Broadband Guides

How to troubleshoot mobile broadband signal and installation

While mobile broadband offers a new generation of benefits to users – it would have been unheard of 5 years ago to download and watch a hd movie on your phone – there are still a lot of challenges that users might face given the fact that it is contingent on over the air broadcasting.

Thankfully there are a couple of things you can keep in mind with regards to what service to choose, how to use it, and ways to get the most from your signal. The first thing to keep in mind is that the connection you get will depend on where you are located. The more urban your residence, the better the signal will generally be. There are parts of Wales and Scotland that have particularly troublesome signal areas, as is also the case with much of southwest England.

The more you know about the signal strength in your area, the better you can judge if a given mobile broadband solution is for you. The advent of 4G has also been unevenly distributed across the UK in terms of signal. So just because 4G is available in one area, doesn’t mean that will be the case for another. What all this means is that you should have an idea of what you need your mobile broadband for – for communication and social media even slow connections will suffice – but for streaming there will be higher requirements.

You should also consider that the difference in signal goes right down to the house you live in in terms of variation: thick walls and nearby power stations have an effect, as well as distance to the closest mast.

Take a look online for reviews of the coverage of the network you intend to shop with, since signals vary a lot from provider to provider. You should really bear in mind that advertised speeds are really not that indicative of average speeds, in many cases you can only expect about half of the max speed on a day to day basis. This is particularly true for peak times, so if you’re trying to figure out if a mobile broadband service is right for you then bear in mind that peak hours always involve slower speeds.

Make sure you set up your mobile broadband correctly

If you’ve recently purchased a mobile broadband dongle then it’s worth knowing how to troubleshoot the setup process – which could save you the hassle of having to contact the provider or just speed up the process of getting started. After reading the instructions that come with the dongle, in most cases all you have to do is connect it to the USB port and follow the prompts.

In some cases the dongle is not detected by your device so you’ll have to troubleshoot that step. Try plugging it in to another USB port to see if it registers then. If that doesn’t work, try the connected device explorer in the settings/devices/computer menu (this will vary depending on your operating system) which will show if it is picked up and then click through t the device and hit install.

If it still does not work, it might be worth checking on another device to see if it is an issue with your computer, and the last resort is to contact the provider to report that it is defective.