Using your cell phone service provider to access 3G broadband is an excellent way of taking advantage of your laptop's connectivity. Vodafone, the world's largest mobile phone operator as of November 2010, offers a range of 3G packages to suit most budgets and needs for customers in Britain. But there are areas that do not have the best coverage, whether because of the mobile phone mast or obstructions in the surrounding area.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Laptop or tablet PC
- 3G modem/3G SIM data card
- Clip aerial
- High-gain 3G directional aerial
Open your web browser and visit Vodafone's UK coverage map. Tap in your postcode or place name and hit the "Check Coverage" button. You will be presented with a map that shows the coverage for that area. You may find that the area you are in only has variable coverage. If you can move, relocate in a higher-coverage area.
Use a clip aerial from Vodafone or another mobile phone outlet. This clips onto the side of your laptop or can be placed on your desk. These usually can then be plugged straight into your 3G broadband dongle.
Use a high-gain 3G directional aerial from Vodafone or other mobile phone outlet. The high-gain aerial is directional, and thus needs to be pointed toward the nearest mobile phone mast. To find one, simply rotate the aerial until you see the maximum signal coverage on the bar readout.
Tips and warnings
- If you are using 3G broadband while outdoors, employ an outdoor panel aerial.
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