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  • 17-01-2008 5:13pm
    Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators, Regional South East Moderators Posts: 28,261 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Cabaal

    What is this forum?
    The Midband forum is for questions and queries related to Midband products, these services are normally "Mobile Broadband" packages normally available from the likes of Three, O2, Vodafone & Meteor as well as Satellite, Irish Broadband Ripwave, EDGE, Thuraya, Clearwire etc.

    "Midband" is defined as Mostly On systems that are not billed by time and deliver on average better than the max of Dialup which is 2x B ch ISDN of 128k, but
    :: on average less than 1Mbps (1)
    :: more than 100ms Latency (2)
    :: connection is not ensured (3).

    Definition Of Mid-band and why we use this Term

    Dialup and basic ISDN are officially Narrowband

    Broadband is
    1. Always On
    2. Minimum High Speed ( 512k, 768k, 1Mbps or 2Mbps depending on Authority/ Country)
    3. Low latency (< 80ms, typical is 10ms to 60ms)
    4. Dedicated IP connection.

    3G/HSDPA (based on W-CDMA Mobile phone system)
    1. Not always on. It's a form of quick dialup, like ISDN is. It may not connect if the sector is full or the sector has shrunk (CDMA breathing).
    2. Speed quoted is TOTAL peak for all users in a sector. It's not economic to build sectors for just one person. Total Cell throughput (according to Vendors) is 1Mbps to 2Mbps for a typically loaded sector. That is shared between users, so at an economic level of use the speed is under 150kbps. It can easily be 50kbps or simply not connect.
    3. Latency is 80ms at best. Realistic latency is 120ms for a few users and rises to over 2000ms for a loaded sector.
    4. Not a dedicated connection. Shared with phone traffic which has priority.
    Ripwave is similar but without phone traffic. It's S-CDMA.
    IPW is also a CDMA system

    These are all classed as Midband as they are not Broadband and degrade to worse than Narrowband (Dialup/ISDN) when economically loaded.

    The Oireachtas 24th March 2004
    Define broadband as a service that provides at least 512Kbs connectivity and set a target of the widespread availability of 5Mps connections by 2006 and with a further suggested target of 10Mps connections by 2008.

    The Joint Committee has concluded, for the Irish market, that speeds of anything less than 512kbs is not broadband but is in fact in a class known as ‘mid-band'. This would include such services as ISDN connections and 124 and 256kbs DSL connections. In this respect the Joint Committee's definition of broadband differs from that in use by other groups and significantly differs from the definition currently to be found in Section 8 of the Finance Bill 2004. The Joint Committee believes that all connections at speeds of less than 124kbs, currently the majority in the Irish economy, have to be regarded as narrowband connections.

    FCC: Broadband must have a MINIMUM speed of 768k
    Update 22nd July 2010; FCC has placed a new minimum of 4Mbps downstream, and 1Mbps upstream, for broadband in the USA.
    Links to source: &

    OECD has 256kbps as minimum speed for Broadband.,3343,en_2649_34225_39575598_1_1_1_1,00.html
    3G/ HSPDA @ 7.2Mbps is NOT a speed faster than 256kbps to users as with a reasonable number of users in sector the speed is about 200kbps and can easily be 50kbps.
    3G Mobile is excluded anyway by OECD!
    ii. Does not include
    1. 3G mobile technologies
    2. Wi-Fi
    3. Exceptions: included in rare case that Wi-Fi/3G is the transport mechanism of a fixed-wireless provider (e.g. in rural UK, CZ)

    Though 3 Ireland has dropped "Mobile" from their advertising the only products they have run on their 3G Mobile licence. They only have 3G technology and only have a licence for 3G Mobile.

    Please PM me or use the feedback link in the main charter if you want to make additions to this sticky.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,713 ✭✭✭✭ jor el

    Mobile Broadband
    Mobile Broadband in Ireland has become increasingly more popular in recent month as it tends to be more available then the likes of Cable and ADSL in rural Ireland.

    There are three main types of Mobile Broadband packages available in Ireland for customers.

    Three Broadband -
    Most popular package is
    3 Mobile Broadband
    Cost Per Month: €19.99
    Data Modem Cost: €89.00
    Speed: upto 3.6MB
    Cap: 10GB
    Cost over cap: 5c per MB
    Network Coverage: Available Here
    T&C's: N/A

    Vodafone 3G Broadband -
    Most popular package is
    Vodafone 3G Broadband Modem Pack
    Cost Per Month: €29.99 (£14.99 for first 3 months)
    Data Modem Cost: €49.00 (€29.99 "As New Modem")
    Speed: upto 3.6MB
    Cap: 5GB
    Cost over cap: 2c per MB
    Network Coverage: Available Here
    T&C's: Available Here

    O2 Broadband -
    Most popular package is
    Broadband Connection Only
    Cost Per Month: €40.00
    Data Modem Cost: €109.00
    Speed: upto 3.6MB
    Cap: 10GB with Fair Usage Policy
    Cost over cap: Unknown
    Network Coverage: Available Here
    T&C's: Available Here

    Looking for Mobile Midband while Abroad?:

    Check out the Pay as you go SIM with Data Wiki for details of plans and prices in many countries world wide.

    Availability and testing:
    Vodafone & Three both operate a 14 days policy and O2 have a 30 day policy where customers can test there mobile Broadband service and if there not happy they can return it complete with proof of purchase, packaging, cables, software CD and user guide for a full refund.

    For people wishing to avail of Mobile Broadband I highly recommend you avail of this facility with whichever provider your going with, also check there network coverage in your area before ordering.

    Its important to remember that the above Mobile Broadband providers provide there packages as UPTO 3.6MB, and unfortunately with Mobile Broadband speed can vary greatly depending on many factors such as for example:
    - How busy your local transmitter is (how many other users)
    - How far away you are from the transmitter
    - High buildings, mountains, hills etc in your area

    Based on all of this we recommend its best to test the service alot during the trial period that is noted above, however please be aware you are likely to receive less then the 3.6MB speed your provider advises.

    Charged for going over your cap:
    Mobile Broadband providers seem to be alot more strict when it comes to going over your cap, there have been many reports of people being charged for going over there cap on both Three and Vodafone, as such I recommend watching what you download, check your ISP's traffic monitor regularly and even install your own traffic monitor.

    Bottom Line:
    So your probably thinking "who's the best provider?", well the answer is nobody really can tell you because it all depends on network coverage in your area as well as how many people are already using the provider in your area.

    Nobody can say 100% that a chosen provider will work for you in your location unless they've already tested it there for you.

    From both a network coverage a customer support side of things reviews of each providers are VERY mixed, some people hate O2, Vodafone or Three and others say there the best in the world.

    I'd recommend using the search function and perhaps using the "trail/test period" before making up your mind :)

    How do I use my Wii/PS3/X-Box on Vodafone, O2 or Three?
    This is a very common question and here's the long and sort, any sort of on-line gaming via a Mobile Broadband connection is unlikely to be very good while it is possible your looking at very high pings which will affect the performance of your game.

    Ping results are likely to be varying between 120ms to 170ms and if coverage is poor or the sector your on has alot of people on it then you could end up with over 1000ms pings.

    On-Line gaming ideally needs < 70ms pings. (basically the lower the better)

    What do I need to share my connection:
    If your using a USB Datamodem then you will need the following:
    Dlink DIR451
    Draytek. See here for general information on 3G routers.
    Dovado UMR, see this thread for more detail on this one.

    If you are using a PCMCIA Datamodem then you will need the following:
    Linksys WRT54G3G
    Dlink DIR 451

    Once you have one of the above devices you can use a ethernet/wifi connection as normal.

    These devices will also allow you to use Nintendo DS, PS2, PSP, Apple iPod iTouch, Archeos, WiFi feature on phones etc with your Mobile Broadband connection.

    Other Solutions:
    Internet Connection Sharing with a USB Based Modem

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,713 ✭✭✭✭ jor el

    2 Way Satellite: 512k if you use it all day it might be suitable for some people's needs from a cost point of view compared to dialup. Latency is a big factor and as such its unsuitable for on-line gaming and services such as VoIP.

    3G Mobile Broadband: You can use phone handset, PCMICA card or USB modem.

    It's 50k to 3Mbps down and 50k to 350k up, depending on which mast you get, how busy it is etc.

    Maximum number of users in a sector is related to the max connection speed of the sector.
    The users per sector is related to sector Max speed as follows (approximately)"

    1.8Mbps = 12 users
    3.6Mbps = 24 users
    7.2Mbps = 48 users
    14.4Mbps = 96 users

    The speed at 1/2 the cell radius drops to a 1/4 or less for 3.6Mbps. More for higher speeds. The 14.4Mbps only applies really Line Of Sight and <250m from mast, almost WiFi hotspot Mode. Think of range of 54Mbps WiFi compared with 1Mbps which it drops to with distance.

    Obviously if users are distributed equally, then 75% are in the outer band of the sector and can't get more than 1/2 speed ever. At cell edge it is at the minimum speed and thus as more users added the cell edge will shrink, eventually to 1/2 radius as full number of users connect.

    Each connection looks like noise to all the others as it is CDMA. So with full number of users close to mast only half the sector speed is available among them, hence not 3.6/24 but closer to 3.6/50. If all 24 were at 1/2 the cell radius then speed per user about 3.6/(4x 50) as the signal is weaker.

    Some Internet applications don't work very well on some Providers such as on-line gaming and VoIP services. Access is generally via USB Data modem, however Mobile Broadband by its very nature can be suited to people on the move alot.

    Quality of Mobile Broadband can vary greatly, as such its best to test the service a lot during the trial period.

    A basic two way satellite is bit more expensive but actually works virtually all the time. GSM/GPRS/EDGE is 900MHz (Vodaphone, O2) or 1800MHz (Meteor) depending on operator. 3G/HSDPA/HSUPA is 2100MHz band. Lower frequencies give more reliable coverage. Only O2 does EDGE and HSDPA.

    "Broadband" in a box: Irish Broadband (IBB) Ripwave, Clearwire.

    Service can provide between 250k to 1M, but it can also be 60k with 2000ms pings which once again can make this service unsuitable for on-line gaming and VoIP services.

    Coverage can be patchy as many factors such as construction of buildings can affect the signal strenght. Service is a bit like a cross between WiFi, WiMax and Mobile Broadband.

    If you can receive it in your area and there is nothing better take the trial and test it out, if it isn't good make sure and get them to sign for it when you take it back.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,534 ✭✭✭ corkie

    If you are purchasing these device's from whatever mobile company, could you please tell the provider. What hardware you intend to run these devices on. (most providers say they do not support linux, but these devices can work well under linux, if they work on the latest MAC, they more than likely will work in linux).

    If your using Vista 64 please request that they sell you device, that has been flashed with the latest update firmware, compatible hardware! If you have bought new hardware and are expecting an old modem to work. You may need to source updated drivers (firmware) from your provider or direct from the modem manufacture. (note flashing the firmware on a device can be risky and may result in damage to device, invalidating your warranty, check with your provider).

    If your intending using the device with a be it ultra-portable, Netbook, sub-notebook, handheld, mini-notebook, ultrathin notebook, ULCPC. If it's running some version of linux, most of these have a stripped down version of linux and getting the device to work on them may prove very difficult. Check compatibility before either buying the modem or hardware.

    Hauwei e220 works well on the Asus eeepc linux (out of the box) line for example, wheres on the Acer Aspire One(linux) version it may need updated packages etc.

    If you intend to run these the modem's only on linux based devices, ask your mobile provider to get the modem activate on windows based machine before leaving the store.
    (Sierra Compass 888 modem requires this to be done. Not sure at this time if what linux based netbooks will see and run this modem out of the box).

    At the time and date of writing this Ubuntu 8.10 LiveCD/USB stick won't work with this modem, but Slax and Knoppix latest version do.


    P.S.Maybe this post could be made a sticky, with links to firmware upgrade for the devices on the irish market etc.

    "He tasks me. He tasks me and I shall have him! I'll chase him round the moons of Nibia and round the Antares maelstrom and round perdition's flames before I give him up!" - Khan quoting Moby Dick (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,713 ✭✭✭✭ jor el

    Shamelessly taken from

    Operator APN IP address type
    3 3internet Public
    3 Private
    3 3netaccess (tbc)
    Eircom Public (tbc)
    Meteor Public (tbc)
    O2 open.internet Public
    O2 internet Private
    Vodafone Public
    Vodafone internet Private

    Note: private IP addresses provide a limited form of internet connection, intended for sharing among very large numbers of 3G phone users, whereas public IP addresses offer the full range of internet functionality, e.g. online gaming, voice over IP (VOIP), port forwarding, similar to what is provided on most DSL and Wireless broadband solutions.

    Additional settings for O2:
    Access number: *99#
    SMS number: +353868002000

    Additional settings for Three:
    Access number: *99#

    Additional settings for Vodafone:
    Access number: *99#
    Username and Password: vodafone/vodafone

This discussion has been closed.