Network Mode: Tolu’s mobile internet experience in Jalingo

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[This story was sent in by a reader – Editor]

I have been an avid reader and fan of Mobility Blog for years. It is one blog that I cannot do without reading on the regular. Over the years, I have seen Mister Mo rant about 3g Only network mode. I never understood what the “noise’ was all about. I lived in Lagos and had good mobile internet service in my area, so it didn’t matter whether my phone has 3G only option or not. I never bothered about network mode when choosing a phone.

[According to Mister Mo, a smartphone on Auto network mode is more prone to erratic internet than one locked to either 2G Only or 3G Only, especially in areas with poor service. Hence in areas like that, a smartphone with 3G Only network mode is a better choice. – Editor]

network mode selection menu

In December, I was posted to Taraba for NYSC. Within a week, I understood what Mr Mo had been talking about. My base is in Jalingo, the state capital. I discovered that once I get there, mobile Internet on my phone became crappy. This was even when my phone shows a 3G signal. Sometimes, the connection would not work for hours. Chatting was painful. A simple message sometimes took hours before it went through. It was like jumping out of heaven into hell.

One day, it occurred to me to have a look at the network mode menu of my phone. It was on Auto Mode. That means the phone can switch between 2g and 3G depending on network situation. The only other option was 2G only. There was no 3G only. Reluctantly, I picked 2G Only just to see what would happen. I was surprised to find that my connection works much better on 2G Only than in Auto Mode that it had been in. EDGE is slow, very slow, but it works. I don’t have to put my phone away for hours waiting for internet to resume working.

Hmmmm. Maybe Mister Mo is right about this Network Mode thing making a difference in internet stability. I am wondering what would happen if my phone has the 3G Only option available and I use that here in Jalingo. Perhaps I would get more stable and faster mobile internet.

2 comments

  1. It’s often best to leàve ur phone in Auto mode in city areas with good 3G coverage. 95% of the time it will remain on 3G anyway and you should have a good experience (provided d service is OK). Locking it on 3G may not be so much of an issue in a city area also but d network is usually designed to balance between 3G-2G, with 3G prioritized, but say u are moving while making a call on 3G for instance, if the next cell site u are approaching is faulty or congested on 3G, it can switch u to 2G to maintain ur connection. This is just one case though. Like u observed also, locking to 3G where u don’t have 3G like ur parts in Jalingo is next to switching to Airplane mode. Auto should switch you to the next available technology (2G) in this case, though d network might be trying too hard to keep u on 3G whereas the experience is poor. So locking on 2G guarantees consistent albeit slow service.

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