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Unread 02-12-2008, 14:36   #1
Padna
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Default Mobile broadband - best provider?

Does anyone have experience of using a modem from one of the ROI mobile phone companies on the train between Dublin and Dundalk to access the internet from a laptop? If so, do you know which company provides the best coverage along the route?
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Unread 02-12-2008, 14:44   #2
tigger1962
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I've used a three modem and a vodafine modem so far on this route! Of the two, the three modem has less dropouts than vodafone (both e220) I'll know the situation with an o2 modem next week!
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Unread 02-12-2008, 14:49   #3
Padna
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Thanks for the info! Let us know how O2 compares when you've used it.

How many dropouts do you get with three? Would it be satisfactory for working (i.e. connect to my office network) as opposed to just browsing for personal use?
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Unread 02-12-2008, 14:53   #4
Mark Gleeson
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Next challenge is to find a power socket in a enterprise coach, then you can have the full mobile office while stuck in a field somewhere in north Dublin
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Unread 02-12-2008, 17:34   #5
Colm Moore
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You need to consider whether having two accounts is better than roaming and I suspect it would be cheaper. Roaming costs for data have tended to be extortionary.
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Unread 03-12-2008, 10:33   #6
tigger1962
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I can so far only comment on the two I have used between Dundalk and Dublin. I have used a vpn client to connect to my work with the three modem and with a good signal it was quite good. The main dropout areas I have found are between skerries and Balbriggan, sometimes between howth Junction and malahide - especially coming into malahide, and two other spots between Drogheda and Dundalk - one between Drogheda and dunleer and then about 5 minutes from Dundalk, this one seems to affect quite a few carriers though, inc O2.
On the roaming front.. 3 is actually very good!! I've used the 3 modem in NI, Scotland, Wales and london and had excellent coverage and speeds compared to Ireland and even on lake Garda in Italy and their 3 like home policy applies for broadband usage in countried that they have a presence which meant it came out of my monthy allowance/costs!
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Unread 04-12-2008, 10:14   #7
Peter FitzPatrick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiger1962
I've used the 3 modem in NI, Scotland, Wales and london and had excellent coverage and speeds compared to Ireland and even on lake Garda in Italy and their 3 like home policy applies for broadband usage in countried that they have a presence which meant it came out of my monthy allowance/costs!
it actually worked for me when i got stuck in northern iceland ! faster than home too definitely find 'three' to be the best, very few drop outs if any, and its only 20 euro a month.
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Unread 04-12-2008, 15:30   #8
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i won't get into over who is a better provider! my experience to date is based on three and vodafone. it depends on who's masts the coverage is provided.. i know 3 signed agreements with vodafone to coverage where they hadn't coverage but I also know from past experience that IE provided masts to esat now o2! I'm not sure what agreements are currently in place. But for the moment... all i can say is 3 provide the best coverage on the northern line currently
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Unread 04-12-2008, 15:34   #9
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and before the more techie ppl reply yes i know BT is currently esat so the lines are probably theirs..it will be interesting next year to see how much three will upgrade their network as part of the broadband contracts!
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Unread 04-12-2008, 15:58   #10
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today has been a great day on three.. after passing drogheda, i've not had one single dropout! I did drop to wcdma for a few short periods but overall no dropouts!
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Unread 04-12-2008, 17:03   #11
Colm R
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Just on the cost side of things, if you are from north roaming down here, o2 Ireland have a pretty good prepaid offer now which should work in the broadband modems.

Its 1 cent per kb up to 99kb, therefore 99 cents, and free thereafter up to 50 MB per day. Might be cheaper just to pick up a free/cheap prepaid sim while you are down south.

On the technicalites of it, well it all depends.

A slow moving train in an urban area will do well, whereas a fast moving train has potential to drop out as you handover more often from mast to mast.

In the countryside, provided the signal is good, a fast moving train should be ok.

Going back a few years now, there was a problem with one of the networks where almost every hour, two masts somehere in Co. Tipperary would fall over for a few minutes.
After some investigation, they came to the conclusion that it was because of the then new hourly service between Cork and Dublin. The cause was because two trains passed each other at a point where a handover was taking place.
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Unread 04-12-2008, 21:23   #12
Colm Moore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigger1962 View Post
The main dropout areas I have found are between skerries and Balbriggan, sometimes between howth Junction and malahide - especially coming into malahide, and two other spots between Drogheda and Dundalk - one between Drogheda and dunleer and then about 5 minutes from Dundalk, this one seems to affect quite a few carriers though, inc O2.
That seems to be consistant with where there are cuttings on the railway and so should be reasonably predictable, although you might find slightly different reception areas nothbound to southbound due to reflection.
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Unread 05-12-2008, 13:36   #13
ErnestGoodheart
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Have 3 prepay for laptop.

Rubbish. In Meath, and in Dublin.

Worst of all, whenever I am down in Wicklow visiting my folks, it's even worse, despite being on top of a hill, surrounded by nothing but air.
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Unread 08-12-2008, 16:08   #14
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day 2 of using the o2 modem, no dropouts between Connolly and Drogheda. In fact if i was to believe the mac app supplied, i got 1.6mbs at one stage. At drogheda it drop to wcdma for longer. There has been no dropout between Drogheda and dunleer, leaving the usual one between Dunleer and Dundalk.

now i don't know if this is correct but i may have dropped to using the o2 EDGE network but i got good data rates and my VPN client remained connected for a good section of the journey. Based on this... it is beginning to look like O2 has the best coverage on the Northern Line to Dundalk and at the price I'm paying no complaints so far!
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Unread 09-12-2008, 15:42   #15
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not sure how accurate this is



on enterprise between portmarnock and malahide
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Unread 10-12-2008, 10:07   #16
Padna
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Based on Tigger1962's advice (big thanks!) I've decided to try both three & O2. They both cost approx 20 euro a month & have a 10Gb download limit. I think Vodafone is around 30 euro a month with a lower download limit - and seemingly is not so good between Dundalk & Dublin.

Last Friday evening I tried the three modem on the 18:40 Dublin Connolly to Dundalk commuter train & was disappointed with its performance. This morning I tried the O2 modem on the 07:57 / 08:00 (depending on whether you believe the Irish Rail or Translink timetable ) Dundalk to Dublin Connolly Entreprise train & found it quite satisfactory.

I wasn't really taking note of exactly where the coverage was good / bad, but just forming an impression of the overall level of coverage during the journey. I'll have to make up my mind this week which is better as O2 only give a 7-day money-back guarantee - with three & Vodafone it's 14 days.
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Unread 16-12-2008, 13:25   #17
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fairly regular between Dublin and Limerick

O2 better than Voda with Mobile broadband,

both have seem to have a massive dark space north of Portlaoise to the Dublin outskirts
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Unread 17-12-2008, 21:27   #18
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After primetime investigates and now my experience in trying to cancel with three ireland... i would not now recommend them to anybody

That aside, remember that depending on the type of train, you may get interference! so far my experience with o2 broadband has been good and i get far better speeds overall, I have had a few dropouts but better than three. there is also a huge thread on boards.ie about three!
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Unread 27-01-2010, 10:39   #19
Mark Gleeson
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I've done some serious cross country travel with my O2 modem and results have been positive

Between Limerick Junction and Dublin things get a bit dodgy beyond Portarlington and again near Ballybrophy but always a signal

Between Rosslare and Dublin things are pretty good but around Rathdrum you get drop outs due to the tunnels and the contours of the land

Coverage Waterford - Rosslare is okay, bit of a drop out at the Barrow bridge.
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Unread 28-01-2010, 13:13   #20
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I use O2 as well daily and travel between Connolly and Rathdrum, I have to say I find the coverage excellent and it only drops off between Bray and Greystones which is to be expected with the tunnels.

My friend uses 3 and hers drops/stalls a lot more frequently and it's driving her nuts. I'm not too sure what packages Vodafone and 3 offer but O2 have a great range of modems and price ranges available depending on how long you want to sign up for etc.
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