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3G Mobile Network Woes in Italy

Recently, my already intermittent 3G mobile web service here in Milan, Italy has become increasingly unstable.  Perhaps this is because 4G has just landed?

I often surf the world wide web from my Blackberry smart phone here in Milan.  Mobile web is convenient and I can access it from more or less wherever I am.  Or at least I could.   Now the 3G service has become very hit and miss.

Now, if I lived in the middle of nowhere, I could perhaps understand why mobile 3G services are a little wobbly at times, but I live slap bang in the middle of Milan, one of Italy’s biggest, and, so its administrators would have us all believe, most advanced cities in Italy.  Except this ‘advanced’ city has a 3G mobile web network which is stuttering.  I thought I was the only one experiencing a wobbly 3G connection, so via Twitter I asked if others in Italy had been having problems.

Well, it turns out I am not alone.  Firstly, others have been having problems with intermittent 3G outages, and secondly, the problem has been getting worse recently.

What’s wrong?  That’s a very good question and I’d love to know the answer.  What I suspect is that Italy’s flakey mobile network is feeling the strain of the ever increasing number of smart phones being used by Italians.  Not only that, but we are now in tablet times and many of Italy’s tablets are connected to Italy’s mobile web.  WiFi versions of most tablets would be a waste of time in Italy because Italy does not have easily accessible WiFi services.

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Now though, we have big adverts announcing the arrival of 4G. Great.  However if 4G services are as flakey as 3G services signing up for them will be a waste of time.  Maybe 3G is being quietly abandoned in favor of more lucrative 4G services?  Perhaps some of the bandwidth dedicated to 3G has been handed over to the new whizzy 4G network, thus making the old 3G network much less usable?  Who knows?

Vodafone Italy, via Twitter, advised me that 4G is only for internet keys and tablets for the moment.  Just when mobile phones will get 4G in Italy does not seem to be known.

Before Italy gets on the 4G track, it should get 3G sorted out.

But this is Italy – the weather is nice, the food is great, and the wine is wonderful, so who cares that everything works as intermittently as the nations 3G mobile network?

Grumble over – until the next time I try to connect to mobile web in Italy.

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