UK Internet can take many weeks to switch on, so the ideal interim measure is to use a Personal hotspot on a mobile phone. Easy?! I think not.
After moving a few times in the last year and now paying for my own mobile phone, this is what I now do:
Buy 4 SIM card for the 4 mobile networks at the supermarket for 99p each. Then test the actual coverage from my new house.
Mobile Phone Networks
There are 4 physical phone networks in the UK. Others such as Tesco piggyback.
- EE (which are ex Orange, T-Mobile and Hutchison 3G)
For me it didn’t matter. All the areas I’ve lived in have had marginal coverage, so I bought the best plan available for that network.
Three offer unlimited (1TB) are very exciting especially if you can get 5G.
Tethering (personal hotspot)
I mistakenly thought using some old phones would be a good idea. They didn’t get as good a signal as my new(ish) iPhone7. So the moral of the story is to use a new phone!
Boosting the signal
The ultimate campervan setup has an interesting link on putting in a signal booster for 4G coverage for data. This looks very interesting.
Specifically this one may be worth trying for fun.
SpeedTest.net on the mobile phone gives a good idea of speed
OpenSignal provide independent maps and data on signal coverage.
Chatting to friends in the know there are some opinions (for the SE of England anyway)
- O2 is a good network but EE better in some locations
- No love for Three (coverage lacking, and hesitancy about ability to keep providing unlimited)
- O2 data is expensive ie £30 for 100GB (but probably get good reliability)