I was tempted during the week to switch from eircom broadband to O2 broadband. O2 had a stand in the Atrium of the College where they were offering "up to" 7MB and 22MB packages for €9.99 a month to students. The offer (supported by HEAnet) is also open to staff of Colleges. I thought this would be a good option for our iPad - we had a prepay option which costs €19.99 for a 30-day pass, so I'd be cutting the cost in half. Good deal!
When I got chatting to the salesperson at the stand he told me that the gear he was selling was also a mobile wireless hot spot and that I could use it for up to five devices - and a 22MB connect to boot! But - there was no long queue to get this bargain. I also put up a question on Twitter and anyone that responded said that O2 service was poor. In the end I decided just to get it for the iPad.
In the Atrium of the College (smack in Dublin City Centre) I ran a speed test on the iPad which showed a connection of 0.6MB - oh dear, what had I done! I went out to the Liffey and stood across from the O2 building on Sir John Rogerson's quay which has aerials on the roof - the signal speed went up to a semi-respectable 1.5MB. When I got home to Blackrock I tried another speed test in the kitchen which showed 0.3MB, it was 0.6MB if I tried at the window at the back of the house (0.2MB at the front window). My eircom connection to my desktop computer shows 3.6MB, while if the iPad is switched to our wireless network, it gets a speed of 3.31MB. The slow speeds over the mobile network are due to no 3G in our area. This is also an area where WiMAX doesn't work either. Are mobile signals avoiding us? We live in a mobile communications black spot. So glad I was not tempted to change everything to O2!