As you may or may not know, my main network provider for my phone is ThreeUK. I tried them a year ago when I needed internet at my Paediatrics placement in Blackburn, but that didn’t work so well as the hospital’s accommodation was such that the congestion meant poor download speeds if any at all. At the time, I was offered a signal booster, but that needed a live broadband connection, which if I had, I wouldn’t have needed the SIM in the first place.
I cancelled that contract a few months after my placement but I got tipped by Daniel Carter about the SIM only plan (which has now gone up in price since) that I get unlimited data, including tethering, for £15 (plus free internet at certain countries abroad). OK, ok, this isn’t some three promo but at my Uni house, I got pretty decent signal. It was often worth switching to mobile hotspot when BT went down.
Now in my new place (new Newcastle) I only get one bar if I’m lucky. The annoying thing is that when I go into my office, calls can cut off randomly. Quite annoying when I’m trying to sort things out with customer services or plan things with work.
My first call to Three advised that there’s some work taking place and check on Monday if service has improved. Until then there was an interim App solution…
A ThreeUK customer service person recommended their app that lets me call over WiFi. Essentially viber/skype that’s integrated to your phonebook and text. Unfortunately at the time, we also had issues with our Sky broadband. So it was actually worse to connect using that app. Also, if I was using my 1520 for the ThreeSIM I’d be out of luck as they don’t have a WP app. (Though my 1520 doesn’t need no signal booster :p :p)
I wasn’t a fan of the app as it interfered a bit with my Note 4, PLUS the call recorder app I used didn’t work with these over WiFi calls.
I called up yesterday and Three again after another annoying set of customer service calls kept cutting off.
I spoke to two different people who were both very courteous and helpful. One suggested the home signal booster (I suggested this during my first call but I understand that they want to try other things first).
It came, as promised, next day delivery. For free. I think Vodafone charges £100 for theirs. It’s only meant to work at the registered address and if you move or no longer need it, you have to return it.
You just plug it in, as the simple instructions say. One to the power, and another to an ethernet cable from your broadband router.
It kinda looks like a fat kidney or car head rest.
The unsightly bit is on this side. There seems to be a SIM card present.
Power cable and ethernet cable. No need to get an ethernet cable yourself.
There wasn’t anything to set up. The customer service person added my number so that it would register with the box. They also asked for numbers of other ThreeUK customers that might come to my home so they can get a signal boost too. Alternatively you can add this yourself.
Since it uses your broadband connection, I was warned about my providers data charges (mine’s Sky 17mb unlimited and now of usable speed (5-6mb) to watch HD Netflix. Phew. Cheers BT guy who put the open reach box in). You’re warned also NOT to rely on this in case there’s a power outage for things like emergency calls.Now I’ve gone from one signal bar to full. The first call I had since using it was actually pretty terrible. Even when I sat down next to it. I had two bars. But I don’t think it connected at the time. Since then I’ve got a much more reliable connection, even at the centre of the house (well apartment. 3rd/4th floor duplex so there’s a relative bit of distance). It lasts pretty much up until the outside door of the apartment (about three walls to go through). Call quality is reliable and I can walk between rooms without fear of disconnection. Cheers Three!
And yes, it’s possible to make a hotspot from your phone or use the phone without having to have the WiFi on.