Broadband Mobile? - Scotland

Mar 8th, 2010, 06:21 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 296
Broadband Mobile? - Scotland


We'll be visiting the Trossachs in Scotland next week and today learned that I will need to access some work docs/spredsheets mid-week. This is more than my blackberry can handle, and I have a dell laptop I can bring, but won't have internet access in our accomodations and there are no wifi access areas close by.

I haven't used mobile broadband here in the US, so forgive my techie ignorance. However, I am wondering if there are any broadband mobile devices available I could get in Scotland (we'll be flying into GLA and stocking up on supplies in Stirlng first day) that would allow some internet connectivity during my visit.

Any advice appreciated!

ElleD9 is offline  
Mar 8th, 2010, 08:43 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,144
Just about any mobile phone shop or electronics shop will sell you a usb dongle. Pay as you go: typically £20-30 or so, plus access charges after the initial free allowance runs out(you just top up at practically any convenience store or ATM, or by cc), but prices are changing all the time.

Try, or the Carphone Warehouse site to get a sense of what's currently on offer.
flanneruk is offline  
Mar 8th, 2010, 10:25 PM
Join Date: May 2005
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The question is whether they'll be a signal in the Trossachs.

You might find that in order to get a signal you need to go to the top of the nearest hill.

Is there anyway of downloading what you need in a more populous place or at home first?
alanRow is offline  
Mar 8th, 2010, 10:30 PM
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>The question is whether they'll be a signal in the Trossachs.<

It'll work most places you get a mobile phone signal. Should work just fine in Callander.
wellididntknowthat is offline  
Mar 8th, 2010, 11:41 PM
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Hmm. Callander does not have a wonderful signal, but you'll get one by going a few miles east
sheila is offline  
Mar 8th, 2010, 11:47 PM
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In 2008 I had a laptop with my mobile phone attached, and SIM card from several mobile companies in UK - Orange, T-Mobile, O2, Virgin etc. None of them had 3G signal in Trossachs, so I could only connect to internet by WAP or dial-up. OK for checking emails, but poor for net browsing and useless for downloading/uploading - too slow.
3G signal should be ok in the Lowland and in Stirling or Perth, but out in the sticks you only get 2G signal, which doesn't offer high-speed internet access.
Check coverage map for Orange (reckoned to have best UK coverage:
As you can see, out in the sticks in the Highland, even 2G coverage is along main roads only.
Local libraries usually have free internet access (limited hours), and there may be some internet points/cafes in larger places (but they are little more than villages in Trossachs).
Alec is offline  
Mar 9th, 2010, 12:33 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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We often find ourselves relying on 2G for downloading onto laptops, or running the business from a mobile phone.

If all you're going to be downloading are a few 100-300 kb Word or Excel files, you often hardly spot the difference. The crucial thing, though, is to find a way of accessing email at the server, rather than downloading into Outlook or OE. That way, you can keep the 5 meg file some prat of an aspirant supplier's sent out there in cyberspace while you read the urgent note teling you the company's been sold. Back in Stirling or wherever, you can then download all the crap - and discover that the 5 meg file is just pretty pictures of the prat's factory.

Dongles will tell you when you start whether they're receiving on 3G or whatever else.
flanneruk is offline  
Mar 9th, 2010, 10:59 AM
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There used to a small internet cafe on the main street in Callander - and there is the library as well.
janisj is offline  
Mar 9th, 2010, 11:01 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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meant to add - it has been a couple of years so not sure the internet cafe is still there -- but the library is still there for sure.
janisj is offline  
Mar 9th, 2010, 11:53 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,063
It took Ofcom a long time to be shamed into producing this map.

In short and from my experience do not rely on 3G north of Lancaster (Outside the cities).

I like a plonker have used an iphone as a gps mapping system, only to become very unstuck.

Google earth hasn't even bothered covering half of Scotland in high resolution.
markrosy is offline  

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