UPDATE Mar 2020 – still current.
Connection problems with mobile broadband services can be difficult to troubleshoot but here are some pointers to get you started. First off, you need to realise that the “Mobile” network is just another form of “radio” and if you have a poor signal, you have a poor signal and there isn’t a lot you can do about it. The Mobile phone networks e.g. O2, BT/EE, Virgin etc do tend to concentrate on getting a good signal to highly populated areas so if you live “out in the sticks” where there are not many potential customers, chances are, you won’t a good signal.
In the UK, voice traffic will always take presidence over DATA traffic but that said, when you have a “4G” service; the kit is designed to find the best signal. This means if it can’t find a 4G signal, it will look for a 3G signal or HSDPA. If it can’t find a 3G signal, it will look for a GPRS (2.5G) signal and will continue looking for the best it can get even maybe EDGE or the original mobile phone signal. If you are wanting to use anything more than say email then you need at least a good 3G/4G signal and in some geographic locations this is just not possible.
Radio signals are subject to all sorts of interference especially atmospheric and even Sun spots but when you get a good signal, it is a pretty good experience: albeit not as good as a hard wired ADSL or Cable connection. With these limitations in mind, you can now have a go a trouble-shooting your connection problem:-
1. Have you got a good signal? Anything less than say 2 bars and you will struggle.
2. If you have a good signal, Have you any credit to use the service?
3. Try power cycling or preferably rebooting your phone. You could power off your phone and remove the battery for 5 mins or so.
3. Check to see if you can make / receive voice calls and txt.
4. If the problem is only not being able to connect to webpages etc, it’s very likely to be a DNS / configuration issue and can only be sorted by contacting Tech Support at your ISP.
5. If the connection problems are with a new phone and/or a new ISP, it’s usually an authentication issue.