/ Three mobile coverage - SW Scotland and highlands

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Ben Sharp - on 14 Aug 2013
I'm thinking of switching from Vodafone to Three and wondered if anyone with them had any coverage info. They seem to have a much better 3G network but obviously that's all you've got so I was interested to hear what sort of coverage people have had in rural areas, specifically the highlands and SW Scotland.

Thanks

Ben

P.S. the coverage checkers never tell the full story.
dan_the_dingo - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Ben Sharp:

Well it's hardly a comprehensive survey but I was working on a hillside about 10 miles NW of Dumfries last week, I'm on vodafone and had 3G and good signal (admitedly it got intermittant down in the valley) however one of the other lads on 3 had no coverage at all, anywhere.

Although this is only on one particular hill :)
Jim Fraser - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Ben Sharp:

Even if you were standing outside the 3 shop in Inverness you'd probably want to be on the free O2 wifi!

There is 3 coverage in Inverness and there are tiny areas of 3 coverage outside town in a few places like Achnasheen and Cluanie. Then there is the theoretical Orange roaming the rest of the time.

Somebody confirm this please. The way I hear it there are problems because you won't get data roaming on the Orange roaming and you might not get Orange near where there is 3 because the roaming is switched off.

At Lundie by Cluanie, the Orange is listed as 5 dB up on 3's output and combined with the slightly lower frequency, you'd expect Orange coverage to stretch out beyond the 3 coverage. But if roaming is off on the Lundie mast because there is a 3 base there, then that will mean big gaps for 3 customers in the surrounding area.

3 is on 2100 MHz and Orange 2G on 1800MHz. At those frequencies they will always struggle on anything more mountainous than a golf course. 900 is bad enough. I am looking forward to finding out how well 800MHz works: not going to hold my breath.

Vodafone in the Highlands has always been good. There is a HSDPA or 3G (2100MHz) around Inverness, and 2G (900MHz), with GPRS or sometimes EDGE, on most mountain tops. I have become accustomed during the last 6 or 7 years to sitting on mountain-sides checking the weather on the net. And the smartphone drives a hotspot for the laptop when necessary, with enough for email and Opera Turbo.
alexcollins123 - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Ben Sharp: In Aviemore itself I get 3G and on the tops in the Cairngorms i get 3G too. I'm on Three with an iPhone 5.
waterbaby - on 15 Aug 2013
In reply to Ben Sharp:

Can't help you with your area but I don't find three at all good. I usually find that their 3G and phone reception is very patchy and end up using wifi rather a lot.

I live near Guildford in an area of generally poor reception on all networks, when I was with vodafone the reception was better, I really regreted leaving vodafone.
Ben Sharp - on 15 Aug 2013
Cheers for all the responses, it looks like you'd take a hit with three with reception over vodafone. It's just a bummer that the other networks "unlimited" data isn't really unlimited. I might pop into the three shop in Dumfries and see what they say, maybe coverage will be improving.

Ben
Toby S - on 15 Aug 2013
In reply to Ben Sharp:

A friend of mine uses 3, she lives in Abriachan and the coverage seems to be ok.
StuDoig - on 15 Aug 2013
In reply to Ben Sharp:
Most I found when I was on three that folk on either vodaphone or O2 had reception much more often than I did in rural / hilly areas. 3 seems OK for bigger cities but relatively poor rural in my experience of them. My wife is on 02 and had a much more reliable service than I did on Three.

Cheers,

Stuart
Jim Fraser - on 15 Aug 2013
In reply to Toby S:
> (In reply to Ben Sharp)
>
> A friend of mine uses 3, she lives in Abriachan and the coverage seems to be ok.


Abriachan benefits from the monster mast complex on Craig Dunain that serves a large part of Inverness for most providers, so it's not typical.
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waterbaby - on 15 Aug 2013
In reply to StuDoig:
I get patchy reception even when in south London, so that's not the case.

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