Why does my 3G broadband keep dropping?

Instead of getting broadband for my house, I decided instead to buy a 3G broadband dongle on a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) contract for use with my laptop. This works reliably most of the time but sometimes the internet connection disappears. Is there anything I can do about it?

The intermittent reception on your 3G signal is possibly caused by external interference. As you’re probably aware, 3G broadband dongles use radio waves and, like any other kind of radio signal, reception can be affected by outside influences such as someone using a microwave oven or cordless phone nearby.

As such, unless there’s any particular frequency to it then there’s probably little hope of finding the cause. That said, if you’re sufficiently keen to resolve this annoyance, then we would suggest keeping a diary of the events for a week or two: if the connection dropouts occur at particular times of the day, then this may help isolate the culprit. You may be able to take it up with your telecoms provider and request their help to find out exactly what’s going on. 3G signals tend to vary from provider to provider (look at the indigo-3g results) and sometimes switching to another provider could also help alleviate the problem.

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