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Three Broadband

 In a nutshell  

Last updated October 2013

Three offers the cheapest mobile broadband service in the UK, starting at 7.50 per month, and offering a massive 15GB for just 15.99 per month.



The Three network has the longest established 3G network in the UK, and so is a natural supplier of mobile broadband services. The service is very easy to set up and use: you simply plug a modem (or "dongle") into your computer's USB port, and you can then access the Three broadband network from home, work or on the move.

Maximum speeds are now 21.1 Mbps with the dual channel DC-HSDPA dongles. The basic 7.2Mbps USB modem is now available free on all except the 1 month contract. The HSDPA network covers 91% of the UK population and is easy to use.

The speed that you experience will depend on whether you are in an area with "excellent coverage" (i.e within HSDPA coverage), "good coverage" (i.e. within 3G coverage) or "marginal coverage" (i.e. on the edge of the 3G coverage region. Three's HSDPA coverage region currently covers 91% of the UK population (data correct in February 2009) and offers download speeds of up to of up to 2.8 Mpbs. 3 now offers 7.2 Mbps coverage across the UK and is starting to offer 21Mbps. You can check coverage by postcode on the 3 website. If you find that the service is not as good as you expected, you can return your Three USB Modem within 3 days of purchase. If you purchased it at a distance (via telesales or online), you can return your 3 USB Modem within 14 days of receipt provided you have not used your 3 USB Modem for more than 3 consecutive days. You'll also have to return the original boxed accessories and documentation "as new". 3 claim that most people on the HSDPA network can expect a speed ranging from 1 Mbps to 1.5 Mbps.

Ofcom's survey of mobile broadband, published 26 May 2011 found that Three offered significantly faster average download speeds than T-Mobile and Orange, but slower than O2 and Vodafone. This survey was based on 4.2 million tests run from September 2010 to December 2010. Ofcom noted that the most important factor affecting mobile broadband performance is location, so check coverage in the area you plan to use the service before deciding on which network to use. The average speed obtained by Ofcom with 3 was 2.3 Mbps.

User questions

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Why is your broadband service unfit for purpose?

Asked by Joan Mallon from Iteland on 16th Sep 2018
Your broadband service has gradually become worse and worse. 2 years ago, you said this was due to upgrades in service. No improve my followed, became poorer. Recently, essential upgrade again, now the broadband service is no longer a service. It doesn’t function, sporadic is a compliment. When I can access the net, the complaints about your service are nationwide. Why?

Why is it three broadband wont even load the homepage most of the time as it is so painfully slow?

Asked by philip morris from england on 15th Oct 2016
Even when it does finally come on it is so slow its like watching paint dry ive put up with this four years now it gets worse not better.

Three Broadband user reviews

Sorry - reviews and comments on this page are now closed.