We’ve recently been provided with a mobile broadband device to evaluate and thus far have been VERY impressed with the results. The WiBE device uses the mobile 3G network, extends and boosts the signal and creates a WiFi cloud just like a wireless router at home.
Our device came with a mobile sim from Three, universally recognised as the best data network in the UK. Suitable data sims are available for £15 per month and the WiBE device costs £249.99 incl VAT , delivery and a free 1GB SIM.
The WiBE uses multi-beam antenna technology and some clever electronics to extend the range and throughput of a 3G mobile network. This allows the 3G network to be a viable option even in areas where there would appear to be little or no 3G signal.
The device can bring speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps, and an average of at least 2 Mbps to rural areas. Replacing a 3G dongle with a WiBE could really enhance the user experience and thanks to the inbuilt wireless router, is capable of providing ‘whole house’ access to the Internet.
We found the device easy to set up. Unpack it, plug it in, place on a window ledge and wait a few minutes for the electronics to work their magic. Search for the WiBE WiFi network in the usual way on your laptop, iPad, or smartphone (or WiFi enabled PC/Mac) and enter the key. That’s it. Done.
We immediately opened our SpeedSurvey page and ran a test and were amazed at the first result;
3.6 Mbps download and 1.3 Mbps upload speeds! Incredible. We immediately switched back to our wired household broadband and ran the test again. Initially thinking the Speed Survey was having a wobbly. We were reassured to record our ‘normal’ speeds of 1.8 Mbps down and 0.54 Mbps up.
Back to the WiBE and things kept on improving. After 20 minutes continuous use the download speed exceeded 5 Mbps.
We maintain a charity website from home and over the past year have had terrible difficulty using the site’s content management system, with the dashboard page fragmenting and the simplest editing tasks becoming near impossible. A source of regular frustration and tension in our household! Connected via the WiBE we logged into the back end of the charity site and immediately noticed the difference – no presentation difficulties, navigation very fast and image uploads lighteningly quick!
It’s really hard coming to terms with mobile 3G broadband being so much better than our home, copper phone line based service. But better it certainly is. For those residents in FibreValley who are currently struggling to get online at all and in those areas where we know BT are not going to improve the infrastructure any time soon, a WiBE really could be the answer.
We’ll report on our trials in more detail in due course. In the meantime, if you are interested in hearing more about the WiBE please get in touch.