I’ve Switched to 3G-only mode

Only a few years ago, the first thing many people did when buying a new 3G phone was to switch to 2G-only mode as they felt it would reduce power consumption. Whether that had an effect or not, that's what they did. Times have changed and today smartphone users leave their device in 2G/3G mode because connected data apps (web browsing, email, instant messaging, etc. etc.) have become an integral part of the experience. I have now gone even further and have switched to 3G-only mode as UMTS coverage has become almost as ubiquitous as 2G in where I live (Cologne-Bonn area). And here's why:

  • HD-voice: Quite a number of my friends have HD-voice capable phones now with superior voice quality. For the moment, that's only available on UMTS in practice so I don't want my phone to be handed over to 2G and thus be kicked back to the traditional narrow-band voice codec.
  • Simultaneous voice and data: Especially during longer conference calls I take on the mobile phone I like to be able to switch to the web browser or the email client to do some background research. UMTS had the simultaneous voice and data connectivity already back in day 1 and I've become used to it and don't want to be thrown to 2G during the voice call and my data applications to stop working. 
  • Security: Yes, this one's perhaps a bit on the paranoid side but GSM is not as uncrackable anymore as it used to be. Better to be on the 3G side.

Admittedly, I switch back to dual-mode 2G/3G when I travel as 3G coverage is not as ubiquitous as in my home town.

2 thoughts on “I’ve Switched to 3G-only mode”

  1. Interesting. I had noticed with my newer phone that the 3G chipset seemed more power efficient than my older devices, but even so I find the constant 2G/3G switching drains my battery more – therefore I tend to stick with 2G/EDGE. Besides, in the Brussels office where I work the 900MHz GSM signal penetrates the building better than 3G at 2100MHz. Once 3G becomes ubiquitous on 900MHz (or lower) 3G-only would become feasible.

  2. That’s pretty interesting. One thing though that I have experienced on French NW: when it gets congested, even though you set your phone to be 3G only you may get a redirection to 2G when trying to setup a connection. This is a quite strange behaviour isn’t it? Just as if the NW didn’t remember when trying to establish a call that you registered as a 3G only phone…

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