 5:00am, I can just edge it up to 3Mbps download, at the evening peak I have had it slow as 100klbps – no that is not a typo, I reall have sween it that slow. Oddly, the upload speeds are consistently better, I usually get at least 1mbps for upload speed. Which could imply that 3 are deliberatley choking the bandwidth, or that someone in one of there network support or deisgn teams has fouled up very badly.

  50. Tim

    3, about as much use as a chocolate teapot.

    @Tim Bain

    It feels like banging your head against a brick wall doesn’t it ?

  51. Moderator: Johanna

    @Tim Bain – Sorry to hear your frustrations. I’m going to drop you an email so our network team can look into it.

  52. Tim Bain

    Same response to poor connectivity complaints that I have had for over a year now, upgrades and work on masts. Alondside bragging about high speeds and awards it really annoys me. I have spent 3 of the past 7 days constantly disconnecting (it’s probably done that as I typed this) or not being able to connect at all. The warning about usage told me I had 20% left a few days ago in the middle of the night when it allowed me to do smething online for a few hours…and 20% of ANY data plan you sell cannot be 130 megs…mine should have said 600 megs. Topping up online is impossible as speeds if I can connect at all reliably enough are too slow to load the bank security page once data allowance has expired…I bought a voucher yesterday and wasn’t a bit surprised that the site took 5 attempts to accept that too.
    When I see a full bar signal indicated I’m pretty sure I’m not connected anymore, it means absolutely nothing at all. Having to resend emails and repost simple things like this post and reconnect doens of times a session is pathetic service in a good coverage area (according to several of the 3 guys who checked it), I don’t mind paying 30 to 60 quid a month for the CONVENIENCE of mobile broadband, it seems like robbery for a random service like I am paying for though. I get better connectivity on a train or coach in the middle of nowhere…the dongle works fine almost everywhere but at home where I could check it would work before I bought the damn thing.
    I know you won awards, if anyone asked me to say a good thing about 3 mobille I wouldn’t have a single thing to say. No-one in this area has. I even get sales calls trying to sell me a 3 mobile handset. :( Never.

    I apologise if this double posts, the dongle disconnected while I typed it and I’ve had to instal recovery software to save the retyping of things online….have you a clue how angry that makes you every time you do anything online?

  53. Moderator: Kaz

    @Ed Richardson – I’ve just checked coverage in your area and cannot see any issues with the masts you would connect to. The 40% faster relates to the technology inside the E367 dongle, not the network, so it should be faster. There maybe an issue with the dongle. If that’s the case it’s best to contact customer services on 0843 373 3333.

  54. Moderator: Kaz

    @Tony = Thanks for the great comment Tony. :-)

  55. Moderator: Kaz

    @B Harrs – This is something I will certainly pass onto the relevant department. I know we don’t have any plans at the moment.

  56. Ed Richardson

    Hello just purchased your premium E367 dongle which is supposedly 40% faster than the zte mf112 and the problem is its just not. Im reading around 4meg download for the MF112 and 1.2meg for the E367. Upload and ping however IS faster than the zte around 1.8meg compared to 0.9meg and 60ms down from 150ms. But the download is very dissapointing a quarter of the speed of the old one. Good thing is the signal is more constant, the speedtest graph was more of a straight line than the peaks and troughs I have seen in the past.

    Could you please advise on the situation, my post code is (removed by mod) and as far as im aware theres a mast around 1/2 a mile away and apart from a couple of trees in the way I am pointing directly at it!

    Also am using the dongle with a 3/4g router but the speed is no different directly connected to usb.

    I am happy with the stability of the signal I just expected the download speeds to be faster than the old one (as advertised) I dont know if this is because my nearest mast does not support the faster speeds? its just the old one was almost 4 times faster from the same mast.

    Please Help!



  57. Tony

    Hello All
    I wrote a few months ago (see 4 July) on how impressed I was with the new E367 Dongle. It’s just got a lot better now the “+” has appeared following the “HSPA” on the status window. See my Speed Test Net results over two days:
    10/01/2011 07:36 8.14 1.07 152
    10/01/2011 07:37 9.91 0.91 92
    10/01/2011 07:38 10.21 0.8 159
    10/01/2011 07:39 11.17 1.3 123
    10/01/2011 07:39 10.21 1.4 128
    10/01/2011 07:40 9.78 1.11 174
    10/01/2011 09:59 4.62 0.53 110
    10/01/2011 15:40 7.34 0.84 100
    10/01/2011 15:41 3.15 0.75 68
    10/01/2011 15:41 4.88 1.13 202
    10/01/2011 21:22 3.08 0.17 70
    10/01/2011 22:23 5.09 0.44 102
    10/02/2011 01:20 8.12 0.85 137
    10/02/2011 01:20 7.84 0.8 73
    10/02/2011 01:21 7.54 0.84 106
    10/02/2011 01:22 7.61 0.53 110
    10/02/2011 01:38 10.02 0.44 73
    10/02/2011 01:40 10.19 1.16 123
    10/02/2011 01:41 7.07 1.65 108
    10/02/2011 01:41 8.35 1.28 92
    10/02/2011 01:57 6 0.96 118
    10/02/2011 01:57 9.84 0.82 157
    10/02/2011 01:58 10.13 1.01 117
    10/02/2011 04:12 9.66 1.1 66
    10/02/2011 04:12 8.95 1.5 68
    10/02/2011 04:13 11.44 1.33 138
    10/02/2011 04:13 10.47 1.17 130
    10/02/2011 04:16 9.42 1.61 65
    10/02/2011 04:17 9.84 1.35 72
    10/02/2011 04:18 11.73 0.97 98
    10/02/2011 04:18 11.44 1.26 111

    Three Cheers for
    Trebles all round
    Tony C

  58. B Harrs

    I have both a phone contract (£35 a month) and dongle subscription (£10 a month) with 3, and find them both great. The only problem I have is that torrent downloads are blocked. I understand this on the 1GB £10 a month deals, but I think that 3 should offer a more premium package of some kind where these downloads are allowed. I have no interest in downloading music or films online, but sometimes when I have gone to download freeware utilities or stuff for work, they are only offered this way (eg hirens boot cd, a freeware compilation download I needed to repair a PC). I therefore can’t download them and have to wait until I get home to use my home broadband. If 3 stopped doing this, and offered a service where P2P wasn’t blocked, I would happily pay a lot extra and cancel my home broadband, using 3 entirely for my broadband needs…
    Is this not something the company would consider?

  59. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Cas – Sorry to hear that, our new HSPA+ devices (dongles and MiFi) deliver upto 40% performance improvements. They’ll continue to get faster as we complete our HSPA+ network side upgrades, which is well underway so hopefully you’ll see an improvement soon. Get back in touch if you don’t and we’ll see if there’s another issue.

  60. cas

    Disappointed with the premium dongle as just tried a speed test with it and the old 3 dongle (definitely in HSPA+ zone as premium dongle light was cyan) and the old dongle came out faster. I just switched my SIM from one to the other, so both tests done within a couple of minutes. Also the USB interface on the new dongle is fiddly to get into the USB port as it doesn’t have convential shape, which hinders alignment. Would send the premium dongle back, but too much hassle to tangle with 3 call centre…

  61. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Nick Wild – We can’t confirm where HSPA+ is at the moment I’m afraid.

  62. Nick Wild


    Can your check whether I can receive HSPA+ from my local cell
    S36 [Removed by mod]



  63. Moderator: Sedge

    @ I.A. – I’ve taken a look at your postcode and you appear to be in an area with strong indoor and outdoor coverage. There could be an issue with your dongle, if you give 333 a call they’ll be able to look into it for you.

  64. I.A

    Tried everything but still appalling speeds of download speeds at 0.63kbps. Using HSPA+ dongle! My postcode: W2 [Removed by mod] .

  65. William

    Got my premium dongle 4 days ago – it brings lightnling speed to my internet connection where I live half the times. I have done lots of speed tests (uSwitch). The results are very pleasing (download 5 – 25 Mb/s and upload 0.5 – 1.5 Mb/s).

    But Windows sometimes reckons there is an issue with the DNS server whereby the internet connection is virtually dead! Another gribe – the software, 3Connect, that comes with the dongle seems to take up quite a bit of RAM so I now make the connection using the dial-up wizard on Windows instead.

    Nonetheless, I am very pleased with the overall experience using the new dongle.

  66. James

    thanks @Sedge, I looked again at the 3connect app and see my connection is HSPA+, I had assumed I was on HSPA as the speeds are the same as my old dongle, no high speed up to 21meg here, maybe I’m missing something? 3meg seems a little slow (I had been hoping to see somewhere close to 10). Still the cost of the dongle upgrade isn’t all lost. It looks nicer!

  67. Moderator: Sedge

    @ James – We can’t confirm where HSPA+ is being rolled out I’m afraid.

  68. James


    Can you check my postcode to see if I will see HSPA+ any time soon please?

    CF32 [Removed by mod]


  69. Moderator: Kaz

    @cas – Sorry to read that you have struggled to find out the details you were looking for. You can purchase a PAYG version of the new dongle and put your contract sim into it. More details here

  70. cas

    We are on a monthly data contract (business) and I wandered into a 3 shop at the weekend and saw the premium dongle, which I’d really like to get. But… it seems I couldn’t get it instore (only for new contracts); yesterday rang the business number I was given in the shop (0843 373 3322) and they didn’t know the price as a standalone buy and said they would get back to me with a price (they haven’t) and finally I looked in the 3 store online and I can’t see where I can get it! Very happy with existing dongle, but more speed is always attractive. Can you help ? Sure there must be other contract customers happy to buy a new dongle for promise of faster data…

  71. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Paw – Don’t worry about your language – it made perfect sense :) I’ve taken a look at your postcode and you appear to be in an area with strong indoor and outdoor coverage so you should definitely not be having any speed issues. There could be an issue with the device, would you like me to arrange a call for you?

  72. Paw

    Hi all,

    I am contract customer, and I have some problem. I bought in 3 store new dongle Huawei E353 (which should delivers up to 40% faster browsing than my previous dongles ZTE MF112), and basically it is slower than my ZTE. I live in town center in Redditch (B98 [Removed by Mod]). Always I have full 5 bars signal range, connection is unstable and very often flickering between HSPA+ and 3G. However, internet works much more faster with my previous ZTE dongle, and the type of signal is always HSPA. Do you think that problem with Huawei E353 is normal?

    Speed test for Huawei E353:

    Sorry about my language, is not the best, but I’m not British.

  73. Moderator: Johanna

    @Nick – Sorry to hear you’ve had an inconsistent service. I’m sure you’ll understand we can’t turn customers down if they want to join us but by continued maintenance and mast upgrades we’re trying to make sure we have a strong network and you have a reliable service. I’ve checked your postcode and there is some maintenance happening on your nearest mast – due for completion on September 13. There’s also a new mast planned, which will be live within 3 months.

  74. Nick

    I have been a 3 monthly contract customer for just over two years now..Firstly with the old hsdpa dongle(huawei),the speeds were awful, at first couldn`t connect or load a page or anything,dial-up speeds 50-60kb/s(awful),then three do work on the mast the service improves to a satisfactory/good level,between 300kb/s and 1.5MB/s :) …Then as time goes on you seem to take on way too many customers very quickly,within 3 months(sometimes less) the speeds return to dial-up(this process has been repeated a few times in the duration of the contract)..I`d say the cell is heavily congested in my area(TQ1 xxx)…Recently my contract was due for renewal and upon reading the glowing reviews of your new HSPA+ Huawei dongle(E367),and the fact that we had received texts on two occasions,about planned maintenance,now would be a good time to test out the new dongle and renew my contract(24 months again)..The upgraded dongle is no better :( ,(apart from uploading which is really fast at all times),still getting very slow speeds at peak times(50kb/s-80kbs max) and average speeds between 12-4pm,the only time it ever hits 1MB/s or above is between the hours of 1am-7am..At first I made excuses as the stick was displaying HSPA not HSPA+ but as of today the + has been added and I see no difference..Please could you let me know when the network will be upgraded again in my area..When your network works correctly it is ace,it just seems a shame that you add to many people so fast and it all messes up again :(

  75. I.A

    @Moderator: Sedge

    I am always facing slow speeds even around the times 1am and 6pm and 10am. When I download something I am getting a download speed of 7-11kbs and that is really bad and I am using a HSPA+ dongle(Huawei E353) and I hope to see a improvement in the next couple of weeks or I might have to change networks and I do not want to change networks but lets hope there are improvements made to my area. Thanks!

  76. Moderator: Sedge

    @ I.A. – We’re always looking for ways to improve and grow our network, unfortunately I’ve taken a look at your postcode and there’s not currently any scheduled maintenance work. Do you always experience slow speeds or is it at a specific time? Hopefully we’ll get to your area soon.

  77. I.A

    I am facing really slow coverage in my area(postcode): W2 [Removed by mod].
    I have been a Three Mobile Broadband customer for 2-3 years now and I have been facing slow internet connection and I have been using it like that for 2-3 years now and I have given up on it but I am still using it but there needs to be a network upgrade in my area(W2 [Removed by mod]) as I can’t browse the internet when it is so slow. I get 2 and sometimes 3 bars in the 3 Connection Manager and I have the new standard dongle that has HSPA+ (Huawei E353) and it has not lived up to its expectation and I have tried using it outside but I still had no luck. There needs to be something done about this as the speed I am getting is below 1mb Broadband. Please can there be a network(speed mainly) upgrade real soon as I am considering switching networks. But for now I will see what you can do about this but if nothing has improved then I may have to make a switch. Please arrange a upgrade. P.S: Please Reply. Thanks!

  78. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Ben – Great to hear that you’re happy and you’ve seen the improvements :)

  79. Ben

    ***Congestion Update***

    So as promised, after a recent mast upgrade to ‘ease’ congestion I can give some early feedback results.

    Its been around 2 weeks since the work was carried out & there has been a drastic improvement in terms of useability.

    From struggling to even load a page during peak hours I can now hit speeds of around 1.5 Mbps for both Up/Downloads.

    I have to say that I’m very shocked (in a good way) as I had wrongly assumed that the upgrade would make no difference & was just a publicity stunt to fob off irate customers.

    So once again – top marks to 3 & thank

  80. Moderator: Johanna

    @Ben – No probs and glad you got an SMS with timings. Masts are often upgraded to help improve congestion. Do let us know how you get on!

  81. Ben

    @ Johanna,

    Thanx for the info, it was a pleasant surprise to have the congestion factor acknowledged. So I called CS but they couldn’t give me a date for the mast upgrade/work – just that it ‘could’ be any time in the next few months.

    Anyhow I received a text 19/8/11 informing me that work is to be carried out ….. starting next week, so hopefully this will help (assuming its the congestion issue) I now MAY have to be without a signal for a while (although last time work was done it was ok so fingers crossed.

    Any way I will let you (& for the readers of the blog) know what happens and whether or not it makes a difference to ease the congestion at peak times.

    Again thankyou for providing the info.

  82. Moderator: Johanna

    @Ben – From what your describing it sounds like congestion as the masts are busiest at peak times. The good news is there’s a new mast planned for your area, which will ease this giving you faster speeds round the clock. We can’t access a date but if you call CS they may be able to give you more info.

  83. Tim

    @ Johanna
    Quick update on my theory about the trees,,, scrap it,,, I was actually getting over 5 Mb/s earlier, compared to the more normal of approx. 0.2 Mb/s. Nothing has changed, dongle hasn’t been moved, no trees have been chopped down. I wasn’t hopping on one leg with the dongle in one hand,,, nothing different.
    So why the massive difference in speeds ?
    This conclusively shows me your network can deliver the speeds you state but almost never does.
    I have never seen speeds as high as 5 Mb/s, at any time of day before.
    But guess what, speeds have now dropped back to what I’m used to, slow, slow, slow.
    Yes I have been in touch with your crack squad at customer support, there response, as usual, was to blame everything and anything except for the real problem,,, 3′s seriously crippled and under funded network.
    But that’s OK, I understand that your shareholders greed and insatiable desire for ever higher dividends come first,,, the people who give you there hard earned cash, for a service that rarely meets anything that could be even vaguely described as Broadband, come second.
    The only thing that’s any good about 3 is the PR spin, maybe you (3) should consider going into politics, being economical with the truth is a prerequisite.
    Anyway, I’m getting bored of banging my head against a brickwall.

  84. Ben

    @ Kaz,

    You see what I’m saying though yes, for 8 months now day in day out, the Network is consistent with very fast speeds between 1am – 7am (when most people have logged off & gone to bed.)

    Then during daytime 7am – 4pm it is hitting reasonable speeds (whilst most people are at work/school)

    Re: Possible mast upgrades/improvement, My area was upgraded 2/3 months ago. So this tells me that either they need upgrading again to be able to handle capacity or its down to traffic ‘management’.

  85. Moderator: Johanna

    @Ben – We can see congestion on the tool we have so if you provide a postcode we can double check this for you and also see if there are network improvements planned for your area. We do manage traffic as you say during peak times to make sure that everyone has a consistent service.

  86. Moderator: Johanna

    @Tim – Tall trees blocking the mast could well cause signal issues. Do you notice an improved signal when/if the trees have no leaves? Have you spoken to our network team, via calling 333?

  87. Ben

    @ Kaz,

    KAZ wrote

    “Sorry to read that you are having issues. They may be a coverage issue in your area. If you can supply a full postcode I can check for any issues.”

    I appreciate your polite reply, but I’ve had my 3 dongle and mobile since Jan/Feb and as I stated I steer clear of peak time surfing and wouldnt evan try to download. Why ? Not because there may be a problem with a mast but because its CONGESTED – FACT.

    I know that there is nothing wrong with it – unless it has been hi-jacked by aliens who are using the Network ONLY at peak times then gradually log off from around Midnight. I realise that this must be just as frustrating for you and your team knowing what the situation is but not being able to do anything about it.

    As I say I know that this is going on with all networks and I’m very happy with my service – because luckily I dont work (you know what I mean :–]) so I just wait till gone MN.

    During the day things are ok, not as fast as MN – 7am but reasonable, then it gradually starts to slow down and becomes un-usable from 6pm. However I have noticed that It is faster on the Laptop than my Samsung Galaxy – there is much more power like the processor so this is not surprising.

    I feel sorry for the people who either 1) Need to use the web before the early hours due to work, and I also feel sorry for 2) the people who are not quite as clued up (tech wise) and get their post code checked to be told that all is well with no reports of faulty masts etc.

    I just hope/wish that the new technology gets rolled out fast and that it helps out these poor people who simply cannot use what they are paying for. I know that your hands are tied in terms of what you can say/not say/admit but the fact that 3 state that they dont throttle data speeds BUT ” traffic manage ” at peak times :–]

  88. Tim

    @ Kaz
    I’m sorry, I have given my details many times, fruitlessly.
    I think I may have discovered the problem myself though.
    The mast, which I am almost 100% certain covers the area I am in, is surrounded on more or less 3 sides, by trees, thickly leaved trees.
    This I am lead to believe, isn’t the ideal situation, apparently leaves are very good at soaking up radio waves.
    Now I’m not suggesting for one minute that trees should be lopped down for my convenience.
    But in future, maybe think before locating masts, local surroundings change.
    Or, divert some of your obviously massive advertising budget and put some more masts up.

  89. Moderator: Kaz

    @Tim – Sorry to read that. If you can supply a full postcode I will check for any issues in your area.

  90. Tim

    @ Ben
    Well said, I couldn’t agree more.
    Over congested doesn’t describe it, totally clogged up I would say.

  91. Moderator: Kaz

    @Ben – Sorry to read that you are having issues. They may be a coverage issue in your area. If you can supply a full postcode I can check for any issues.

  92. Ben

    Ok so 1st up just for the record I love my dongle (ZTE MF112) & wouldn’t swap it for any other network.

    Despite what I’m about to post, like it or not if you switch to a new provider you won’t get faster speeds unless of course you are moving due to signal issues.

    Despite having the older dongle I have hit speeds of 10 Mbps. Of course I only get this kind of speed after midnight.

    Thankfully for me this is not a problem, & again as I have stated before I won’t evan try to connect at peak time.

    However one day this week I found myself in a position where I HAD to & suddenly found myself in the same situation as many others here on the blog. It was 8:15 pm & it took 3 attempts just to log on as the first 2 timed out. So I decided to do a speed test – so often a source of joy & proud bragging rights that I have posted results on here & other forums – but not this time, 0.01 Mbps was the result – & bear in mind that the first 2 attempts were so slow that I couldn’t evan connect ! So this made me wonder, was this the norm for peak time ? Or was this just very bad look/timingon my part ?.

    So often have I read posts from angry customers here on the blog but just assumed that people were over reacting or exaggerating. So I did some research/testing at the same time every night (several different times per night) mon-thurs. The results were NOT GOOD ! out was the same EVERY NIGHT – I simply couldn’t do anything at all as the speeds were just to slow to evan load a page let alone think about trying to d/l anything !

    So I now totally understand how FRUSTRATING this must be if you can’t put your surfing on hold til after midnight as I can.

    So not for me but all the other long suffering customers what can we expect from 3 in terms of easing the congestion as the network is CLEARLY MASSIVELY OVERLOADED ? Will things ACTUALLY get better with the roll out of this new technology ? or is it just going to ease the strain ever so slightly that out won’t make an y difference as more & more people go for AYCED, as Smartphones get faster etc.

    It has been suggested that by the time the new technology is fully rolled out & up & running that this will hardly make any difference & will need upgrading AGAIN !

  93. Moderator: Kaz

    @Tim – Sorry to read you have been having issues. I can arrange a call from customer services to discuss the issue. I will send you an email shortly, if you could reply with your account details we can get the process started. Thanks.

  94. Tim

    Hi moderators, I think you should check this out,
    The Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982
    3 are clearly in breach of this,,, I’ll be seeing you cowboys in court,,, I’m really looking forward to it.
    P.s. I’m posting this here because I’ve jumped through all your hoops,,, endless phonecalls, many of which your CS team have hung up,,, unanswered emails,,, and I have got absolutely nowhere.

  95. Terry

    Hi Sedge,

    no I am not, both my modems are payg



  96. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Terry – Just to confirm, are you a contract customer?

  97. Terry

    Hi Kaz,

    with regards to Tony’s and my issue with the E122 dongle, if Three did not think there was an issue with this model why have they taken down the following pages related to the datasuite, downloads and software, in fact if you type in E122 into three website search box you get zero results. On the other hand if search three’s site specifically with Google you find many pages relating this model, they are just not accessible, the above cited important pages just time out and report that the server takes to long to respond, given that a software/firmware fix should fix these issues and the pages are not available. You have to ask why?


  98. Terry

    Hi all,

    Firstly Tony, you have my deepest sympathy for your issue and I understand just why your so frustrated and angry.

    I have exactly the same issue with my E122 dongle on this network in the Broxbourne area where the signal strength is perfect. However, i have another dongle an MF112 also from ‘Three’ and i thought i would test it out in the same location on the same laptop. Would you believe that it worked with absolutely no issues and tremendous download speeds and is still going after 2 weeks of daily use. lol

    This E122 dongle has been highlighted on a number of forums included Huawei, the manufacturer, as having issues including what you have reported and furthermore some of those users have been from other networks. I believe that this model is seriously flawed and that ‘Three’ should have offered you a free exchange to say the MF122 (made by ZTE). They appear to be dancing around this issue because I imagine that the number of recalls and swaps would probably be financial headache for them.

    That said I do not have a personal issue with Three, their network is no worse than their competitors but 3rd party hardware issue are not their forte and they appear unable to press their supplier to provide a firmware/hardware fix for these dongles.

    Reading the responses of the moderators here, they come across as nice people in a difficult position of providing a response to angry users, but they are obviously limited in what they can say and their replies are based on what queries they have made in-house with a nod to not admitting anything that could be used against Three.

    That said….what about it moderators how about securing an MF122 dongle for both Tony and myself, it least then you know that you have helped a couple of customers with serious and seemingly unresolvable problems?


  99. Moderator: Kaz

    @Tim – I’m afraid you are correct, there is nothing showing up on service checker to say there are any issues in your area. All masts are working OK. The only thing I can suggest is to call CS and discuss your situation in more detail because there is not much more I can do here. Sorry.

  100. Tim

    So, if there are no errors showing up for the masts in the (removed by mod) area according to your automated system, please explain to me why Saturday night and all day Sunday the connection actually worked as you claim it should ( very nearly 6Mb/s ). But today, 25/7/11, the connection has slowed to a crawl yet again ( Less than 50Kb/s )
    It shows to me that your network can deliver the speeds promised, but very rarely does.
    Nothing has changed on my system, my dongle is in the exact same place, and I’m pretty certain no one has moved your masts.
    My guess is someone forgot to cripple the service in my area for the weekend, they realised the error today and put it back to “normal”.
    Either that or every single person on 3, other than me, decided to not use their phone or dongle, somehow this seems highly unlikely.
    I’m not going to hold my breath for some kind of explanation, because I know what you will say.
    “No errors reported” by your clever software I guess.
    Well the actual situation in the area says otherwise.

  101. IA

    Hi three!
    Three mobile broadband is great.
    I recently just created a 3g hotspot and I was wondering if you can link me to a download or website that can show me how much usage i have used.Example: I’ve used 15.1mb and the software should show that i have downloaded 15.1mb.
    Thanks….I’m using the ZTE MF112 Dongle and I am using a 3g Wifi router, the router company does not provide a usage monitor.:(
    Thanks Three and Moderator!

  102. Moderator: Kaz

    @Tony – Really sorry to read that I can’t help anymore. If there is anything we can assist with in the future, please let us know.

  103. Tony

    Like I said, there is no point supplying my postcode, I’ve had enough of 3′s blatant lies, blaming everything and everyone but themselves for their terrible service. I’ve gone elsewhere for my internet now.
    You just have to look at other sites to see the terrible service provided by 3 and the appalling way people are treated, complaints about 3 far outweigh the other MBB suppliers by far.
    Goodbye 3 and good riddance, your profits will not be growing at my expense any longer.

  104. Moderator: Kaz

    @Tony – sounds like you have an issue in your area, please can you supply your postcode so I can check the local masts.

  105. Tony

    What an amazing improvement in performance 3, you are to be congratulated.
    It’s just taken me 10 (TEN) minutes to download a 1 (ONE) minute and 34(THIRTY FOUR) second video, not even in HD, just bog standard Lo-Res.
    This isn’t funny anymore.
    You are blatantly selling a product/service that is not fit for purpose.
    No point in supplying my postcode, you must get so bored of telling the same old 3 PR rubbish.

  106. Moderator: Kaz

    @Tim – sorry to hear that you have been having coverage issues. I have checked your postcode and I have to agree our customer services team and say that there are no reported issues in your area, you should have excellent signal. I can only suggest that I arrange another call with customer services to discuss the issue further, please let me know. Sorry I can’t be a more help.

  107. Tim

    One other thing, slow speeds at peak times I can understand,,, but why does the connection just stop responding and require unplugging/plugging the dongle back in to re-establish a working connection?
    I expect thats Micro$ofts fault as well.
    I apologise for the sarcastic tone (or do I?) but I’m sick and tired of being told lie after lie from your pitiful excuse for Customer Support,,, for a communications company who constantly brag about how much better they are than the competition, 3′s communication skills leave a lot to be desired.

  108. Tim

    My full postcode is (removed by mod), I am unable to give further examples of speed test’s because I am now unable to connect to ANY speedtest sites, that’s probably because “There is nothing wrong with our service, it is not over congested and therefore its your PC at fault”. How many times do I have to hear this from your awful Customer Support team? Especially after a complete fresh install of Win 7 with ONLY your dongle software installed. Are you suggesting Micro$oft is at fault? I know Micro$oft aren’t brilliant, but they at least admit when something is wrong and FIX IT. And yes your coverage map would “imply” that I am in a good coverage area. One last thing, why do you advertise as “Pay As You Go” when it runs out after 1 month,,, surely that’s “Pay Per Month” isn’t it? One day 3 may be reliable, but certainly not now,,, grab that cash while you can guys.

  109. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Tony – It’s great to hear that you’re happy again and that you’re enjoying the Premium Dongle. Sorry to hear that you had a few problem with your previous dongle. I’m glad that’s now sorted :-) It’s always lovely to hear positive feedback.

  110. Tony

    Dear Modulators,

    I must have been one of the earliest users of pay-as-you-go broadband dongle technology since I purchased my unit the very afternoon I first saw it advertised in the national press some years ago. This was the Huawei dongle serviced by Three Mobile Broadband. My choice of network was therefore simply made on the basis that 3 was the first on the market to my knowledge, to offer this form internet connectivity. Most useful for me since a land-line is out of the question at my present abode, a mobile broadband is my only option. Anyway, thereon connection I think I had joined 21Century! What I initially thought would only be of peripheral interest, this form of communication has proved something, I now cannot do without. I therefore had no scruples in upgrading to an 18 months contract with 3 in April 2010. And since I was an existing customer, I was offered and signed up to a very attractive package for one of em ‘smart phones’ a few months later.

    So with many respects I am pleased that Three Network has been my broadband service provider for as much of the time since I joined up in 2008. Not the slightest of problems, that is, until February of this year. Then, all of a sudden, I was hit with appallingly low speeds and frequent connection breaks in service. I won’t go into details here because I will be reiterating much of the comment already posted on this thread. Out of frustration I phoned the service department and it was found that my local mast was operating at a low capacity and needed “engineering work”. Unfortunately, the polite lady said, that that particular mast is not scheduled for repair until July and offered me four months credit against my contract to compensate my inconvenience, which I accepted. And really I don’t think I could have expected anything better, after all I could still use the broadband though it would take a few minutes to load a single BBC news page.

    Although I accept the given explanation for my poor service, and I’m no expert, but I don’t think the problems I am experiencing is necessary a “mast problem” but rather one of the dongle. I deduce this because a few weeks ago, I connected my hitherto mentioned mobile phone to my desk top computer and clicked onto the broadband facility and had a perfect response. Switching back to the E122 Dongle and all the old problems were persistent again. Therefore in my opinion, and by a process of elimination, suggests to me it is the dongle what is at fault here. So noting that 3 have dropped the price of their new Premier Huawei E367 (1G pre-pay) to an affordable £34.99, I purchased one, using my existing contract SIM. Result. To say I’m not impressed would be an underestimation. In fact it’s brilliant. is giving me average 2.5 to 4 Mbps average responses over 4 days of testing (6.86 Mbps best) and not a single instance of a broken connection.

    Happy Again
    Tony C

  111. Ben

    @ Tim

    Hey m8, Your not on your own – despite my fast speeds after 1am, I don’t evan try to to connect during peak time.

    I think its just something that until this new technology is fully rolled out this is the way its gonna be.

    What I will say in defence of 3 is that the congestion is only at peak time (6pm – MidNight).

    Outside these hours you will not find another Network that can beat 3 – I know as I tried & failed to match the same speeds.

    I think a lot of people who complain about speeds during peak hours will be shocked to find it’s the same with EVERY network.

    The current system in place (for all the providers) was never designed for the kind of heavy usage that is being put on it as nobody expected smartphones to take off the way they did.

    However I do think the networks should be a bit more honest about explaining that things will slow down to a halt during peak hours – however that is never going to happen as that would be a Gerrald Rattner story, so for the time being it’s just a case of waiting for the new technology or avoiding peak time usage.

  112. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Tim – Sorry to hear you’re having coverage issues. Could you send through your full postcode and I’ll see if there’s an issue in your area :-)

  113. Tim

    Here’s another during “off-peak”
    look at the vast difference in speed, and apparently “There is nothing wrong with the network.”

  114. Ben Lowe

    Just in case anybody was thinking my previous post was a freak result I thought I’d do a more recent test.
    Here is the result,

  115. Tim

    So, tell me, how can this result
    possibly be classed as acceptable?
    Especially when 3 keep banging on about how this that and the other survey says they are the best.
    I live about 250 M. from the mast and these are the results I consistently get.
    Even in your non peak times.
    Two tin cans joined with a piece of taut string would be better,,, or maybe carrier pigeons.

  116. Ben

    @ Johanna,

    :–) Not far off but as you know there are many factors at work, I’m also on a new laptop which is also fast & powerful, & living in a small town so theres not too much congestion.

  117. Moderator: Johanna

    @Ben Lowe – Crikey! Are you sat on a mast? ;-)

  118. Ben Lowe

    Here is my dongle speedtest result – using standard MF112 = 9.84Mbps – this is fastest – but on average its 5/6Mbps after 1am.

  119. Moderator: Kaz

    @vince – That should not be the case, we would not restrict access after any period. Sorry to hear that you are experiencing speed issues, I would like to try and help. Please can you provide your postcode so I can check coverage in your area.

  120. vince

    i would agree with every thing you said tony great untill cancellation period has passed then slow and internitient blocks some websites and cant get help from free there staff are not well trained to deal with internet issues avoid if possible

  121. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Tony – Thanks for getting in touch with us here on the blog. I’m really sorry to hear that you’ve had a bad experience with us and that you’re unhappy. I think the reason why you’re experiencing different speeds, at different times, in different places is because the speed of our network varies from place to place and time to time. It also depends which services you’re trying to access and the remote servers that they run off. We don’t have any control over the remote servers, so this isn’t something that we can alter – this is the same from every network, not just Three.

    We’re working really hard on our network to bring everyone the very best experience with Three. Our network is constantly rated the Number one by YouGov for speed, coverage and liability so I’m really sorry to hear this isn’t what you’re experiencing. Let me know if there’s anything more that I can do to help, I can arrange a call for you if you’d like to speak to someone about your issue.

  122. Tony

    I took out a contract last August and during the first 2 weeks it was great – fast, reliable, always full 5 bars and HSPA connection. Downloads were quick and so was browsing. I could have cancelled during this time but there was no need, it was performing well. Then it fell apart – signal strength rarely 5 bars, connection continually flickering between 3g and HSPA, erratic connections, regularly stopped and needed unplugging, plugging back in and reconnecting. In other words it was horrible to use. I asked 3 several times for an explanation and never received one. Then I spent some time away and witnessed the same thing – fast and reliable to begin with, then it fell apart. I asked 3 several times for an explanation and never received one. They told me that it is coincidental, as it was when my contract first began. Shortly after returning back home, where the service was once again horrible, I moved to a different area. For 10 days or so it was really good again – same as the other good times highlighted above. Then it fell apart – same as the not so good times highlighted above. I asked 3 for an explanation and never received one, although they were keen to reiterate that it’s again completely coincidental that this has happened for a third time. They said it has nothing to do with them. 3 are liars and need to be avoided. The trouble with 3, amongst many other things such as appalling customer services who really should come with a health warning, is that instead of taking the opportunity this year to upgrade the network and ease the misery for many, many customers who are receiving a poor service, they announced unlimited surfing and downloads for smartphone customers, including tethering which is using your phone as a modem for a laptop or pc. This has impacted heavily on mobile broadband customers who are paying for fixed allowances. The leading networks have chosen to continue acting in a responsible manner by sticking to allowances for smartphone customers, so that they don’t place too much strain on networks which also cater for mobile broadband customers. 3 cited a “gap in the market” for this decision. Yes, there was indeed a gap for an irresponsible, ego-driven, incompetent and unprofessional network with dire customer support and an ever-growing reputation for sub-standard service to step up to the plate and cripple their own resources even further for the purpose of point-scoring over their rivals.

    My view of 3 is quite simple – I don’t like them and I don’t like the way they do business. My relationship with them is equally simple – I regularly tell the Executive Office at 3, whose email address can easily be found with a search, that until I get some honest answers as to why my speeds have fallen apart once 3 have got wind of me using this regularly at a fixed address, then I will proactively encourage the public to stay well away from this awful service and awful network. I still don’t have any answers and I have concluded that 3 would rather I did this than tell me the truth – damage limitation if you like. I have also concluded that while my speeds are often less than one percent (yes, one percent) of what they were when I first moved here because 3 have intervened and placed restrictions on it, somebody passing through this area or just using it for a short time at a location which is not their usual one will receive the fast speeds that I got when I first came here. So what that means nationally is that while lots and lots of customers are getting a terrible service with poor speeds, erratic connections etc, there is a lot of spare and available bandwidth that is being denied to them despite nobody else using it. I also believe that the more of your allowance you use month-to-month the poorer the service will be for you. For example, a customer using just one or two gigabytes a month from their 15 gigabyte package is going to get a better service than somebody using more than ten each month. A reward if you like for low usage.

    If we had effective regulation in this country, which we don’t, I believe 3 would either be forced to up their game considerably or be closed down. What a pity that such a sham of a company is allowed to operate in 21st Century Britain.

    Stay well away from these cowboys and use a leading, reputable network instead – o2, Orange, T-Mobile, Virgin or Vodafone. They might not be perfect but your chances of a horror story are considerably lower.

    Stay away from 3!

  123. Tim

    Much the same results as you Ash.

  124. Ash

    Real world speed test after a few weeks of use, no difference to a normal HSPDA dongle.

  125. Tim

    Poor company, poor service,,, avoid.
    3 are totally unable to comprehend that their service could possibly be overcrowded or faulty, they would rather blame “their” problems on “your” PC,,, even if that PC is brand spanking new.
    Oh and being hung up on by your customer support department is also very poor business practise.
    Such a shame the regulator has no balls to make 3 buck their ideas up.
    Hey ho, consumers always come second.

  126. Moderator: Johanna

    @Glen – No probs at all. I’ve had a look and there is some work happening on your nearest mast from June 6-June 12. So perhaps there is congestion now and it’s being upgraded. If you can wait till June 12 to see if it improves then great but if not call customer services and they should be able to provide you with more detail.

  127. Glen

    Hi Johanna sorry bout that wasnt sure if the rest was needed or not, anyway its IG[removed by Mod] . Thanks again.

  128. Moderator: Johanna

    @Glen – Really sorry but I need the full postcode. I won’t publish it in full :-)

  129. Moderator: Johanna

    @Damien – Yes there is, I’ve had a look and there are a couple of masts which are being worked on, due to finish on June 8 and June 10. Sorry for the inconvenience!

  130. Glen

    Thanks Johanna, post code is IG11 (or is the rest needed?), if that is the case and it’s the coverage (signal) it’s very poor in my area would there be any solution to get the most out of my dongle as i am kindda losing patience.

  131. Damien

    Are there any faults in the S72 [Removed by Mod] area?

    My connection has been horrendous recently.

  132. Moderator: Johanna

    @Glen – Sorry to hear that, it sounds like coverage is a little patchy in your area. If you post your postcode I can take a look for you?

  133. Glen

    Ive been with 3 now 4 about 2 years and never had more than 2 bars……WHY?, its very slow and most of the times i cant do what most people can do on theres. (Iam using a 3 Dongle.)

  134. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Roger – I’ve taken a look and one of the masts in your area was recently deactivated, we’re working on improving two of the other masts in your area which is why you may be experiencing a couple of coverage issues. As soon as this work is complete you should see an improvement :-)

  135. Roger

    Post code is ME3 [Removed by mod], thankyou.

  136. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Roger – Would you like to send through your postcode again and I’ll take another look.

  137. Roger

    Re work in various areas.
    Are you sure that none is/are being done in North Kent area because
    today 25/05/11 I have on three occasions only had a signal strength
    of TWO bars?????
    The problems I have/am experiencing have only been during the last
    4 to five weeks, ever since being informed that “improvements” were
    being made in my area.

  138. knowbody

    OMG,guess who not entertaining a dongle, although iv just payed£70 Xperia X8 and99p for a 3simFantastic compared to shite o2edge,gprs so buy wot iv done dont let three keep ripping its paying customers off,

  139. John Paddon

    @Sedge. OK thanks for that

  140. Moderator: Sedge

    @ John Paddon – There’s service improvements going on in your area over the next few days. This may temporarily alter your speeds but when the works complete you shouldn’t have a problem :-)

  141. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Tim – I’ve taken a look at your postcode and you’re right, it does appear that you’re in an area with strong indoor and outdoor coverage. Sorry that this isn’t the case for you. There could however be an issue with your phone, would you like me to arrange a call for you from our customer service team?

  142. John Paddon

    I have upgraded to the e367 dongle and I was quite happy until I was downloading a program and I noticed that my download speed had dropped from around 500kbs to around 170kbs that is a g drop my postcode is rg22[Removed by mod]

  143. Tim

    @Kaz, my postcode is RH19 [Removed by mod], I already know that you will say there is good coverage in my area,,, coverage/signal strength isn’t the issue, the issue is, as always, totally unreliable network and appalingly slow speeds, even during so called “off peak” times. To be honest I have had just about enough of 3 and the pitiful customer service they offer. Thanks for what used to be a fairly decent service, a service which has rapidly gone downhill since you introduced the “All You Can Eat” data allowance for mobile phone users. Thankyou but I DON’T WANT ANYTHING more to do with such an awful company.

  144. Moderator: Kaz

    @phillip lewis – Please can you provide your full postcode so I can check for any issues in your area.

  145. john

    If I bought the E367 , what other piece of kit would I need ( recomendations please )) ) to have a wireless access point in hy home ( 2 x laptops 1 x desktop ) . I understand the E585 will not be able to use the HSPA+

  146. Moderator: Kaz

    @Tim – Sorry to hear that. If you send me your postcode I can check coverage in your area.

  147. Tim

    Improvements to network,,, hahahahahahaaaaaa, 3 are such comedians,,, and liars !

  148. Roger

    Just for your information, in my area I have had only THREE bars up on the
    strength scale for the last 24 hours – on each log on session (four in total)
    and have had numerous dongle disconnections on three sessions.

  149. phillip lewis

    i am under the b77 postcode and the last few days service on my P.A.Y.G mobile broadband has gone from good to terrible.i was picking up the hspa connection which was good,but now can only get 3g which isnt worth having.i spoke to someone at 333 who explained it was due to an update and that the service would stay as it is now,maybe settle after 72 hours.i thought an update improved things,not degraded them.what do i do now?change company or buy a new high speed dongle to get the same service i was used to getting on a zte dongle,or is that the aim,to get people upgrading to the new dongle.

  150. TheWillT

    Big thanks to lovely Jo and to Grace from the Exec Team for helping with my MBB problems. Have been online a few times since the “fix” has been in place with no noticable issues. I’ll give it a thorough testing over the weekend though before we get too complacent… ;-)

  151. Roger

    @ Johanna,
    Thank you for your help, will give 333 a ring and keep everything crossed.

  152. Moderator: Johanna

    @Roger – Thanks for giving us some more detail on your internet issues, we’re not network experts here but I don’t think this pinpoints anything in particular just general network issues in your area. I’ve had a look at your postcode and you should have good 3G coverage. If you give 333 a call they should be able to run some diagnostics for you. I’m sorry we can’t help more but I can’t access any more detail.

  153. Moderator: Johanna

    @NA – Oooh that is good news. Thanks for letting us know! Keep us posted with how you get on :-)

  154. Roger

    @ Kas
    Here is a good one IF you can answer it, it also may highlight/ shed some light on
    the problem in my area.
    Managed to get on line eventually for two hours, couple of freezes but carried on.
    When I shut down the Internet your connect panel showed in the connected panel
    the following “Connected 00:01:04″
    It appears that whilst online “three” keeps losing and regaining connection on its own???
    Any comments on what may be causing this???????????????

    Post code ME [removed by Mod]

  155. NA

    Wow! Touch wood, my speed problems in post code EC1A have now been resolved. Three is now by far the fastest mbb provider in the area (over 2mbps at peak hours and 3.5mbps at other times)!

    Let’s hope it stays this way. Was painful complaining but extremely happy now that this has been resolved!

  156. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Gary Brogan – Good to hear :-) Glad you’re enjoying your new dongle.

  157. gary brogan

    hello id like to say that the new e367 is a+i bought the new dongle hoping to get better speeds its certainly done that!!!!!i was getting speeds of 2 mg but now with the help of a lovely woman at 3 im getting speeds of 6mg and told its going to get faster WoW good buy reasonably priced for what you get!!!!!

  158. Roger

    Time is 12-26 and three bars only, post code is (removed by mod)

  159. Moderator: Kaz

    @Roger – That does not sound good. Please can you supply your postcode so I can check coverage in your area.

  160. Roger

    Time is now 01-31 and its taken me 25 minutes to get logged on.
    I have had 5 bars-no connection, have had down to 3 bars for signal strength.
    At one stage ‘no sevice’ notification.
    Did 3 ‘ping’ tests, all lost.
    This is the third attempt to send THIS.

  161. Moderator: Kaz

    @Roger – I have just checked your postcode again and I can’t see any issues with the masts in your local area. There is a faulty mast slightly further away, but this should not affect your signal in your postcode. If you continue to have issues, you may need to speak with customer services in more detail. I can arrange a call for you, please let me know.

  162. Roger

    @Kas-You have checked it before but, your welcome to ckeck again.
    Post code is (removed by mod)

  163. Moderator: Kaz

    @Chris – Just checked your postcode and there is a faulty mast in your area. I can’t see any planned work to fix it just yet, but I’m sure it will not long.

  164. Moderator: Kaz

    @Roger – sorry to hear that. Can you supply your postcode so I can check for any issues in your area?

  165. Moderator: Kaz

    @Jonathan Monks – Sorry to hear that. We do not have access to account details so I would be able to discuss your upgrade options. I can arrange a call for you, but it might be quicker just to give them a call again.

  166. Chris

    A little off-topic but I lost mobile broadband connectivity Saturday afternoon and have been unable to reconnect since. The 3connect software says “No Service” and I also noticed that my company mobile (T-Mobile) lost it’s data connection at the same time, so I assume it’s a network issue!. My postcode is (removed by mod)

    Any idea when the issues might be resolved?

  167. Roger

    In the last few days after ‘so called improvements’ in my area my signal strength
    has dropped down to four instead of the usual five bars.
    Every time ‘improvements’ take place things get worse.
    At the end of this billing period I will before it ends terminate my contract and return
    all items connected with it (dongle and laptop).

  168. Jonathan Monks

    Hi, I have just tried to contact you to see if I am entitled to an upgrade to the premium broadband dongle only to be told that due to bad weather in Mumbia your call centre is closed. Surly for a company your size you would have a back up in the UK (or elsewhere in the world) in these circumstances. So much for business continuity. Can you tell me if I am entitled to a free upgrade?

  169. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Paul Wilson – We’re not ignoring you, we do our best to answer all the comments. As it says at the top ‘We can’t answer everything, but we are listening.’ We can’t cancel your contract here as we don’t have access to individual accounts but if you give 333 a call they’ll be able to help cancel your contract.

  170. paul wilson

    great now im being ignored by the moderators as soon as i mention that all i want to do is cancel the contract because u cannot provide a service which u promised if i upgraded just like customer services well u leave me no option i shall now go to the citizens advice and look into claiming my money back in a smalls claim court or something

  171. Moderator: Kaz

    @Steve – Thanks for supplying your postcode, I have checked the mast in your area and there is one faulty mast close by. It has been flagged and should be looked into within the week. Once fixed, this should improve your speeds.

  172. Steve

    Hi Kaz,
    Thanks for the prompt reply…My full postcode is (removed by mod)
    Hopefully its something that can be sorted soon as I am really missing the speeds I was enjoying recently.

  173. Moderator: Kaz

    @Pauline – Can you supply your postcode so I can check for any issues in your area.

  174. Moderator: Kaz

    @SUE – That’s great to hear. Please let us know how you are getting on after October.

  175. Moderator: Kaz

    @Steve – Sorry to hear that you currently have issues with your data speed. Please can you supply your full postcode so I can check for any issues in your area. I will not publish your postcode.

  176. Moderator: Kaz

    @Simon – Not sure what is wrong. Please can you supply your postcode so I can check for any issues in your area. I will not publish your postcode.

  177. Moderator: Kaz

    @nigel – It will always depend on coverage in the area you are visiting. Are the holiday’s abroad? because that would be a different conversation.

  178. Moderator: Kaz

    @emanual – Please send over your postcode and I’ll check coverage in your area. It might be a local mast issue.

  179. Pauline

    I’m so glad I ended up on this page as I was beginning to think it was just my bad luck. I too have had my mobile broadband for around 3 years but have found that over the last month or so the speeds I have been getting have been abysmal. Many times I have been found disconnecting and reconnecting in a vain attempt to get a reasonable speed in order to work from home. Along with others I too work in IT and find this very frustrating. At least I now see that as you have made changes recently this may be contributing to the problem.

  180. SUE

    Well what can I say, I have vodafone unlimited mobile dongle, and it is rubbish, customer services send you all around the phone sytem and still dont manage to resolve connection problems. So borrowed my nieces 3 dongle, and its marvelous quick and easy connection, never fails, quick downloads.
    Hi ho hi ho it’s off to 3 we go, cant wait for my contract end in Oct will definately be getting myself on the 3.

  181. Steve

    Hi,have been a payg customer since november last year and after a slow start up I was enjoying decent speeds at off peak times and just about manageable speeds at peak times.
    You then released the new high speed dongle and the ‘all you can eat ‘package for mobile phone customers.Since then(about two weeks) I have NEVER had hspa connection and my fastest speed on 3g is about 300kpbs though this is a luxury as my average line speed now is 60kpbs and at peak times it drops to 3kpbs (Three,not a typo!) so you can imagine my frustration if i am sat at a poker table!
    Customer services always follow the same script and I dont blame them…they must have a pretty horrid job dealing with constant complaints and having absolutely nothing to work with to rectify any issues.
    My last comment is aimed at three management…

    Are you restricting service to existing customers to pacify the new roll outs??

    Oh and my postcode is SN3…

  182. simon

    have had problems constantly cannot update Itunes and as a result my iphone isn’t updated and now playing up. Had to buy a net book to use a pubs wifi to get latest I tunes to copy to my desktop. Have full sognal 1 second gone the next. having said that some other networks are far worse. I’m not in the sticks am near a big town, what is wrong?

  183. nigel

    i would like to know why when i use a dongle i can only connect when im local to my home address as i want to use this when im away on holiday ??

  184. emanuel

    i have the same problem as ALAN frequently drop connections

  185. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Alan – Thanks for your feedback Alan. If you want to send through your postcode I’ll take a look and see if there’s an issues with your mast which could be causing the drops in your area. In the mean time, I’ll look into your software comment :-)

  186. Alan


    I’m a PAYG customer and I’ve found that since the last major software upgrade to the dongle, I frequently find I drop connections.Coming from an IT background (within telecoms) I would question, perhaps, that the fault lies within the software, as opposed to coverage. I still would recommend anyone thinks twice before moving from 3. Personally, apart from the niggles, as mentioned, I ‘ve found their service over the 12 months I’ve benen with them, very good. *Bring back the old software*


  187. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Brad – I’ve taken a look at the coverage in your area, you appear to have indoor and outdoor coverage. Is this a new issue?

  188. Brad

    Hi,is there a problem at DG12 [Removed by Mod].The service is fast then slow every few minutes.Thanks.

  189. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Allan Hall – If you go into your local 3Store or give 333 a call they’ll be able to let you know if you’re eligible to upgrade :-)

  190. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Stephen Yendle – I’ve taken a look at your postcode and you’re in an area with good indoor and outdoor coverage. What are you trying to do online when you notice the speed decreases?

  191. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Simon – Sorry to hear you’re unhappy with the service, if you want to send through your full postcode I can take a look at the coverage in your area.

  192. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Chris – Sorry to hear you’re having problems. If you send through your postcode I can take a look at the coverage in your area and see if there’s an issue.

  193. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Gemma – Could you send through your full postcode and I’ll take a look.

  194. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Thomas – If you want to send through your full postcode ( I won’t publish it ) I’ll take a look at the coverage in your area and see if there’s an issue.

  195. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Cath – Could you send me your full postcode and I’ll take a look :-)

  196. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Paul Griffiths – I’ve taken a look at your postcode and you’re in an area with good indoor and outdoor coverage which suggests that you shouldn’t have any problems. One of the masts in your area is scheduled for an upgrade which should improve the strength of the signal in your area but I know that’s not an immediate fix. To get the most out of your Premium Dongle we recommend tilting it up :-)

  197. Chris

    Every aspect of the 3 dongle experience is awful from the derisable download/upload times to the appalling customer support team who seem completely incapable of any problem resolution whatsover.

    Awful, awful, awful….I can’t wait for my contract to end.

    If this wasn’t so frustrating it would be hilarious – this is the second time I have to write this comment because my connection failed…YET AGAIN!!!

  198. Cath

    3rd attempt: I did write a long post but it has now been deleted thanks to the usual “URL not valid and cannot be loaded” box that appears whenever I try to do things on the internet. I was reassured by customer services that by upgrading my dongle would solve the problem. It has not ………….. I am still here another year later waiting for my contract to finish. Frustrated does not cover it.

  199. Cath

    I am reassured to see that I am not alone judging by the comments from Jamie and Roger. I personally have found my internet provision shocking to say the least.
    Everyday I cuss to myself as I see the familiar box which states ‘URL not valid’. I have full reception apparently, and was promised when I tried to leave 3 that a new upgraded dongle would solve my problems. It has not. In fact it has taken several attempts to get onto this link to write this on the blog. I want help and would love to find a solution, sadly I have not to date. I have been a 3 mobile broad band customer for 3 years and this has been a problem for much of that time.

  200. Thomas

    I am having serious problems with the speed in my area, I get between 3kbps and 33kbps and since the easter holidays it has just been ridiculously slow. It used to have great speeds in my area but not now.

    I got so sick and tired of the rubbish speeds so went out and bought a Vodafone dongle and I get speeds of 1.8Mbps which is a huge improvement over 3

  201. Gemma

    Hi, I have a pay as you go dongle but it is unbearable to use. The internet goes at the pace of a snail and videos are not even worth using! Its making it a waste of time to use the internet, my phone is quicker! can you please advise the issue? my post code is se18

  202. Simon

    I completely emphasise with Roger.

    Despite living in Central London close in a ‘very good coverage’ area, Three’s mobile broadband has consistently let me down since I got it two weeks ago.

    Average speeds fluctuate between 30kbs – 70kbs
    Ping: 1700!!!
    Consistently dropping the connection

    Thanks to this, I have been unable to work from home and I have had to arrange for an expensive inter-city courier to deliver files from my office, on a USB stick.

    To be frank, the service is pathetic and next week I will be ringing to cancel and I will most certainly be asking for my money back. Technical support has claimed that they have resolved the matter, putting it down to congestion at my mast, however I’m still having these problems.


    I find that about the evening (now for example 22.50hrs) I get speeds of 11/22/33/Kpbps.
    VERY low speeds. 10Mb or less takes about an hour or more.
    The postcode is CF37 [Removed by Mod]

  204. Allan Hall

    Reading your sales promo above it mentions existing pay as you go members may be eligible for free premium dongle, but does not say what the requirements are to qualify?
    How do I know if I qualify and will it improve my weak signal in HU11 [Removed by Mod] please

    Regards Allan

  205. paul griffiths

    i was told that 3 wa best fir my area (sa12 [Removed by mod]) but althought signal meter says full signal i have trouble with loading pages, cant watch 4od or i-player without constant breakdowns and when i went to site to check speed i was quoted 256kbs?? which is why im having difficulty i presume, any tips or advice would be grateful as i am only 3 months into 18 month contract and am not happy with service

  206. paul wilson

    re to kaz if u read my message u would have seen i move round the country as im a lorry driver so cannot give u a set postcode its been going on for sometime now and when ur cs said it was my computeri bought a new laptop and guess what still the same alls i would like is my contract cancelled because u cannot provide the APPROX 10 mb on the new zte dongle which i signed a new contract for hopeing it was the reason

  207. Moderator: Kaz

    @mark farrant – Just taken a look at your postcode and can not see any issues in your area. The mast closest to you is working well. Regarding the top-up changes, I’m not aware of any changes..its best to visit to clarify our pricing

  208. Moderator: Kaz

    @Fiona – No it does not, you will just need to purchase another add-on. Please click here to visit our website where it will explain more.

  209. Bob Excell

    shame i did not find out about the upgrade until i ordered the new dongle

  210. Kayleigh

    Just thought i would let you’s know ive never had any problems with Three and think the Dongle is great :) Couldnt live without it and i get decent speeds all the time, even at Peak times :)

  211. Jane, London, SE26 6NR

    My PAYG dongle is a joke. I’ve been buying the 12gig ones for about 4 years, as one of them will last me about a year. These cost me over £100 each.

    Last year, it wouldn’t do anything (around April) and when I rang the helpline, I was told that my local transmitter was down for maintenance (Crystal Palace area). When it finally came back online, the signal kept dropping out and new tabs were opened everytime it tried to re-connect. I’d end up with fifteen tabs open.

    I had many, many, converstions with the helpline, and all they kept saying was that I should have a good signal at my postcode.

    Is it worth paying for this new dongle, as quite frankly, I get a better signal in darkest Dorset when visiting my mum, than in London. Presumably, this is due to there being houses blocking signal in London??

  212. Fiona

    I recieved a message from 3 informing me that my broadband add-on runs out midnight 07 may. And i can buy a new one. Does this mean i have to buy a new dongle? As i thought i only had to purchase the dongle then top it up when my credit ran out, not to have to buy another dongle after only 3 months. As my sister has a dongle that she has had for over a year and a half and tops up when required i thought mine would be the same?

  213. Ash

    @ kaz the speed is around the same on both I usually get full hspa signal, it’s like the speed in my area is locked to 2mb, I do get the odd spike on both but it doesn’t surpass 4mb, I actually had a better speedtest result off the mf112.

  214. Moderator: Kaz

    @Jamie – Sorry to hear that, you could be having signal issues at the moment, please can you supply your postcode and I can take a look.

  215. Moderator: Kaz

    @Ash – Yes the new dongle should improve speed, but it really does depend a signal at the time and on a number of other factors. If you continue to get poor speeds it may be wise to call up customer services and ask them to take a look at the dongle.

  216. mark farrant

    I have been using the £10 topup and the daily charges, I went online yesterday and found that dongle people has not been told that the charges for daily has gone up. Why havn’t the customers been told on their dongle mail about price changes. Plus I am having to use a 12 foot pole to get a reception in my area (removed by mod)) and money gets wasted everytime i can’t get online. Can anyome help…

  217. Roger

    I dont think that will help. The issue seems to be that once connected to the
    three netwok, three has a problem with connecting to the main internet itself.

  218. Jamie

    since my data allowance has been upped, I am finding my internet sooo slow and as for watching vids on youtube, i may as well forget it, they keep freezing and jurking til whole vid is loaded and forever getting ‘NOT RESPONDING” up on addressbar… This was one reason why i was going to leave three in first place, but was told that i should have no probs, but unfortunately the issues still not resolved :(

  219. Ash

    I’m not seeing any improvements of speed over the mf112 with this new dongle, both are constantly locked at 2mb in the same position. I live about half a mile away from the nearest macrocell mast.

    Will these speeds actually improve or is this just marketing?

  220. Moderator: Kaz

    @Roger – Just taken a look at your postcode and there are no issues in your area at the moment. There maybe a new issue that has not yet appeared on our coverage checker. There is nothing else I can do at the moment, would you like me to arrange for customer services to give you a call to discuss thing further?

  221. Moderator: Kaz

    @carl charlick – Taken a look at your postcode and can not see any issues, looks like you should excellent coverage. Are you still having issues?

  222. Roger

    I am very sorry but last night was the last straw.
    I own a 51 year old classic car and after 3 years a couple of items I wanted appeared on ebay.
    Both items finished finished bidding within 2 minutes of each other
    Thanks to the vagaries of the Three system, contact was broken with the Internet and both
    items were lost by me and went for a ridiculously low price.
    Congratulations are in order as now I may possibly have to wait another 3 years.

  223. Moderator: Kaz

    @Ian – sounds like there may be a mast issue in your area. Please can you supply your postcode so I can investigate.

  224. carl charlick

    i have a very slow connection my post code is (removed by mod) can u tell me if there are any problems in my area please? thankyou in advance

  225. ian

    I have been forced to buy a 3 dongle due to a mistake by BT cutting off my internet and i would like to know if the awful speed and connection i have are typical even when i am showing 4 bars in connection str in the 3 connect box.

    It is so slow that it literally takes minutes to load a web page like hotmail that has images turned OFF and most of the time even when trying to load the “current speed” in the “usage history” tab is at zero for download and upload for minutes at a time.

    I could get a better connection speed with dial up and want this issue resolved asap.

  226. Roger

    My post code is (removed by mod) and I would also like to inform you that this is the second time this has happened
    after so called improvements in my area.
    Quick run down as to problem, dongle scans itself, scans for connection, with five bar strength showing
    connects to three, then type can be either 3G-HSPA-HSPDA and once cellular and it takes anything up to
    ten attempts before I get a connection, and not a page informing me that ‘this web page cannot be displayed’
    The page concerned could be Windows, MSN or FireFox it makes no difference.
    As for when I am lucky enough to be on a ‘site’ I am never sure when ‘connection’ will be lost, and have at
    times ‘lost-out’ on things I was at the time involved with.
    As I first informed you, there are four (including myself) experiencing the same problem.

  227. TheWillT


    Thanks for that bit of info but bearing in mind it’s the third differing excuse I’ve been given over the past three weeks and all it tells me is that I have three months of substandard MBB service to put up with I’m afraid it’s not very reassuring to hear. I’d also be interested to know why the CS rep didn’t tell me that on the phone rather than insisting there was absolutely no issue with the service from Three and that the fault must be with my computer. Over the past year I think that most of the negative issues I’ve had with Three have revolved around the lack of honesty and common sense coming from the CS phone team. I’m guessing the teleworkers there may be a little too restricted by their processes, scripts etc?

    I would have thought that if you can’t deliver a consistent quality of service that is being paid for then there should be some acknowledgement and recompense offered to customers. Last time I had this issue I likened the situation to appalling practice rail companies offering bus replacement services that add hours to journeys and still charging full fare. Assuming I have three months of MBB service at the current standard where it’s unusable half the time that’s £23.98 (and a half pence) just being thrown away by me (and that’s a very conservative estimate).


  228. Moderator: Kaz

    @TheWillT – Thanks for the update. I have checked your postcode and yes there are 2 local that are due for upgrades in the next 2 1/2 months. I really hope this will solve your data speeds and improve the experiences on our network.

  229. Moderator: Kaz

    @Andrew – Yes there is an issue with your local mast. We are looking to fix this by 13th May. Sorry for any inconvenience.

  230. Moderator: Kaz

    @mark harris – Sorry to hear that you have been having issues with our service. I think it’s best that I email you to request some account details, then get customer services to call you. I am emailing you now.

  231. Moderator: Kaz

    @Inga – Are you still having issues with your broadband top-up?

  232. Moderator: Kaz

    @Roger – really sorry to hear that you are experiencing issues in your area. There may be a temporary fault with a local mast, please can you supply your postcode so I can investigate.

  233. Moderator: Kaz

    @Cathal Kenneally – sorry to hear that you are experiencing bad coverage at the moment. If you can supply your postcode I can take a look into it for you.

  234. Moderator: Kaz

    @louanne – Thanks for the great comments.

  235. Moderator: Kaz

    @Craig – Yes you can put your existing sim into the new dongle.

  236. Moderator: Kaz

    @valerie thompson – That depends on a number of factors. Afraid we do not have access to account details, it’s best that you call 0843 373 3333 to see if you are eligible for an upgrade.

  237. Andrew

    Im at (removed by mod) and the mobile broadband is alternating between fast and extra slow by the minute.Is this a mast problem nearby?Thanks.

  238. TheWillT

    …also, I’ve just noticed the brief statement by @Butler who is also in Eastbourne (I’m at Removed by mod) citing the same issue which makes me think that it might be a service issue after all. Is it more likely that your masts are struggling to cope with user demands?


  239. Moderator: Kaz

    @RMRP – It’s best to call 0843 373 3333 to find out.

  240. Moderator: Kaz

    @Nat – That is something Customer Services can answer for you. We do not have access to account details so can’t look into your account. The best number to call is 0843 373 3333.

  241. TheWillT

    Update as promised…

    I cleaned out my browsers’ (IE8 and Firefox) history, cache etc etc as instructed by CS and it’s made surprisingly little difference. The connection is still erratic to the point where I was at one point obtaining a download speed of over 6mbps but moments later absolutely nothing.

    As far as I can see the modem seems to catch HSPA and work (at fluctuating speeds often as low as 100-400kbps but sometime 4mbps or above) for a few minutes (sometimes longer if I’m keeping it busy and distracting it) then it seems to lose HSPA, default to 3G and 0kbps up or down until I reboot the connection. All this without moving the laptop or dongle at all. Is the new “superdongle” likely to work any better at maintaining a connection so I don’t lose emails everytime I try and send them? Is it really something I or my laptop are doing wrong like CS inferred?

    It seems a bit daft that I have to resort to tethering my iPhone and using my AYCE data AND still paying for my MBB service that doesn’t want to work properly anymore.


  242. Moderator: Kaz

    @Craig Johnson – Thanks for the great comments.

  243. Moderator: Kaz

    @Alex – Yes there is a fault with your local mast. We are looking into this asap, there is no planned fix date just yet but it should be no longer than a week or so.

  244. mark harris


    I am very unhappy with the service received or not so far on the new sim only package I bought. To be fair I hose 3 for this service as the service I have received for my BB Dongle has been excellent to date.

    I purchased a sim only £10 monthly deal to put the sim in my existing phone, which I did.

    I was not aware that you now choose not to permit users of 2G phones to use your service after you have admitted that your systems recognise it is a 2G phone and then disconnects the service. Your excuse for this was that I will not receive the service you aim to achieve, which is a joke and insult as you now choose to give me no service at all and charge me anyway.

    When I first used the sim it worked fine and I sent the usual texts to let people know my new number. I noticed after sending these that the roaming symbol was showing on my phone and called your service team to ask if there was a setting I needed to adjust. This is when I was told the above for the first time and I note that there are no warnings in the packaging to let me know the dangers of using a 2G phone.

    I asked if I could then cancel in the 14 day cooling off period and was advised as I had sent texts I could not cancel. This is just entrapment as you admit your systems can recognise a 2G phone yet you allow me to send the texts knowing that you will cancel my service shortly after. I am now trapped in a 12 month contract with a SIM that has been disconnected.

    I registered a complaint using your online service and received the standard acknowledgement and to date have heard nothing at all in response. my complaint number is (removed by mod) which was logged on 5 April and unless I hear from you in the next 10 days I will cancel the Direct Debit and seek legal advice. Sorry to place this on your blog but I have no choice as other contacts are just being ignored.

  245. craig

    if i upgrade to hspa+ can i use the sim card i use currently in my zte?

  246. louanne

    i think 3mbb is an excellent service & would be totally lost without it i was on pay&g then upgraded to pay monthly & then upgraded again to more gigs @ mth MOST of the service advisors i have spoken to are obliging & more than helpful my fone provider is o2 at the minute ( finishing out my contract) & im also hoping to get a deal on an iphone also on the 3 network i just wanted to post this as ive read a lot of negative comments…………

  247. Cathal Kenneally

    I think I would be wasting my time and money buying this new dongle cos the reception’s always rubbish no matter what website I’m on or what I’m browsing made numerous complaints but keep getting directed to a call centre in India who apologise on Three’s behalf scant consolation that nothing is ever done never have a full strenggth signal

  248. Roger

    As with Will T I have the same problem since so called improvements in my area, and before you say its my computer I have checked this out using my dongle on two other computers with the same results on each
    I am not alone with this problem as there are four other people where I live with the same problem.
    When first logged on the screen says, connected to 3 – connection type varies between 3,HSPA,HSPDA, and on one occasion cellular. Nearly every time it comes up ‘unable to connect’ or if connected disconnects after a short period of time.
    I am that fed up with this that I am going over to cable and will be returning my dongle/laptop package and cancelling my direct debit. If need be I will see you in court for cancelling my contract before time.

  249. Inga

    I pay a monthly £10 mobile dongle broadband. At the moment it says i have £9 plus still left, but am unable to use mail or anything else. What is going on? Inga

  250. Heather Hughes

    Like TheWillT my MBB keeps freezing and i have to keep reconnecting to kick start the system.My local mast was supposedley upgraded a couple of weeks ago and since then my connection has been rubbish.Ihave carried out all the advice given by customer service but there is still no improvement.If there is no problem with the masts what is going on.

  251. Sam


    You can send and recieve text messages from the 3 dialler program. I’m surprised you didn’t know that!

    On topping up, I think one of the options is to add text credit. Try it and see.

  252. valerie thompson

    Hi, i have had 3g dongles almost since they came out & i would like to know if you would replace my 2 existing dongles with the new ones.

  253. simon cunliffe

    Moderator: Johanna on April 28, 2011

    @Simon Cunliffe – Sorry to hear your mother’s on a plan she’s not happy with. I’ll drop you an email to get some more detail and see if we can resolve this for her.

    Thank you. As soon as her next month’s allowance starts I will read any E-mail sent. We just wish this had been the attitude several months ago.

  254. Andy Boor

    Hi, I’ve not been with 3 very long, having only a PAYG dongle, for the main my service is very good so don’t have any complaints in that area, I do see endless complaints about customer services though, both in these posts and on almost every forum I have read, stating that 3 customer service is well below standard and especially for PAYG customers is almost none exisistant, I came to 3 because I found that Vodaphone were not interested in helping PAYG customers either so I’m concerned that I’ve swapped like for like, What is the situation regarding your contract and PAYG customers, do you offer preference to contract or can I expect proper customer service should I need it?

  255. RMRP

    How do I know if |m elegible for the new dongle tecnology please?
    thanks :)

  256. Nat

    I currently have two pay monthly mobile broadband accounts (one for myself and one for my wife) and I would like to get this new premium dongle. Both pay monthly contracts are on the monthly roll on basis but I’ve been with Three for almost two years now. My question is….how much I should be paying just for the premium dongle alone if I want to get a 40% faster speed?

  257. Cliff

    You misunderstand Johanna..
    That this is a ‘blog’ is accepted. Your primary claim, by David Kerrigan, that cutting edge technology is being used by 3 is also understood.
    Your inability to resolve problems experienced by users is also accepted. Nor do I assign blame to you and your colleagues.
    The fact that 3 does not deliver the service it claims it will is not your problem. You have put yourselves in a position over which you have no control. Which is silly of you.
    If your CS department simply said to their customers that the service is so poor because of the overwhelming number of users, and that they were trying their best to rectify the matter, then that would be far better.
    It has taken me over six weeks to get them to admit that.
    3 offers what few competitors do and at a better price (for instance Orange charge £0.051 per per Meg. Do the math)
    Just tell us you are trying. Even if you are not

  258. Butler

    Keeps cutting out and rebooting….Area- Eastbourne
    Very Slow

  259. Craig Johnson

    anyone reading this blogs comments would think 3′s not such a great network but to be honest it really is, iv been on a 15gb data plan now since the end of 2009 and iv NEVER come any of the problems that some of the people here are describing, the only time i had a speed problem was when i had the older dongle and even then it wasnt that slow, but i bought a new faster dongle off eBay and now its just as fast as a home broadband connection, works perfectly. 9 times out of 10 people will complain about bad customer service whereas 1 time out of ten people will chat about great customer service because they take it for granted, so kudos to 3 for the service iv received. and kudos to you guys at the social team for doing such a great job. x

  260. Alex

    Hi, I am having poor mobile broadband signal reception in (removed by mod). I only started having it to day, before that was fine. Has something happened?

  261. TheWillT

    @Jo – Well, you know me, I’m not one to complain ;-)

    I’m going to be optimistic and hope the CS guy was talking sense about the cluttered laptop – it has had a few technical issues over the past few months – and I’d love to be able to come back on here and say positive things about Three again …even if you do never let me win any of your competitions :’-(

  262. Moderator: Johanna

    @TheWillT – Long time no speak! Sorry, if we’ve given you conflicting information. The CS team do have access to a more advanced network checking tool than we do, so I would say that they are more accurate on mast upgrades then we are. Ummm, well do let us know how you get on when putting that advice into practice.

  263. Moderator: Johanna

    @James Dunn – I don’t know of the top of my head, but just checking this out for you…

  264. TheWillT

    I’ve just got off the phone with acharming man from the customer service team. My MBB service has been poor for three weeks now – like many others here it claims to have good-to-full connection but speeds dropping to zero and having to reconnect many times to kick-start the service. I was told a few weeks back via @threeuk on Twitter that my nearest mast was being worked on again and got the same message last week when I asked again. I left it for another week before trying the dongle again and it’s still highly erratic – sometimes getting up to 3mbps but always dropping back to zero and freezing with no sign of connection problems.

    My call to CS today resulted in me being told there were no issues with the local mast or the network and that it must be a problem with my browser being cluttered. I was advised to clean out my browsers and try again. Not sure how much this will help but I’ll follow his instructions just in case and report back the success or otherwise…


  265. James Dunn

    I am currently using a Three dongle on the Home Access program which runs out at the end of May, 2011. My query is regarding how to carry on using it and being able to top up my dongle? I have tried before to top it up but was unable to do so. Can you give me any advice regarding this matter, please?

  266. Moderator: Johanna

    @Simon Cunliffe – Sorry to hear your mother’s on a plan she’s not happy with. I’ll drop you an email to get some more detail and see if we can resolve this for her.

  267. Moderator: Johanna

    @Cliff – Sorry you’re not happy with the service we offer on here. Our blog was never supposed to be a forum, hence it’s design may not live up to your expectations. We try to answer as many questions as we can but aren’t able to respond to every single one (as stated at the top of the homepage on our blog). There are three of us in our team and we also look after Twitter (@ThreeUK) and our Facebook page too. We completely understand why people use these channels as customer service areas and we do our best to resolve issues. We are a social media team though so we often have to escalate comments if we aren’t able to respond.

  268. simon cunliffe

    when my mother-in-law re-newed her contract she asked to be upgraded to the £15 a month 15gig on direct debit. unfortunately, being registered blind (tho she is partially sighted) she was signed up for the 5 gig a month plan which is also £15 a month. from coming home that day and us ringing your shop straight away and repeated texts to yourselves to correct this we have been ignored.

    roll on august when contract ends as she is thinking of getting cable with unlimited download.

  269. Cliff

    Dear 3 moderators.
    I must compliment you an the intricate and impossible way you archive previous comments . It is almost impossible to retrieve them.
    Your intransigence and your ability to prevaricate is on par with politicians.
    In addition your ignorance of the service you claim to represent is phenomenal.
    Why not just provide the service you claim you will?
    Sorry! Stupid question.
    I look forward to more fun reading your comments

  270. Moderator: Johanna

    @George Wilmer – Great that you’re keen to upgrade but I’m afraid as with any contract you do have to stick to the terms, we can’t just upgrade our customers at any point or there’d be very little point in having contracts at all. If you’re really keen to get a new dongle, why not buy it on PAYG and put your contract SIM in?

  271. George Willmer

    I have tried today , 28/04/2011 , to get an upgrade to my three monthly dongle to the new Huawei E367 and been told i cant get one untill my normal upgrade time of july 2012. I think this is totaly out of order so much that i will NOT be renewing my contract for my mobile broadband account OR my two mobile phone contract’s and moveing to the o2 company ! ! ! As an A1 grade customer i would have thought you would have been more obligeing ! ! !

  272. Moderator: Johanna

    @kidner87 – The text add-ons are for our voice packages…. I’m not sure how you would send a text from your dongle. Did you mean to buy this add-on for your phone?

  273. Moderator: Johanna

    @Heather Wolfenden – Sorry to hear you went over your data limit, we do outline out-of-bundle charges on our website. It may be worth looking at a different plan if you’re going to be using a lot of data, we have loads of competitive plans as data is our thing. What are you on at the moment?

  274. Moderator: Johanna

    @Ry – Are you having coverage issues in your area? What feedback do you mean?

  275. Moderator: Johanna

    @Chris – Great that you don’t have any issues with signal strength… the internet speed could be due to congestion in your area, so a high number of users. What times are you noticing the speeds are slow? There are no planned upgrades to the masts in your area at the mo, but this could change. Our team are only able to see 3 months ahead.

  276. Moderator: Johanna

    @FBermann – Really sorry to hear that you’ve been having issues with your dongle. I’ve checked out your postcode and you do live in an area of patchy coverage. If you did decide you want to stay with us, it would be worth trying our MiFi or Premium dongle as they are better equipped to give you a better signal in poor coverage areas.

  277. Moderator: Johanna

    @John – Really appreciate you feeding that back John :-)

  278. Moderator: Johanna

    @Ben – Ah thanks for your positive feedback :-) Really pleased you’ve had a good service with us!

  279. kidner87

    i have just purchased a txt add on to my dongle {E1550} however i can not manage to send an sms have tried all i can think of but still i have no joy sending a sms! PLZ PLZ can u HELP im so confused and don’t know what else i should try or saying that i don’t what i should do all together

    Many Thanx


  280. heather wolfenden

    as a new customer i was quite happy with 3 untill now went over my allowance during a film download but didnt mind as i desperately wanted to watch the film got charged £10 for the priviledge of this and as the film was 78% downloaded surprise surprise i lost my connection and therefore lost my film so £10 for nothing thankyou 3 bit of a joke as i normally am nowhere near using my allowance but lose what i dont use will definately be looking for another provider now totally unhappy with 3

  281. Ry

    3 Need to sort there act out in terms of coverage and feedback. Also when are you going to create a dongle that can be used on a games console?

  282. chris

    I have no problem with my signal strength but lately the internet has been sooo slow!! dint have this problem a month ago. my post code is TR4[removed by mod] is there a reason? also if 3 are making there network better throughout this year, will that happen where I am?

  283. FBermann


    Have had an endless number of problems with my dongle. Mostly very low speed or disconnections, which appears to happen when my dongle shifts from 3G to HSDPA. It is 10+ times every time I am on-line.

    My signal strength bars fluctuate between none and 5 bars. In the time it has taken me to write this entry, the bars has gone from 5 (Max) – 2 – 4 – 3 – 5 – 2

    I often end up re-fiting my dongle in the USB port and reconnecting from the beginning, otherwise I just can’t get on-line. I spend most of my time on-line waiting for something to happen.

    Postcode SO50 [removed by Mod] and no I don’t want anyone from 3 support to call. I have already been through an endless number of phone calls without any improvement.

    Why I bother carry on with 3G I actually don’t know.

    Un-fulfilled 3G customer.

  284. John

    I’m sorry to see so many people seem to be having problems with their 3 connections. I have had 3 since Christmas and I have to say that I have always received excellent signal and service. I even got great signal in the middle of Lincolnshire where no one promised any coverage at all and I am really looking forward to seeing what this new dongle has to offer – I just wish my upgrade day wasn’t so far away so I didn’t have to spend quite so much!

    Thanks 3!


  285. Ben

    Just to back-up what some of the other guys have said, I have never had any problems with being able to get a signal since being with 3.

    I have now been with them since 2008 & like the lorry driver Paul, & Pete & the other guys I’ve allways had a FANTASTIC signal no matter where I’ve been up & down the Country & now the same with my dongle – last night I hit 7.93 Mbps (ABOVE the advertised speed)

    For anyone reading this blog DO NOT be put off by the posts as apart from a very small minority people only tend to use the blog when they are having trouble.

    The blog would buckle if everyone who was happy posted.

  286. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Wayne – Sorry to hear you’re unhappy. I’ve taken a look at your postcode and it looks like you should receive indoor and outdoor coverage in your area. Would you like me to arrange a call for you from our CS team so try and help resolve your coverage issue?

  287. Roger

    I agree with William (April 23, 2011) when he says why does the PAYG credit expire after a month whether used or not?
    I used a 3 broadband dongle some years ago and changed to Vodafone because their PAYG does not expire after a month. However I came back to 3 recently after falling out big time with Vodafone over pricing and costd on my phone.
    The signal on 3 for broadband is good (I use an extension and a Logitec holder and that works well) and I live in the middle of nowhere!
    Come on three get with the plot and give us what we have paid for! Do we have to start a web campaign to force you into it or wil you behave like gentlemen (and ladies).

  288. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Tim – I can arrange a call with our exec team if you’d rather?

  289. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Norman – Thanks for your feedback :-)

  290. Wayne

    I have had my dongle for about 6 months on monthly contract and took it on the knowledge that the postcode (PE13 [Removed by mod]) I would be using it would be excellent coverage, however, I have had many calls to customer service to rectify the poor connection. Each week I difficulty trying to get connected and stay connected. This is extremely frustrating and unacceptable as the store have not been totally honest in the information given to secure the transaction.

    I am now looking at another provider as it appears that Three cannot deliver on their promise with coverage and connection realibility. I am not aware if the latest dongle makes any difference, which they claim has a faster speed.

    I am totally dissatisfied with the service and realiibility of Three.

    Wayne James Said

  291. Tim

    @ Sedge – Firstly, thank you for your prompt response.
    Secondly, yes I know the coverage map shows a good signal, a bad signal isn’t the problem, i usually have 3 or 4 bars on signal strength. It’s the intermittent, unreliable service that’s the problem. But constantly being told it’s my PC’s fault, even after a fresh OS install makes me angry, PC’s DO NOT miraculously fix themselves, therefore in my opinion it can only be a network problem. Like I said in my previous post, for a few days I had an amazing service, so I know the network can deliver, but for reason’s known only to 3 the network in my area is, most of the time, seriously crippled.
    Thirdly, if the call involves your CS team, then no thank you, I would rather have all my teeth pulled out without the use of anaesthetic.

  292. Norman

    I’ve been a customer using mobile broadband dongle for about 9 months now. At first I wasn’t impressed with the service (drop-outs, unable to connects, that sort of thing). However, About 6 months ago i got an email to tell me the service in my area was being improved, and lo and behold, it did !!! Still get the occasinal ‘system freeze’ but I think this is due to lack of RAM on my machine.Just thought i’d leave this comment after reading all th bad criticism about your service.(I have no connection whatsoever with ‘Three’ other than using their mobile broedband service. My mobile phone is with Virgin.

  293. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Tim – Sorry to hear you’ve been getting poor signal in your area. I’ve taken a look at your postcode and unfortunately I’m seeing the same thing as our CS team. The signal looks good in your area, there is a mast which is currently affected in your area which could explain why the signal has recently dropped again. Would you like me to arrange a call for you to see if we can get to the bottom of your signal issue?

  294. Tim

    Well I am getting completely sick and tired of 3 and the way 3 treats their customers via the laughably named “Customer Support”. I have been plagued with connection problems for approx. the last 6 months,,, disconnecting every 20 seconds,,, unable to connect at all,,, when apparently connected, no data transferred.
    I have wasted far too much money phoning your CS (that term still makes me laugh) to be told over and over again that there is nothing wrong with the network and therefore it is a problem with my PC.
    Well, guess what, my computer must have miraculously “fixed” itself 5 days ago and remained “fixed” for 3 days, because I was actually getting a decent service, no disconnects, data transferring nicely (at a mind boggling 2.5 Mbps, not the usual < 100Kbps). Then the network went back to "normal". Please can someone explain to me, how this can possibly relate to a problem with my PC? Looks very much like a network related problem to me, so why do your CS (lol) still insist that the network is fantastic ?
    If this gets posted, which I doubt, please don't suggest I call the CS Team, because I find banging my head against a brick wall rather pointless.
    P.s. My post code is RH19 [Removed by mod], and I am approx. 1/4 mile from the mast.

  295. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Lee – I’ve just taken a look at your postcode and there’s currently a mast affected in your area which will be affecting your speed. Our team are working on getting this fixed as soon as we can :-)

  296. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Mike – Thanks for getting in touch – I’ve taken a look at your postcode and there’s signal improvements under way in your area. They’re scheduled to be complete within the first week of May so you should start to see a difference. If you don’t, get back in contact with us and we’ll see what else we can do to help.

  297. Moderator: Sedge

    @ NA – Good to hear it’s all looking positive now, do report back if your issues aren’t resolved and we’ll do what we can to help :-)

  298. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Andrew – I’ve taken a look at your postcode. There’s service improvements being carried out in your area which will be complete in the first few weeks of May, once this work’s complete you should see an improvement in your area. If you don’t see an improvement, get back in touch with us and I can arrange a call for you from our Customer Service team :-)

  299. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Drummond – If you give 333 a call they’ll be able to let you know if you’re eligible for an upgrade. If you send through your full post code (I won’t publish it) I can take a look at the coverage in your area.

  300. lee

    h all has anyone else over the last 3 days sen a really bad drop in speed on the network i seem to get conected easily enough but then it takes ages to find thres website page and then when it does i try to go on to others and im just stood here waiting around my post code is m6 [Removed by Mod] just wondering why allof a sudden its gone like this thank u.

  301. mike

    ive had 12 months of horrid reception from 3 network in my house hold we have 3 smart phones & a dongle. cant wait to get this contract over with & move to a signal i can remain with a signal. ive had advice about what to do to get a signal but its still the same!! for anybody out there wanting to join 3 network dont!! its cheap & nasty!! my post code is wa12 [Removed by mod] the signal is terrible & hows this dongle going to improve a reception to phones & labtops. joke!! just need to air my thoughts & fustration 3 have made our lifes hell!! be posting on facebook next.

  302. NA

    @Kaz – Sedge cleared all my comments that had been awaiting moderation (took a couple of working days though).

    Also, an FYI for everybody, since Sedge requested the call back from the Executive Office, I had a constructive call with them earlier today and now confident that the issues I am experiencing will soon be resolved. I will of course report back either way soon.

  303. Andrew

    Postcode is OX4 [Removed by mod], which according to your website has full coverage and according to the dongle I have a full signal. Am seriously thinking of complaining to trading standards as this speed is just unacceptable. I’ve tried the dongle in Norfolk as well as Chiswick in London and still receive appalling speeds. Only at the weekend do I receive anything that is usuable… I’ve copied this message as no doubt the page will time out on me when I click submit!

  304. Drummond

    Who is eligible for a free upgrade to the new dongle?

    Also are there any network in the G74 area as connection has been slow today.

  305. Moderator: Kaz

    @Rafal Furmaniak – Just checked your postcode and there are no issues with your local masts. Which upgrade are you talking about? Have you upgrade to the new dongle?

  306. Rafal Furmaniak

    before the upgrade worked and now jumps consistently signal and interrupts the game onlain what is going from good to worse? My address (removed by mod)

  307. Moderator: Kaz

    @Andrew Hutchinson – Some existing Pay Monthly Mobile Broadband customers are eligible to upgrade, this will depend a number of factors. It’s best to call CS on 333 from a Three handset or 0843 373 0500* from a land-line.

  308. Moderator: Kaz

    @Ted – Thanks for the really positive comments Ted.

  309. Moderator: Kaz

    @Derek – Sorry to hear that. Can I help with anything at the moment? If you supply your postcode I can check for any issues in your area and see when they will be fixed.

  310. Moderator: Kaz

    @Andrew – sorry to hear that – can you supply me your postcode so I can investigate.

  311. Moderator: Kaz

    @Paul Baker – That does not sound good. I have checked your postcode and looks like there are a couple of temporary issues with masts in your area. Both are due for an upgrade within the next 2 weeks. I hope this solves your connection issues.

  312. Moderator: Kaz

    @Daniel Sayles – Sorry to hear that. Have you contacted the store in question to see if there is an update?

  313. Moderator: Kaz

    @Bonz – Just had a quick back at NA’s comments and I can not see any points we have ignored. Please can you confirm what question you would like answered and I will be happy to help.

  314. Moderator: Kaz

    @Andrew – Sorry to hear that. Please provide your postcode and I can investigate.

  315. Moderator: Kaz

    @paul wilson – Sorry to hear that you have been having issues with coverage. I can check for any problems in your area and see if we are upgrading/fixing these. If you would like me to investigate, please provide your postcode.

  316. Andrew Hutchinson

    It says in the blurb that PAYG customers not eligible for an upgrade can purchase one etc. Who IS eligible for an upgrade, what’s the criteria for the free upgrade?

  317. Linda

    Glad to hear of the new Dongle which will be faster but disappointed that we PAYG subscribers will have to pay the full price for one. How about a discount if we return the ‘old’ dongle to a 3 store and buy the new one?

  318. trevor lawton

    had my 3 dongle now for about 3 years,good value for money,generous GB allowance,wouldnt be without it,no good looking elsewhere,they cant match the 3 network.

  319. Ted

    Hi, I am really surprised to hear all of the negative comments about 3 mobile broadband. I am a lorry driver and so use mobile broadband all over the country, usually a different place every night. I can honestly say that I have never had a night when I have had no signal at all which I cannot say about O2 or Tesco. When I first got my 3 dongle I even managed to use it one night outside Settle in Yorkshire which is in the middle of absolute nowhere.

    As a really good example of how good the three network is I used it today to place my horse racing bets using a betting ‘bot’ which places bets for you just before the start of a race and I had the software running and connected to the 3 network wherever I drove between Ross on Wye to Bridgend and then back up to Worcester. Even in the wildest bits of Monmouthshire where I usually lose signal on my Tesco phone the connection to 3 stayed good.

    If you are not getting the best service from 3 then I am at a complete loss to know why? Possibly it is down to your hardware? I am using a ZTC dongle and I use the extension cable to distance it from the laptop. Maybe you should try that?

  320. jaycifer

    hi just to say you people who have difficulty with reception ! try this ~ get yourself a USB extention cable,place it up somwhere high ( mine is on a picture rail in my kitchen) carefull how you attatch it !! this will make your reception brill ,these days three is awsome and i have no trouble getting reception ..hope this helps : ) jaycifer

  321. Derek

    I’ve been a PAYG customer for over two years and have had numerous problems not only regarding the appallingly slow speed but with customer service as well.

  322. William

    When are we going to get broadband allowance that does not expire after a month whether we use it or not?

    This is what we really want, not modems that point upwards! (I already strap my modem to a bottle and it works fine).

    I’m happy with 3 price, speed , and coverage. But this expiry issue is continually causing me to look at other providers. I believe, if we pay for something we should be able to use it. I was told by 3 two years back that this pricing was because it was “new technology”. It’s now no longer new technology yet it is still in place. Why?

  323. Claire

    I am currently using a P.A.Y.G. dongle and i was wondering if the new 60 odd £ dongle would improve the obvious lack of performance during the day my current one suffers from, or will it just improve overall speed during the famous “night-time happy-hour”? Thanks XxX

  324. Andrew

    And I thought it was just me struggling with 3′s incredibly poor network speeds. I live in Oxford and will soon be cancelling my account – facebook takes 20 mins to load and even then its still useless…I have to take me own laptop into work to use the wifi there to get windows updates… I used to be with Voda and will now be going back!

  325. Paul Baker

    Since the new year my service seems to deteriorated bigstyle. 12 months ago I was promised service improvements after some disruption. Service DID improve for a while, but I can only assume contention issues are slowing down speeds, as sales rise. When I am actually connected I am quite happy with the speed as I am not into anything that requires huge downloads, the occasional BBC iPlayer, or Formula 1 re-run being about it. I do view U-Tube occasionally also.

    The issue that concerns me at the moment is that for every new page I wish to view on a website, I must disconnect and then re-connect to the sevice. I then have about 5 seconds to hit the ‘try again’ button before it locks out again. This is getting very boring and frustrating.

    Last year I upgraded to the Huawei E122 dongle, contract for 3GB / Month. Post code is (removed by mod), dongle is usually hung in the window facing the transmitter, on a short USB2 extension lead. XP Pro on my laptop, using windows Outlook Express for mail, and Firefox for internet.

  326. Daniel Sayles

    i had a 3 MiFi with 15GB per month which made my pc blue screen a lot of the time then one day i booted the mifi and i just got a whight arrow pointing up on a black screen (MiFi thing)) i have taken it back to the 3 store but as of yet have heard nothing back from them and its been 3 months now

  327. Bonz

    Why are both moderators ignoring NAs points?

  328. Cliff

    IHi Sedge
    I have contacted your CS on numerous occasions. All I get is promises. None of which have been fulfilled. They have checked my postcode several times. (removed by mod)
    I was initially assured that there was work being carried out on the local mast that would be completed on the 12th April, then on the 18th April followed by 20th April.
    I still get 32 Kbps (average).
    I get all five bars for the signal strength and am assured each time things will improve.
    I get Grade ‘F’ on the ping test, it’s never been better than that.

  329. Andrew

    Hi i would just like to say that my dongle is very very slow would like to no if there is anything that use can do to sort this problem out thanks.

  330. paul wilson

    after reading some of ur responses id like to tell u about mine. I play world of warcraft alot i also am a truck driver so i move around the country hence the MOBILE isp it started last year when speeds started getting slow so i thought well ill upgrade to a new dongle even bought a new laptop with quicker my zte dongle and to all avail was exactley the same rang cs from my phone (which isnt 3) hours at a time only to be asked for a postcode and check the coverage which i did myself prior to ringing i was then told to give them a couple of days to try and fix it and if they couldnt they could cancel my contract this was on my twelth day of returnability so a couple of days and i wouldnt be able to return it. reluctantly i said ok and checked back in a couple of days to find that the coverage in the area is good and there is nothing more u can do i said i would like to cancel the contract and they said im sorry sir but ur outside ur 14 day window i then said how the technician said i could if he couldnt resolve the issue and all i got was abuse so now im stuck on a long contract for a dongle i cannot use and will never use agin or recommend THANKS ALOT 3

  331. Moderator: Sedge

    @ NA – I’ve dropped you a line, feel free to add anything I’ve missed so we can close your issues.

  332. NA

    @Sedge – that would be extremely helpful of you. Would really appreciate that – please drop me an email if you need my contact details.

    Many thanks

  333. Moderator: Sedge

    @ NA – Hey NA, Seems like you’re having a number of issues with us and I’m really sorry to hear you’re unhappy. Would you like me to arrange a call with our executive office so that you can voice your concerns?

  334. Paul Collins

    *Kaz Thanks for the information. I only hope that this time it will make a difference. As you can understand i am reserving judgement after being told since August 2010 when i first stated having problems with speed after i was told the servie had been upgraded. I was told maybe 10 times after calling that i will see a improvement after 2 to 4 weeks and finding that my speed was still only a quarter to half of what my father gets on his dialup and many times i my speed would drop from an average of 20kbps down to only 9kbps and only getting speeds between 150kbps and 2mbps if i did all my updating at 3 in the morning.
    Hopefully This time things will improve:)
    Paul Collins

  335. NA

    As with three other of my comments which are still awaiting moderation, I seem to feel like this one will also not make it to the board eventually. Ayway, here goes:

    Having now lost patience, I have today made a complaint to Otelo about the false promises having been made to Three. If network issues are not resolved despite this, I will be canceling my contract and making a claim in the county court to reclaim the costs of canceling the contract…

  336. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Adam – signal depends on the coverage in your area. We’re constantly working on upgrading our network to give you the best experience on Three but I cannot confirm the speeds that you’ll receive at your area.

  337. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Pete – Thanks for your great feedback Pete. It’s good to hear you’re happy :-)

  338. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Michael Scott – Happy Birthday – hope you had a good day :-) Could you send through your postcode and I’ll take a look at the coverage in your area.

  339. Adam

    Is it true that the network are upgrading the speed to 20mbps in June. If so will it make a diffence from 7.2mbps speeds avg less than between 50kbps— 512kbps @ broadband download speeds.

    Thank You

  340. pete

    Hi All
    Sorry some of you are having problems with your 3 dongles. I just had to post this to give another view. I’ve been using 3 PAYG dongles for 3 years now and wouldn’t change. In my area the service has just got better and better and I can’t remember when I last had any real problems of any kind. KC have a monopoly here and so a dongle is the only alternative but even so I have yet to find a better deal for me personally than the 12 month, 12 gig. pre-load – even this got better when 3 told me that the tablet PAYG sim will work in my dongle thus providing broadband for less than £1 per week – brilliant! I don’t do gaming or massive downloads so I don’t need fast speeds but even so I might just try the new, faster dongle sometime! Incidentally I’m still using my original Huawei 160G – I’ve tried some of the ZTE dongles but soon went back to the Huawei.
    Well done 3!

  341. Michael scott

    i am new to the net ma father bought me this dongle for ma birthday and ah spend more time trying to get a signal than ah have on the net can you tell me why ? or how ah could boost the signal please ?

  342. NA

    If I were a betting man, I would bet that most of the Three complaints relate to network speeds having fallen off the cliff/used to be good network speeds and now unable to get good network speeds. Second on the list for me would be billing complaints/errors. 4 months after AYCE was introduced – “we are still updating our systems to reflect all you can eat data!”

  343. NA

    @Steve, @Lynn:

    Welcome to the club!

    I have been reporting issues on the network. Since January – no improvements….I have lost hope. Need to give another provider a try. The Three network seems to be falling apart…

  344. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Cliff – Thanks for getting in touch, could you send through your full postcode and I’ll take a look at the coverage in your area.

  345. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Kelly Bray – Thanks for your lovely feedback Kelly. We really appreciate it :-) Happy to hear that you get good Three signal while you’re travelling around.

  346. Moderator: Sedge

    @ David – The post was written before the device was available so it was on our ‘Coming Soon’ page but thanks for flagging that – I’ll change the link to the dongle page :-) We don’t have access to individual accounts here but you go into a 3Store they’ll be able to let you know whether you’re eligible for an upgrade. If you’re not but would still like to purchase a Premium Dongle you can get one instore or online for £59.99. You can find out more about the Premium dongle here.

  347. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Lynn – If you give 333 a call they’ll be able to look into your account and let you know if you’re eligible to upgrade.

  348. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Ryan – Could you send through your postcode and I’ll take a look.

  349. Cliff

    I have had a 3 dongle since the beginning of March.
    I have yet to receive a broadband service of any description. Your own people describe broadband as 400kbps or better. (Everyone else would say 512Kbps)
    The best I have ever received is 96Kbps. Generally, during the day the average is 32Kbps.
    So far I have been given three dates as to when the issue would be resolved. The problem remains, with no improvement in service.

  350. kelly bray

    hi just to say that 3 dongal is the only network that i could find to work in my all steel narrowboat, i have never lost signal and i can stay connected all day which is fantastic because i use skype alot of the day. i have used and tried other networks and they have been useless for what i needed, most kept crashing, lost signal when in conversation. i would also like to thank 3 for there quick respond to any inquiries i have had..3 is the only network i can trust, so a big thankyou to all the team at 3.

  351. david

    I clicked the link for more information and it just takes me to a ‘phones coming soon’ page. I’m an existing pay monthly customer. Have been so for ages, do I get an upgrade or what?

    ps don’t really want to have to phone the 0843 number and I don;t have a three handset

  352. Lynn

    I am nearing the end of an 18 month contract (5GB for £15.99 per month) which started in December 2009. What are the requirements to be eligible for the free updrade to the premium dongle?


  353. ryan

    After working fine for the past year my dongle for the past three days has been saying no signal … wont let me connect at all normally have full bar anything i can do ?

  354. NA


    Because Three are being unable to keep up with maintaining the network to what it once was. Just read the number of complaints on this blog that say “was great, loved the network – but now… problem or the other” – which nine times out of ten seems to be a mast issue.

    Credit where it’s due Three do acknowledge the problem whenever it is occurring – rather than beat around the bush – and problems do happen, however, if you are hoping for a resolution, I have been trying for a resolution to my problem since January with at least two calls to CS per week.

    I guess one way of looking at it is: if you are not happy, try another network…I seem to be have started doubting if Three will improve. Sounding more like the network has gone from superb to good to OK – you can see the direction it is heading in…enough said

  355. Moderator: Johanna

    @Alison Adams – Can you explain a little more please? Do you have a dongle on PAYG? All our plans and packages are here.

  356. alison adams

    why am i paying 10 pounds a day to use my dongle that aint right 40 pounds in a week tradeing standards would like to hear this one

  357. Scott

    Hi. We’ve been using Three since September 2007 on XP home. We live in a rural location in Ayrshire (KA5 removed by Mod) served by the Mauchline mast, so mobile internet or satellite was our only choice. In the beginning, our service was very good. Download speeds of 2Mbps + ( Over the last 2 years, the service has degraded to the stage where it is nearly unusable. In particular, in the last week dropped connections are happening every few minutes or even seconds! Try paying for goods, it’s an absolute nightmare, you’re never sure if you’ve paid or not.

    We live 3 to 4 miles from a mast, I can see it when I look out the window! Problems occur whatever the weather. It doesn’t even matter if I take the dongle outside on an extension. Our signal strength can be at full strength, and then it will drop to no signal. If you restart the dashboard app it appears at full strength and connects in anything from a few seconds to a couple of minutes.

    Customer support has not provided a solution to our problem. We have tried numerous times over the last few years. I’ve checked all my settings, disconnected and reconnected my dongle, tried another usb port, cleaned the sim, reinstalled the software, performed a clean install of XP after a low level format…. I still have the same problem.

    “Principle two is quality of service which is key” is not being seen from this PC. Admittedly, when it works, its fast enough 1Mbps + which is fine with me. I’ve had 2.4Mbps ( in the past. I tried as I wrote this,, grade F – Very poor. I have had Ds and the odd C as well.

    Is there an app that manages connections that will allow you to specify HSDPA only, not just 3G only or 3G preferred? If not, why not? I’ve often wondered if switching between HSDPA and 3G is an issue. It’s my understanding that 3G is around 384Kbps and most networks use this for voice and keep the HSDPA for data. So why does the dashboard not have “HSDPA Only” as an option?

    So why is this happening?

  358. Moderator: Johanna

    @DG12 5DX – That’s great to hear – sorry about low signal yesterday!

  359. Moderator: Johanna

    @Andy – It’s impossible to say from here what’s causing your connection issues. Drop CS a call and they’ll be able to investigate for you. Numbers here.

  360. Moderator: Johanna

    @Nikki – It sounds like you’ve been through all the right channels but the issue still remains a mystery. Really sorry to hear you’ve had so many problems. If you post your full postcode I can take a look for you but we aren’t able to give the same level of detail as the customer services team.

  361. Moderator: Johanna

    @Chris Tancock – That sounds frustrating. I’ve taken a look at your postcode and can see that some work is being done, to be completed on 13th May. This isn’t definitely going to impact your signal but it’s possible. I’m afraid we aren’t able to run full diagnostics here, so you will need to discuss with the CS team.

  362. DG12 %DX

    All back to normal after a day of low signal at DG[removed by Mod].Thanks.

  363. Andy

    Well I have a proble with my internet speed and internet connection so I have a question, is it because the dongle is 2 years old?

  364. Nikki

    I have been having problems with my connectivity for the last 5 months and it’s driving me mad. I have phoned tech support a million times and they swear that they have had people out to work on my local masts time and time again but I am still having the same problem. My dongle flicks between 3G, HDPA and HSDPA. Whenever it goes to 3G, all connectivity stops until I manually disconnect and then reconnect. It’s a nightmare because it happens like every 10 minutes. They’ve sent me a new dongle, had people out to work on the masts… all sorts. But the problem isn’t fixed. I’ve had my 3 mobile broadband for 3 years with no issue and this problem just started suddenly. I have completely had enough and I am tempted to cancel my direct debit… I see no reason why I should keep paying for a service I can’t use. It isn’t my laptop because I’ve had that checked out too. It’s only a year old, well looked after and I got that from 3 with my contract. I live in the SE26 area of London which is apparently right on top of a base station so I have no idea why I am experiencing these problems. Any help anyone?

  365. Chris Tancock

    Not had any problems in the past in regards to signal strength or connection (Removed by Mod) but over the last month or so I’ve had a problem with an intermittant connection (I.e. I connect to the internet, go about my business and it randomly disconnects every few mins/hours) and it won’t let me connect again unless I close down the 3 dashboard, re-open it and click connect, I’ve spent an hour on the phone to one of your technical advisors and nothing they have suggested has resolved the problem (it’s cut out three times in the time it’s taken me to type this, I’m getting pretty annoyed with it now and am considering not renewing my contract)

  366. Moderator: Kaz

    @Mattchik – You should have strong coverage in your area. I can’t see any faults with your local masts. It could be a new issue that has not appeared on our coverage checker.

  367. Moderator: Kaz

    @michael – Just checked your postcode and there is an issue with a local mast. We have work planned to fix this, it should be fix this week.

  368. Ibrahim Gucukoglu

    Charlie, the ZTE MF112 is not redundant, its still very much sold by Three and is in all their Three stores as far as I know. Its just a cheaper modem for Three to provide than the Huawei, and it serves most of the people who use one. If you really feel hard done by, exercise your right of return, otherwise pay the 60 quid, else count your blessings and be greatful you’ve probably got one of the best MB deals around. No other network gives you so much data allowance, in fact most other networks sell MB as a supplamental product with lousy data allowances, where as some on Three are using their MB dongle’s and MiFi’s as their soul broadband connection.

  369. Mattchik


    No complaints with the connection in the past, but as I come the end of my contract soon I find myself thinking of moving to a new provider for the first time in years as it has got so bad lately.

  370. michael

    postcode (removed by mod) connections on zte getting slower and start up connection advice p

  371. Moderator: Kaz

    @john knight – Yes there is an issue with one of your local masts, there is planned work to fix this within the next 2 weeks. I hope this will fix your issue.

  372. Moderator: Kaz

    @Andrew – Yes there is an issue right next to the postcode you provided. We are looking into fixing it asap – Also a mast upgrade planned in June.

  373. john knight

    i live in (removed by mod) my signal has gone down to two bars from a full five over the last couple of weeks is there any problems in my area?

  374. Moderator: Kaz

    @rachelle – Really sorry to see that you are not happy. When I check for coverage in a particular area I’m only giving honest feedback on what I see on our coverage checker. If a mast is faulty, I try and give as much information as possible when this will be fixed. If you would like me you check coverage in your area, please send over your postcode.

  375. Moderator: Kaz

    @John – Before you return anything, can I check coverage in your area? Please can you supply your postcode.

  376. Moderator: Kaz

    @Mattchik – That does not sound good. Please can you send over you full postcode so I can check for any issues in your area.

  377. Moderator: Kaz

    @geezer – That’s great to hear. Thanks for the comment.

  378. Andrew

    Postcode (removed by mod) coverage has dropped low for phone and dongle.Is there a problem nearby,will it be sorted.Thanks

  379. rachelle

    139 was my last count of unhappy and disgruntled 3 customers!with all having pretty much one thing in common,DARE I SAY IT?well…. might as well wot the heck ,just makes me number 140!, what a total let down,waste of money and my time having to blog this!!!!!! 3 really are!.oh and Kaz…………. change the record and find another excuse please….. the mast is down routine is frankly wearing a bit thin.

  380. john

    ihave just took out a 18 month contract with a pay monthly dongle and laptop and in tha past week have only been able to use onternet only on a few occassions the speed is so slow ,, think i will return it as i have 14 days ,, had been using a 02 payg dongle before and had no problems ,, not a happy customer at all ,,,,

  381. Ian

    Hi been on three mobile b’band for almost 18 months in august 2011, right phone them up this morning for a new E367 dongle, And this morning they say yes, We can send the dongle out to you within 3 working days ok but we will have to put you on a new price plan of 15GB a month and 20 text messages but a contract plan of 24 months but this is the sweet thing, the 24 month plane will start in Aug 2011 so I am paying £15.98 a month now, with the soding VAT rise and looking to pay £18.04 in aug for 24 months. Bang on! before everybody says it’s not very good service, I am lucky but please vist, put the postcode in and it will give you a idea where the local HSDA mast and pint the dongle that way !!

  382. Mattchik

    Add me to the list of people who has seen really slow connection speeds over the past couple of weeks (Birmingham city centre – B4). It has taken me nearly two hours just to get online this evening – I know early evening is busy but it is just ridiculous. In four years with Three Mobile Broadband, it has never been so bad.

  383. geezer

    yo guys how you doin this is best dongle ive used and i used most of them from o2 orange etc im a truck driver and up to date ive be able to hook up most places ive be really sweet guys keep it up

  384. Moderator: Kaz

    @Nick – I have checked your postcode and looks like you should have good coverage in your area. There are no announcements regarding HSPA+ and our network at the moment

  385. Moderator: Kaz

    @NA – Looks like there is a couple of issues with your local masts that are being looked into this week. Hopefully all should be fixed soon.

  386. Moderator: Kaz

    @Dave – I have checked your postcode and there is a faulty mast close by which is being looked at this week.

  387. Moderator: Kaz

    @Den – I have just checked your postcode and seen that 3 of your local masts are not running at full capacity. We are working on fixing this and have work planned in for this week. I really hope this fixes your speed issue.

  388. Moderator: Kaz

    @colin stephenson – I really hope not. Sounds like we have completed some mast upgrade work locally to you.

  389. Moderator: Kaz

    @vince – You may have a coverage issue in your area. Please can you provide your postcode so I can investigate.

  390. NA

    Still getting super slow speeds in post code (removed by mod) despite being assured that there have been network upgrades carried out in the area. Is All You Can Eat data starting to take it’s toll on the network?

  391. TheWillT

    @Kaz – Thanks. I really hope it is fixed soon as my family are in Poland at the moment and we rely on Skype to stay in touch. It’s been hard not being able to see and talk to them because the broadband won’t connect. :-(


  392. Moderator: Kaz

    @TheWillT – I have just taken a look at your postcode and a local mast to you is due to be worked on this week. I hope this will solve your speed issues.

  393. Moderator: Kaz

    @James – sorry to here that – Can you supply your postcode so I can check coverage in your area.

  394. Moderator: Kaz

    @Adam – It might be an issue with coverage in your area. Can you supply your postcode and I can investigate.

  395. Moderator: Kaz

    @Harry Latour – that’s great to hear. Glad you are enjoying our network. Thanks for the comment

  396. Moderator: Kaz

    @Jose Carvalho – Sorry to hear that. Please can you provide your postcode so I can check coverage in your area.

  397. Moderator: Kaz

    @Helen – Thanks for supplying your postcode, looks like there is an issue with your local mast which would be causing coverage problems. There is planned work this week which should improve your signal. Regarding the launch of our new dongle, sorry to hear that you just missed out, we are releasing new products all the time so it makes it really hard to not disappoint everyone.

  398. James

    Hey my internet speed as been very very slow the last few days ive never had a problem with my dongle but its so slow i cant even use the net

  399. josie

    i am on a contract 15£ a month 3 dongle. i am very disappointed, disconnected every 15 mns. lots of problems to connect. shall i change ?

  400. Moderator: Kaz

    @D – Sorry to hear you have been having data speed issues recently. I have checked your postcode and your 2 local masts have planned work this week to fix small issues. Hopefully when fixed this will help your signal.

  401. adam

    Mobile boadband was quick but now its soooo slow canceling contract this week as cant cope no more, shame!

  402. Moderator: Kaz

    @Oscar – We believe that our MBB data plans to be very competitive postpositions in the market. Increasing the speed of the dongle allows you have an better experience when using our network.

  403. Moderator: Kaz

    @Sharon – Sorry to here that. There may be an issue in your area. If you can send me your posecode, I’ll check.

  404. Moderator: Kaz

    @James – Unfortunately, no the e367 is not compatible with the D100. Sorry.

  405. Moderator: Kaz

    @Penny – Sorry to hear you have been having issues connecting to the network. Please can you supply your postcode so I can look into coverage in your area.

  406. TheWillT

    My MBB has been practically unusable for at least two weeks. It connects and opens the Three homepage (sometimes) but after that it says it’s connected but no data flows. Occassionally it allows short bursts of data through just to get my hopes up then goes back to zero again. Tethering with my iPhone worked for a while but that is suffering too now. It doesn’t seem that long ago that work was done to my local mast and I’ve been told (after enquiring on Twitter – no proactive communication from Three this time) that there is work going on at the moment but two weeks without a reliable or usable service seems a bit much to accept.

    Bearing in mind I have two data contracts with you (MBB and iPad) can you let me know when service for (removed by mod) is likely to be fixed properly please?

    Many thanks

  407. Moderator: Kaz

    @shaun richardson – Really sorry to hear that, sounds like coverage was not great in your area. We are improving our network throughout the year so hopefully things will improve soon.

  408. Moderator: Kaz

    @simon – Just checked the postcode you provided and there is planned work on your two closet masts this week. Looks like they both had small faults. This should cure the signal issues you have been experiencing.

  409. Moderator: Kaz

    @David Pipe – Coverage looks OK in your area this morning, are you still having issues?

  410. Moderator: Kaz

    @Barry shaw – We treat every customer on a individual basis, it’s best to call customer services to see our latest offers.

  411. Moderator: Kaz

    @Hakan – Really sorry to hear that. Sounds like coverage in your area was not great. We are continuing to improve our network throughout the year so hopefully signal will improve soon.

  412. Moderator: Kaz

    @Paul – Speeds can be up to 40% faster with the new dongle. Looking at coverage in your area, there is one mast which is congested at the moment. There is planned work to fix it this week.

  413. Charlie

    I have just recently upgraded my old zte dongle 5g plan to a new zte mf112 on 15g plan following a sales call from 3.

    Had I not been contacted before my tie in expired I would have been eligable for this upgrade to the latest dongle free

    How many others have been caught this way, allowing 3 to offload their now redundant stock and prevent us getting a free upgrade to the new dongle.

    I will now have to wait 18-20 months for a free upgrade or pay the £60.

    Am I the only one to feel conned?

  414. Ibrahim Gucukoglu

    Oops, my comment was meant for Simon rather than Dave, silly me for not double checking before hitting the submit button.

  415. Ibrahim Gucukoglu

    Hi Dave, are you telling us that your begrudging a 60 quid upgrade to what is undoubtedly the best dongle Three have ever released? I could understand it if you were wining about a new phone like the HTC Sensation hitting the shelves when you’ve just got hold of a Desire and wondering about the wizdom of your purchasing decision back when, but honestly, the quality of this new dongle is far superior to the ZTE, both in design and construction and actual performance. I have had no problems streaming videos off Youtube with either the ZTE or Premium Huawei, and like all mobile services it’ll depend on where you live and the congestion signal strength combination factors of your locality.

  416. sharon

    it my first i have used a dongle and it rubbish it keep crashing on me . it keep disconnecting all the time and freezing on me

  417. Jose Carvalho

    I am disappointed with the service of 3 .. I’m always losing signal
    weak signal and improve the speed .. or I’ll have to cancel the contact
    because it is not possible and will seek other, better services



  419. Harry Latour

    I am 71 years old now,,,but a couple of years ago it was THREE that got me started on the internet. The internet then was something my grandchildren were showing me but there was so much on there for older people that i was soon desperate to get on it myself.I got a second hand laptop and after much deliberation got a preloaded 3g dongle from my town centre 3store.The assistant explained it all to me and i took it home,read the little book,stuck the dongle in the usb and about half an hour later I was ON THE NET.It was so easy,,and ideal for us old codgers,,no messing about with phonelines,modems/routers (whatever they are!!) just plug in and away you go,,,oh,,and no ”surprise” bills either.I recommend the 3dongle all the time especially to the old codgers,,you should promote it more to the older person and show them just how easy it all is.

  420. Helen

    I signed up on 9th march 2011 for 24 months 15gb internet.

    Firstly I would like to say how annoyed and disappointed I am that you have brought out this new dongle less than a month after I joined, I can’t upgrade for another 19 months so am stuck with what I have got unless I fork out an extra 60 quid which quite frankly is a rip off.

    Secondly the service and signal was great for the first 2 weeks, really fast and almost as good as my Dad gets on fixed broadband with Sky. Now it is awful, sometimes showing only one bar of signal for internet and for my phone too. It also swaps regularly between 3G and hspa. I am barely able to use the internet at all and have often resorted to going up the road to the local library if it is important.

    If there is no significant improvement within the next month I will be taking steps to cancel both my internet and phone contract, I believe that Three are in breach of contract as they are failing to provide the service that I was promised when I signed up.

    If you wish to check problems in my area before responding my full postcode is (removed by mod).

  421. colin stephenson

    The last two weeks i have had really slow speeds from 3.It has been as low as 70kbps to a max. of 120kbps. Now this week all of a sudden the speed has shot up to 1.2Mbps peaking at 2Mbps.As far as i am aware no work has been done in the area(according to the Three shop in Staines) so my question is Am i likely to keep having inconsistent speeds.This was also happening at 1 and 2 am.My post code area is SL3.

  422. vince

    what would be nice if they sent us a dongle that can stay connected regardless of were the dongle points and stop palming us off with rubish excuses as to why it doesnt work

  423. Chris

    I dont need better speed. I need the dongle to stop losing signal!! I’m tired of being on the internet and getting lost packets!! And I have all signal bars ok, connected to 3G, buet eventually it says it cannot ping google, nor anything.

    It is very sad but Vodafone ( and I don´t like them either) works pretty much better for me =(((((((((((((((((((((((((

  424. penny

    why is it taking my 10 mins to connect its realoly doing my head in ????and can i get the up grade for freeim on a pay monthly contract

  425. penny

    can you tell me why its taking me nearly 10 mins to conect its getting on my nervers ggggggggggggrrrrrrrrrr

  426. Den

    For months now from approx 17.30 till midnight my dongle has been incredibly slow for downloads (a 10 mb iTunes app can take 2 hours to download). At midnight magically things speed up.

    Tonight though I have no service whatsoever, had good connection earlier today but despite the dongle connecting, no internet pages will connect and diagnostics tell me the dns server is not responding. Tried this on two netbooks and a PC, same on each. Luckily I am at home and not relying on mobile broadband, but if I had been away and unable to connect this would be very inconvenient.

    This began at around 18.00 and I have tried re-connecting at approximately hourly intervals. Usually the 3 home page appears, I connect to BBC news and then the connection fails. Just doing this as I write (22.44) and it has connected properly and I have been able to visit a couple of web sites without failure.

    I would be interested though to know what was happening tonight, was tghe server down or in case it was a network issue I’m very close to West Ham football ground postcode I am giving is not mine but the pub just across the road (removed by mod)


  427. James

    was told that the new e367 would work with my d100 is this true or not ?

  428. Dave

    Kaz, my post code is (removed by mod)


  429. D

    Hi, I am having the same issue as CC. I paid 59.99 and got the new premium dongle on Thursday since i am only 6months into my current contract and couldn’t upgrade. But even though it shows excellent signal strength (4/5 bars), my ping is between 75-150ms and d/l speed is between 0.50-2mbps. It did spike to 4mbps around 2am last night though. My postcode is (removed by mod) and there is a mast quite close so I don’t understand why its so low. I’m on a 15gb contract too if that helps. I uninstalled and reinstalled but nothing. Also i seem to have a secondary 3UK connection now but is asks for my access point name, user name and password to connect. Where do I get this information?


  430. Nick


    Am I right in thinking that HSPA+ is a 4G technology? How much of your antenna infrastructure has been upgraded to work at 4G speeds? I have been looking out for a good 4G handset for some time but have been uncertain as to whether any UK network would support it (it’s not been available stateside long as far as I can tell).

    My postcode is (removed by mod), I’ve tried T-Mobile, Vodafone and Three and find all three to be equally slow at peak times (which around here, seems to be 6pm-11pm weekdays and daytime weekends, probably due to the high number of unemployed/low-income households in the immediate area (I live on an estate).

  431. shaun richardson

    The network is gridlocked .I have been with 3 now for about 5 yrs.
    It just gets slower and slower. Download speed 32 kps Upload speed 372 kps.
    Just one big wide up.
    With Virgin now offering broadband only deals .NO LINE RENTAL £21.00 UNLIM DOWNLOAD
    There’s no point.

  432. emma

    i have nothing but problems with 3 disconects me like every 10 mins i have decided to switch provider for 15 a month on contract i expect a lot more for what i get cant use it half the time

  433. Jamie

    Sounds interesting, as the speed from my ZTE MF112 dongle only goes above 100kb/ps between 1am – 8am. Evenings can be especially slow. Would this new dongle tech address that issue, or is there too many other users near me?
    At £59, I wouldn’t want to get one, only to find little/no improvement in service.

    ….How much is a new mast by the way? Can I buy one and have it put on my roof? :)

  434. Oscar

    Perhaps you could increase data allowances for both PAY AS YOU GO and PAY MONTLY?





    I suppose it is subject to network capacity, and running costs, but I don’t see much point increasing speeds without increasing allowances.

    I would be prepaid to pay a bit extra for such increase.

  435. John

    The dongle is great, but it does not get enough strenght for agood video connection or skype.

  436. simon

    my internet is slow i need a way to speed it up anybody no a way to do it its neve recking when it gose to slow and i get to much lag i would like someone to help me solve this problem for me as i dont no my way aroud the full pc.



  438. barry shaw

    think its about time you let your loyal customers take advantage of this new dongle instead of waiting many months before they can upgrade,lets face it guys its our money thats paid towards the development of this latest marvel.

  439. Hakan

    I am on the ZTE dongle and It is absolutely rubbish. I have been using Three Mobile Broadband for 2 months now. I cancelled it last month and it’s worst mobile broadband ever. Despite I cannot use the internet, they charged me £16 extra which is really annoying. DO NOT go for Three, I am telling you. I found it cheaper than the others at the beginning but I realized that I made a BIG mistake. It takes ages to open even google website. It shows the signal strength is full but it is too slow. I’ve tried to contact with customer service via e-mail but they don’t response.

  440. paul

    i have the zte 112 dongle and get good results up to 300kbs download will the new one be quicker?

    i live in a rural area 7km from exchange too far for landline so rely on 3

    post code pls remove if posting (removed by mod)

    but very pleased overall with 3 never let me down have dongle on tv mast outside in box as i am a tv engineer!!

    using a usb extender cable.

  441. Moderator: Kaz

    @Dave – We are improving our network all the time to make sure our customers experience our network to it’s full potential. Please can you supply your postcode so I can check coverage in your area. I will not publish your postcode.

  442. Moderator: Kaz

    @Geoff – We are improving our network all the time to make sure our customers experience our network to it’s full potential.

  443. Geoff

    As a three user my e156 works very well, but i dont think increasing the speed of the dongle will help many people because, as three become more popular, the more user’s you get using the same system, the slower the speed for every body, most noteable at peak times, unless three increase their bandwidth to allow for this.

  444. Dave

    While I welcome the potential speed increase, the problem I have is the speed varies significantly being especially poor on evenings and weekends. Have 3 plans in place to address the capacity issue as a fast dongle is of little use if an existing one is only able to obtain speed similar to an old dial up modem at peak times?

  445. Moderator: Kaz

    @CC – Thanks for supplying your postcode and sorry to hear about your speed issues. I have checked for coverage in your area and can’t see any issues with the masts close by. Your coverage should OK, with good indoor and outdoor signal. There are no current plans to upgrade your area, however we are constantly upgrading our network so there maybe developments later in the year. Sorry I can’t help any further.

  446. Simon pixel-perfection Gale


    Contract customers like myself (15gb – 18 month contract started in MAY 2010)

    Are NOT eligible for the free upgrade. UNTIL the last 4 months of your contract!

    So, what happens is 3 get you to phone their call centre, Who i must add have always been very helpful and friendly, they try to sell you your upgrade….

    Don’t get me wrong. I have had this dongle, ‘ZTE MF112 Black’ since May last year and other than it being slow to stream videos on you tube. I can for 99.9% of the time get online.

    And it is easily the best £15 a month (for 15gb) i have ever spent.

    I just wish for plain black & white explanations. STOP hiding facts! Thank you.

    So now i have to wait until 24th July before i can get my Free upgrade to this new Dongle. When i have been a very loyal, always on time paying customer.

    I think three, you could of let me have it a few months early!¬

  447. Moderator: Kaz

    @Marie- Sorry to hear that. Please can you provide your postcode so I can check coverage in your area. Installing sky should not affect your signal, sounds like a mast issue. Don’t worry, I will not publish your postcode.

  448. Moderator: Kaz

    @ian mcmurran – Sorry to hear that you have been having issues with coverage. It really does depend on your area, please can you provide me your postcode so I can check for coverage. Don’t worry I will not publish your postcode.

  449. CC

    I purchased the new E367 earlier this week in the hope that it might improve my speed but sadly this hasn’t been the case :(

    I’ve been a 3 mobile broadband customer for several years now and was very happy with the service until quite recently when my typical speeds seem to have come creeping down.

    I used to be able to get a reported speed of around 2mbps and this was pretty consistent. I now typically get 300kbps with a maximum of 1.2mbps on the odd ocassion – It also seems odd that the maximum it ever peaks at it 1.2mbs. I initially thought that 3 might have introduced some sort of throttling or speed cap but apparently not.

    The new E367 has offered no noticeable improvement in speed for me but i’ll hang on to it for now in the hope that it’ll allow me to take advantage of future network upgrades.

    I’ve tested my connection extensively using several different dongles directly connected via USB and via a Draytek 2820VN router, 3 different computers, and have tried having the dongle positioned on every side of the house – no significant improvement. I can see the mast from my upstairs windows and the signal is always reported as full.

    So I presume my erratic and gradually decreasing speeds are related to the 3 infrastucture and would therefore be very interested to know if 3 have any plans to improve the situation in my area (removed by mod).

  450. Moderator: Kaz

    @Rookwings – Thanks for your great comments.

  451. Moderator: Kaz

    @Ohh Matron – Yes the new dongle features several advanced new radio features that should help to improve not only the speed but also the connection.

  452. marie

    im writing to say my dongle keeps loosing connection quite often ….i recentley had sky installed properly sounds supid but can that interver with the signal…i have antenna for the dongle

  453. Moderator: Kaz

    @Paul Collins – really sorry to hear that you have been experiencing issues. Thanks for supplying your postcode, I have checked for coverage in your area and can see a couple of issues with the masts local to you. Both masts are due for an upgrade next week, I’m afraid I can’t tell you how long these masts have been faulty, but I can ensure you that we are working on fixing the problem. Hope this answers your question and hope these upgrades will improve your experience on our network.

  454. ian mcmurran

    Dear Moderator,
    i have had problems eith my connection since 2 days after signing up sadly.
    i have complained and when it got really bad, losing connection, no network etc…. i phoned and the dongle was changed. It hasnt been much better , if any.
    th edongle i have is the HUAWEI.
    will the new dongle be any better and how would i go about getting one
    i wont be happy if ihave to pay as the service i have had is not what i call service at all.
    apparently, the area i am in is not very good, yet at times, (when i leave the connection made and am away at work usually) the connection stays for long periods. Its only when i need it that it fails, or it seems that way.
    Any help appreciated.

  455. Ben

    @ Barbara,

    This is just a shot in the dark here (as your problem could be caused by any number of things) but I often get the ‘Server not found’ message due to timeouts during peak hours.

    Do you only get the ‘Server not found’ error message at certain times of the day ie, 5pm – Midnight ? If so then it is simply due to congestion & unfortunatley there isn’t much you can do except try to use at non peak times.

    I myself have just had to give up trying for the same reason – I know how frustrating it is but the fact is that if you want a dedicated, fast non interupted peak time Internet experience then a fixed line is the only option.

    Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with using a dongle as your only/main source of Internet (I myself am in this bracket) but they are designed to be used ‘On the go’ hence the Mobile Broadband term.

  456. Rookwings

    When phone companies let me down, resulting in my internet not existing for two or three years, I was delighted when I was told of 3 mobile dongles and mobile internet for my pc. I bought one and rearranged the room to keep the dongle in the window, because the shop warned me I’d have a poor signal in my area in Norfolk.
    My system is very minimal [700mhz running speed, 192 mb RAM - yes, pitiful, I know], with only two slow speed usb ports, and the dongle has to run through a hub as an extension, which slows my connection even more.
    Despite this, I STILL manage to be online MOST OF THE TIME, which is frankly amazing =)
    I had a little problem with one top-up, when the number didn’t work, and was instantly helped by 3mobile, so that I wasn’t offline at all. With my experience of other phone companies, I was more than satisfied with your customer support.

    Please accept my heartfelt thanks for my mobile internet – I am a very happy customer =)

  457. Paul Collins

    Hi Sedge, I have been using 3 now for over a year and half and sadly I have had to contact many times now.
    Since I email a sms via my dongle saying that upgrades to the system had been completed for a better service which was back in August 2010 I have never been able to get the same speeds. I was getting speeds between 1.5mbps and 2.5mbps but after the upgrade I was informed about I have been lucky if I got speeds above 15kpbs. As you can see I have been very patient suffering the extreme slow speeds as I can only get speeds greater then 400kbps if I am on-line after 3am if I am lucky. As I have been waiting for so long for my services to get back to the speeds of 1.5mbps and 2.5mbps on my old ZTE MF627 Dongle I was wondering if you might be able to offer me any information about this problem as I am beginning to get fed up of getting speeds of only 10kbps to 20kbps on average with my broadband while my father who is on dial-up is getting speeds 3 times faster then what I get. My Post code is (removed by mod)
    Yours Sincerely. Paul Collins

  458. Ohh Matron

    okey dokey, i have pretty fast browsing speeds anyway when i’m connected. My issue is how often i flit from Hspda, 3g and Hspa. Will this dongle help to maintain these fluctuations in signal or is it purely ‘up to 40%’ faster browsing? Because if that is the case then it realy is a bit silly when all most of us want is a more stable connection with solid speeds, not 40% faster browsing cos we have to look at things faster incase we dissconnect.

  459. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Barbara – Don’t worry we never publish full postcodes :-) I’ve taken a look at your area and there’s currently service improvements going on in your area – when this works complete you should see an improvement in service in your area but I understand your frustration at the moment if it’s not working as well as it did. Improvements should be complete in the next week or so, I can’t be specific with the dates unfortunately, but if you don’t see an improvement – get back in contact and we’ll see what else we can do.

  460. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Chris – You don’t need to feel for me Chris, I really enjoy my job and like helping customers where I can. Sorry to hear that you’ve been having problems with your dongle. Could you send through your postcode and I’ll see if there’s an issue in your area.

  461. Barbara

    Sedge, thanks for the reply! My postcode’s N22 [Removed by Mod] (if you can edit the last bit out before publishing I’d be grateful) but I didn’t get any texts or emails about improvement works, and it’s been like this ever since we got the dongle – or more precisely, 2 days after we got it, because the first 2 days were like normal broadband, very good… then the disappointment came. It keeps disconnecting and reconnecting too, making downloading even a 1MB file a pain sometimes… I have the ZTE MF112 dongle if that’s any help?

  462. Chris

    I am coming to the end of my contract in August. I have no other source of internet but I will not renew my contract with 3. As I don’t have a 3 phone it’s too costly to phone every time my internet is off. Now they bring out a new Dongle which is faster, that would be great if I could regularly connect to the web. Im on a package at £35 a month including a netbook and I kept a record of down time. In 1 three month period I could only access the internet intermitantly using only a few GB of my15GB a month allowance. Faster speeds will be great if you can connect. I feel for you Sedge, moderator of a site dedicated to something that doesn’t work must be frustrating.

  463. Moderator: Sedge

    @ John Chard – As an existing Pay Monthly customers you can purchase the premium dongle for £59.99 from or 3Stores. If you’re an existing Pay Monthly Mobile Broadband customers and think you’re eligible to upgrade you can call 500 from a Three handset or 0843 373 0500 from a landline and hear what offers are available to you :-)

  464. John Chard

    Re the New Dongle E 367 as is advertised on

    My current dongle as you I am sure know is the model E169.

    Is the new E367 better than the E169, if so how can I get one and will it be a free upgrade. ?
    I am on pay monthly 15gb

  465. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Barbara – Sorry to hear you’ve been having issues with your dongle. Could you send through your full postcode and I’ll see if there’s anything going on in your area.

  466. Barbara

    “Server not found
    Firefox can’t find the server at”

    50% of the time, I get that error message, and I’m sick of it… I got a Pay Monthly dongle for 15 quid a month, I was expecting better than that!! Sometimes it’s impossible to use the internet at all – I have a 3 phone too, and the internet is better on THAT! I don’t have fixed line net at home, so it’s really annoying. I have friends who have complained about this too, and ended up switching providers, so I think you should do something about this before you lose many more customers – many people won’t be able to afford 60 pounds for the new dongle, which might be just as disappointing as this one… :S

  467. Cherryl Gibson

    @ David John Hetherington: I don’t know if this will help you, but I sometimes get the same thing when I top up. I have to reload the page (before I complete the top up procedure) until I get confirmation that I’m topping up by the amount that I’ve bought.

  468. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Michael Martin – Sorry to hear you’ve had problems with your dongle. This Premium dongle is available on PAYG as well as contract if you’d rather have a dongle on PAYG. We think this dongle’s better because it comes with the latest HSPA+ to give it a greater network performance.

  469. Moderator: Sedge

    @ Cliff – It doesn’t have an external antenna but this dongle can get up to 40% faster speeds as it has the latest HSPA+ technology to get you the best network.

  470. Moderator: Sedge

    @ m – This is our new faster dongle :-) It’s available now.

  471. michael martin

    im on the zte dongle and ive had nothing but problems with it ive sent it back and they say nothing wrong with it the pay as u go version is better so what makes u think this new version is better now

  472. cliff

    does rthis new super dongle have an external antenna connection ?,and if not do any three dongles,i use my dongle as my only source of internet at home and it would be good to connast an antenna for better signal..
    cheers cliff

  473. m

    my old dongle worked great for 2 years then it has slowed down

    then 3 sell a new faster dongle ?

  474. Ibrahim Gucukoglu

    Hi Stew, I haven’t had time to test it thoroughly yet, my main concern has been with the accessibility and useability of the Three connection dashboard but I’ll be taking it up with me tomorrow to York, so I’ll be able to give you all a comprehensive and thorough review at that time. First impressions are good though, it does seem to hold a connection quite well and the rotating USB connector certainly has its benifits as it allows you to angle the modem to get the best signal or just to get it out of the way.

  475. stew

    @Ibrahim, please tell us what the performance is like of the e367, is it a it faster than the other 3 dongles? I’m interested in getting one but need to know if its worth it

  476. Ibrahim Gucukoglu

    Hi Mod. Before I forget, could you enlighten me as to the function of the little covered socket on the side of the modem? It is revealed by lifting a rubber flap yet no cable comes in the box that will fit it.

  477. Ibrahim Gucukoglu

    Hi Mod. Just picked up the new Huawei E367 today from a Three store, and I am very happy to report that it uses the same connection dashboard the ZTE does, that being the birdstep connection management software. This basicly means that although not totally accessible and having no keyboard shortcuts, with a little guesswork and a lot or patients it is possible to connect to the Three network, browse the web etc.

  478. Moderator: Johanna

    @Luke Stevens – Give customer services a call and they’ll be able to chat upgrades with you. The numbers are here.

  479. Moderator: Johanna

    @Ben – Thanks for feeding back on this. I’ve let our customer experience team know that you appreciate our efforts to keep you in the loop. I hope the network improvements weren’t too disruptive for you!

  480. Luke Stevens

    Where can I find out if I’m eligible for an upgrade? I’ve been on a monthly mobile broadband contract for years now. I surely must be eligible :P

  481. Ben


    So today I got a text from three to tell me that some improvements were being made to the network in my postcode area & that some services may suffer as a result.

    Believe it or not I was happy to get this text as opposed to just losing my signal with any warning & not knowing when it will come back on at least this way I am aware of the situation.

    So thankyou for listening 3.

  482. Moderator: Kaz

    @Mark Richardson – You can find all the information about the new dongle here

  483. Mark Richardson

    The Huawei E367 certainly looks the business but I can’t find it anywhere in the Three Store website. Any idea when this modem will appear online please? I rely completely on mobile broadband since ditching my fixed line last year so I’m waiting to buy one of these with a 15GB permonth plan.

  484. Neil-London

    @Kaz – Yes you are right, he did select the right product at the time (i.e. before this new dongle was out). However he made no mention that if i had waited a mere 2 days, I could have had a far superior product, that I would have happily have signed up for at the time. Yes I’d like to discuss it with someone before I cancel my account (fortunately I have the 14 days in which to do so!). My address is cambuneil (at) gmail (dot) com. Cheers

  485. Moderator: Johanna

    @David John Hetherington – This does sound like a complete mystery but if you give CS a call, numbers here, they’ll be able to look into this for you.

  486. David John Hetherington

    Yer, I confirmed it and still 8.00 pounds still, where does that 2 pound go then, as it is lasting for 4 days, instead of 5 days. When I do the 2 pound a day.

  487. NA


    Understood and makes sense.


  488. Moderator: Kaz

    @David John Hetherington – Are you saying that when you topped up £10, you could only see £8? That does not sound good. Please can you confirm so I can look into it?

  489. Moderator: Kaz

    @Neil-London – Thanks for your comment. Sorry to hear that you feel a little let down. I can ensure you that we would have not misled you on purpose, I’m sure the representative in question selected the right product for your needs at the time. If you would like to discuss this further I can email you a request for more account details, then ask someone in customer services to call you.

  490. Moderator: Kaz

    @HandsOn – here is the link to the video

  491. Moderator: Johanna

    @Joho – The new dongle should improve the all-round MBB experience. Do you use a dongle at the moment?

  492. Moderator: Johanna

    @Ben – I’m glad to hear you’re very happy with your 3 dongle and galaxy S. As well as launching the HSPA+ e367 premium dongle, we are upgrading the network on an on-going basis and will be continuing upgrades to add speed and capacity. As for the upcoming spectrum auction, Ofcom have recently announced plans for the auction next year and we’ll provide an update here.

  493. Moderator: Johanna

    @NA – Our on-going network upgrades are designed to benefit performance for all users but the biggest benefits will be seen by customers with HSPA+ enabled devices. We’ll be posting about our network improvements very soon, so you’ll be able to have a read and learn a bit more about timings etc.

  494. Neil-London

    Awesome news. However, as a new 3 customer I feel a little let down already. I signed up to a 24month dongle contract (the 15GB pcm one) only two days ago. With this newer and better model so close on the horizon, would it not have been honest/sensible for the 3 employee with whom I took out the contract to mention this new and obviously far superior product about to be released?

    I would be seriously interested for someone from 3′s input on this. Said employee was an excellent representative of your company however, I certainly would have waited the few days for the new technology i’ll now need to either wait 24months for or fork out the upgrade fee!


  495. Hands0n

    Exciting news indeed about the new dongle. Even more that Three are updating the network ti HSPA+ 21Mbps.

    Where is the link to the YouTube video?

  496. David John Hetherington

    Why does it say 99p on my 3, but when I top up 10 pounds for my dongle it then says that I have 8 pounds left, why does this happen. It runs out quicker.

  497. Ibrahim Gucukoglu

    Hi Mod. I’m still awaiting a response from you concerning my recent enquiry regarding the Huawei E367 modem software. I have not heard anything via email either so please update me as you promised to do on Monday. I’m happy to travel to a Three store to try one of these dongles out, I hope you didn’t get to thinking I was after a freeby LOL.

  498. Ben

    RE: ED’s Text alert idea,

    This idea is something that I have very recently also discussed with the Cus Serv team after a very frustrating 3 days of having no signal due to maintenance work of a local mast.

    Since being with 3 I have never had any problems at all with reception despite what some people would have you believe. However on two occasions now (18 months apart) I have had the shock of picking up my phone which normally has maximum signal strength, to find that the phone is displaying ‘Emergency Calls’ only.

    So I go to the ‘Scheduled Maintenance’ page only to find ‘No Work Scheduled’ so next I call Cust Serv who CAN confirm that the local mast is being Upgraded.

    When I ask how long for the Cus Serv tells me that it is not possible for them to tell me as there is no way that they can contact the engineers as the mast is down.

    They FLATLY refused to give me an answer. No matter how many calls our who I spoke to. I evan asked if there was anyone they could put me through to in the UK & again the answer was NO.

    As you can imagine just to lose a Maximum bar signal with no warning or info or idea of when service will be resumed is simply not good enough or pleasant to have to go through – ESPECIALLY when the last time it happened it went on for 22 (TWENTY TWO) days.

    Thankfully this time it was just 3 days. However I did make an interesting discovery when service resumed, Cus Serv called back to make sure all was back to normal & THEN told me that whenever work is started it is always the aim to start at the beggining of the month and to be finished by the end of same month !

    Funny how they waited til after to tell me this. Imagine if I was a new customer trying out the network DESPITE all the horror stories (which are totally unfounded but still persist) and got home with brand new phone only to find you couldn’t use it at all.

    The local 3 store was no more informed as to when the work would be completed either.

    All it would take is a SIMPLE TEXT to appologise for temparory loss of service due to network upgrade for overall customer benefit.

    Ps, Sorry for long post but this is something that I feel really let down by that could have been resolved so easily.

  499. Moderator: Johanna

    @Ed – Thanks for your feedback on keeping customers updated on network improvements. I’ve had a chat to our customer experience team and we will have new web pages detailing the work being done, but it won’t be broken down into regions. Customers who are having network improvements in their area will receive a text alert.

  500. Ben

    “However, you will already see benefits over our existing 7.2mbps dongles like the MF112.”

    I’ve experienced this myself using the speed test apps on my Laptop, I was sure that the 1st results were due to a fault on the app, so did the test again on a different speed tester.

    Now for the record I am very happy with both my 3 dongle & Galaxy S, however the speed results mentioned above come with a drawback – they are only achievable between 1:30am – 7am.

    From 7am – 4pm average speeds are between 2/3.5mbps. (while most people are at school or work.

    After 4pm through to 1:30am – during peak hours it’s not uncommon for the speed to dip below 1mbps.

    All above results are for Download.

    The Upload results are in fact more stable without any time factor playing a part – @ 1.60mbps..

    Hopefully the Network will be improved during the peak hours as at the moment what with the rapid take-up of Smartphones & ever increasing mobile broadband users the recently finished Network expansion program is already buckling due to congestion.

    I would be very interested to hear what 3′s plans are for the upcoming auction of 4G – as the pioneers of 3G it would be the sensible thing to build on the foundations & go for broke & wipe the floor with the so called ‘s big boys’

    The only thing stopping this is whether the money men who originally bankrolled the start-up of three are ready to start all over again !

  501. joho

    Hi can you tell me if i could expect a improvement with latency with this new dongle?

  502. Ibrahim Gucukoglu

    Hi Mod. Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you regarding this. I’m currently using one of your ZTE Modems, the MF112 which I got with my contract upgrade but will be eager to get the new dongle providing I can use it. Keyboard shortcuts are paramount as they will allow me to connect and disconnect easily, tooltips are a secondary thing really but will be just as useful. I can just about use the software that comes with the MF112 but only by memorising what each button does in the main window of the interface. The only Huawei dongle I was able to use successfully before was the E169G, a model you had back in 2008 or 2009. Every USB dongle from Huawei since has been totally unusable by me, and I hope this isn’t the case with the E367. I wonder if Three will oblige me and let me have a play with one, I can report back on how usable with screen reading technology it is without spending my money on something I cant use.

  503. Ed

    Just out of interest will there be a page on the website about when sites are being upgraded like there was with the HSDPA upgrades? I think you also did texts if you signed up. Great to see how much the network is improving also.

  504. NA

    Can one of the mods please clarify. I have an iPad – which is of course not HSPA+ compatible. However, when the mast near me is upgraded to HSPA+ – will this improve the speed I get? Obviously it will be capped at 7mbps – but what I am trying. To ascertain is if – let’s say nobody else in the area upgrades to an HSPA+ device in the area will it still improve network speeds (and bring them closer to potentially 7mbps)?

    If the above is the case – really look forward to this upgrade! Can you tell me when [removed by Mod] is planned for this upgrade?

    If it does not, then quite frankly, I think it will be quite some time before people actually start benefitting from this network upgrade.

  505. Moderator: Kaz

    @Ibrahim Gucukoglu – Thanks for the comment. Firstly yes the E367 does have a Micro SD slot. We need to look into your second question a bit more regarding the text tool tips, I will get back to you on Monday if that’s ok.

  506. Moderator: Kaz

    @Kevin – Sorry for the delay in the reply. I’m afraid the E367 is unfortunately not compatible with the D100 router.

  507. Moderator: Kaz

    @Steve – HSPA+ covers upto 21.1mbps and HSPA-Advanced is the next evolution beyond that. The E367 is a HSPA+ device rated at upto 21mbps. Our network upgrade to 21.1 is underway and will be completed during the year. However, you will already see benefits over our existing 7.2mbps dongles like the MF112. Our current MiFi product (E585) is also 7.2mpbs capable and this is their maximum theoretical speed. So performance may improve as the network upgrades continue, but the E585 cannot take advantage above 7.2 mbps

  508. Moderator: Kaz

    @Marc – There are no announcements at the present time.

  509. Moderator: Kaz

    @Stew – The E367 has a theoretical maximum throughput of 21mbps. The actual performance will vary based on local conditions but it’s our fastest dongle yet.

  510. Marc

    Does this mean we will see HSPA+ phones anytime soon? (am very happy with my iPhone atm, but you never know :P).

  511. Ibrahim Gucukoglu

    Hi Mod. I’m very keen to pick up one of these new dongles, however I must ask 2 questions.

    Firstly, does the new dongle have a slot for a Micro SD card?? Secondly, do you know if the software that comes with the dongle has keyboard shortcuts or buttons that when the mouse is rolled over them display textual tool tips? I ask the second question because I want to make sure I wont be wasting my money on a product I cant use with JAWS For Windows, my screen reading technology software on my PC.

  512. Moderator: Kaz

    @Daniel M – The E367 has a theoretical maximum throughput of 21mbps. The actual performance will vary based on local conditions but it’s our fastest dongle yet.

  513. stew

    Do you have detailed benchmark figures of the new dongles performance?

  514. Steve


    You mention that this has hspa+ technology built in which as I understand can mean ‘up to’ 42mbps on an enabled network. Please can you advise if your network has been enabled throughout the country with hspa+ technology and up to 42mbps, so that if I buy this dongle I will get ‘up to’ this speed. If not then when can we expect the roll out to start and be completed by?

    Also, once your network has been upgraded to hspa+, will I see a benefit on my mifi of which my current throughput ispeed s about 1.5mbps(although the mifi is advertised as up to 7.2mbps). So, for example, might I see average speeds increase to say 3mbps on this device when hspa+ is enabled in my area?


  515. Mathew

    You need to check the spelling and Grammar in the post it look like it has not been proof read.

  516. Daniel M

    Apparently these modems are capable of 28mbps what is the 3 network capable of?

  517. Moderator: Kaz

    @Mark – a) Afraid you will need to speak with customer services about your upgrade. b) There is no announcement about an enhanced MiFi. You would need to purchase this new dongle to experience these faster speeds.

  518. Michael

    I’m more interested in the “next wave of network upgrades” bit… ;)

  519. mark

    Looks good.
    Two questions:
    a. is the upgrade free if out of initial contract period on 15GB contract ?
    b. how do we get enhanced mobile broadband with a MiFi dongle ?


  520. Paul

    With out sounding horrible… Is this not a bit pointless with personal hot spot?

  521. stew

    Sadly not the announcement of all you can eat data for mobile broadband, any chance of more monthly data for the same price? As much as I’d like the new dongle I can’t justify 60quid for one. Wouldn’t it be better to release an updated chipset driver for the existing dongles rather than make customers have to fork out yet more money?

  522. Kevin

    Will this new dongle work with the Huawei D100 router?

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