Mobile internet musings from 3 people on the go

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Jul 13, 2007


Matthew Boyd

Thanks for the update, it is reassuring to get some information from the source, though obviously it is not the news I had hoped for.

I have been told since December 2006 that X-Series would launch "next week" and "next month". The shops have also been giving people launch dates here, and they've always gone by without anything happening. Seems to me like 3 Ireland need to kick themselves into shape. Also, still no business offers here, nor do we have many of the handsets that are available in the UK and other European countries.

It's pretty dire.

Eamonn O Cathain

On the other hand our broadband add-ons are pretty amazing (which the UK for example does NOT have) and we recently got the datamodem with its wonderful broadband tariffs. I am currently in Spain where 5GB of traffic costs 60 whopping € a month on Vodafone ES. Ours is twice the data and one third of the price -and at HSDPA speeds on 3 IRL (which again the UK does not have).


I have to agree with the data deals in ireland. As a frequent visitor to ireland, I have signed up for a 10GB allowance for the UK equivalent price of £13.50 per month.OK, so the USB modem cost me a one off £90 but it was a deal i could not refuse PLUS remeber 3 like home, I can use it in the UK for no extra. Infcat I cancelled my UK contrcat and kept the Irish contract

Rob Jones

Will Three uk be bring the usb modem and this sort allowance to the uk and when?


X-Series has finally been launched in Ireland. The one issue I have, apart from the poor level of telephone support that I have received relates to the Slingbox.

Why does the Slingbox cost €199 in Ireland, yet it is available free in the UK?


I too would be interested in 3 's 10gb per month broadband offering. If they did introduce this in the uk, it would be much more sucessfull than even x series! does anyone know if 3 are planing a uk launch? (after all you can use it in the uk anyway with an irish contract) ps how do you go about subcribing to this service if you live in the uk?


As the 10 GB option of 3 in Ireland is not even working correctly I believe the x-series when I see it.

More info here: (


Sounds great but 3 Ireland don't have the techincal knowhow to make it work. This "amazing" broadband hasn't worked from day one. They now say it is actually incompatible with Outlook. Plus it's often down for hours at a time, when it is up it's usually at less than dial-up speeds, and FTP doesn't work.
For more detail see the 1500 complaints on (

So while the X-series (especially slingbox) is something I'd love in theory, in practice I would not trust it.


I have X-Series in Ireland now and it's been nothing but a disappointment. Can not stream Real streams for more than 5 minutes without it dropping, cannot use Fring or Orb. Three did an upgrade here recently. Before this all these services worked - now each day seems to bring another restriction - so much for the spirit of X-Series.


3 Broadband in Ireland ? An absolute disgrace !! No SMTP, No FTP, Frequent loss of service with no warning before, or apology after. 3 customer service either deny that the problems exist, or admit that there are problem and give some resolution date off the top of their heads, depending on what mood they are in when you call. Downloads cannot be completed without the use of a resume capable download manager. Netmeeting will not work.
Up to 3.6mb for smooth surfing ?? Before the "upgrade" speeds were as low as 30/60kb during peak times. Now, after the upgrade we can get to 1.2mb off peak, but as low as 100kb at peak times, fine for surfing the web as long as you don't mind frequently having to refresh pages to get them load. C'mon 3, get the finger out and give us the service you advertised, and we are paying for. One final point. If you can spam us with your connection software, why can't you give us service updates with it ? A single apology from 3 would not really help solve all the problem, but it would be better then the two-finger sign you seem to be giving to your Irish customes at the moment.


I purchased a ‘3’ Plug in modem about three weeks ago and the maximum download speed I achieved was 680kbs.
I telephoned ‘3’ on several occasions only to be told that as I live in west Wicklow I was in a fringe area. I told them I was about a mile from the Vodafone mast which carries ‘3’ and I was getting a full HSDPA signal showing 5 bars‘.
The Indian girl then told me that I should be happy with the 680kbs I was getting. I pointed out that I bought the shaggin’ thing on the basis that I could expect up to 3.6mbs. And that was that.
Most days I’m lucky to get connected to the web at all even though the pop-up says I’m connected at 3.6mbs. I believe I was really stung !
Anyone else in the same boat?
Can we get together and contact the Director of Consumer Affairs as a group and hopefully ‘kick ass?

able locks

The 3 Mobile Broadband must be the worst product launch, ever. I returned mine after 3 months as the service was extraordinarily poor. 3's treatment of their customers is shocking - no communications, blatant lies and poor customer service.

Not only have 3 lost me as a broadband customer, but they have lost me as a mobile phone customer as well.


I signed up to Three about 6 weeks ago, the service was fine until about a week and a half ago when all of a sudden, Fring, Live Messenger, Opera and Pop E-mail stopped working. Also when I use my phone as a modem a lot of sites on the Internet are blocked, I am a bill-pay customer so no sites should be blocked by three. This is very frustrating as the reason I moved to Three was for the unlimited broadband.
I have my sim in my unlocked nokia e61 most of the time and this connects better to the internet than my three branded moto v3xx. I am getting very frustrated with Three's service, talking to the Customer Service reps is an absolute nitemare, they just don't understand me.

I think the fact that people on the 3 Broadband service can't use SMTP is ridiculous, what sort of provider do they think they are? ISP????


RE: A/C & Bill No. xxx


I am nothing short of furious to see that I am to be charged for my forced switch between unlimited broadband and X-Series during the month of August though given a credit on my unlimited broadband addon. This is truly the last straw.

Neither the unlimited broadband addon or the X-Series addon worked as advertised for the majority of the month or indeed are working now. I had sporadic and very short lived access to any service that did not run on port 80, and on several occasions of which I received no notice, I had no service whatsoever on any port. I spent innumerable hours chasing down people in technical support for answers and was told a plethora of what basically amounted to lies about the state of the service ranging from 'you are the only one having difficulties' when a visit to made it quite apparent that I wasn't, to 'these issues will be resolved in 24 hours' when there was no basis to give me such information. I was sent out a replacement SIM to solve the issues when it was obvious that they were network based and there was on problem with the original SIM card. To add insult to injury, the original SIM card was disabled before the new one arrived leaving me with no mobile phone service for over a day!

I only requested the switch to X-Series as a last resort having gotten nowhere with customer service or support over a period of 2 weeks and at least 6 separate half hour long phone calls since the so called 'upgrade' of August 9th.

In my opinion, at this point Three should be paying me as it seems my custom is being used for network testing purposes while your technical team who seem nothing short of incompetent wrestle with their configurations.

Now let me make it clear. Should this charge of €19.00 not be refunded to me in my next bill I will take legal action. Furthermore, should I be charged for the X-Series addon next month with continuing access problems to services running on ports other than 80 I will take legal action.

It is my intention to take Three Ireland to the small claims court where I will be seeking the maximum award for lack of service and time lost, and I am also hereby committing to lodge official complaints with COMREG and the advertising standards authority. The purpose of these actions is not to escape from my contract. The purpose is to force Three to provide the services I enjoyed before August 9th and I intend to settle for nothing less.

While I know that COMREG does not regulate broadband directly which may have been an out for Three in relation to it's USB broadband customers, they do regulate mobile phone services. It will be my contention that Three obtained my custom for their phone service under false pretences - i.e. undertaking that they would provide an 'unlimited' data addon which obviously they have totally failed to do in the past month. I believe it is a matter COMREG must pursue and it is my firm intention to compel them to do so.

For documentation purposes I am publishing this letter publicly on It is also my intention to forward a copy to the NCA.

Finally, I expect all future correspondence between Three Ireland and myself on this matter to be in writing. No phone calls from India will be entertained.

Kind regards etc

Now I'm posting this to the NCA.


A week since my missive to Three and no response. Well they have been notified. I am not chasing them about it. I guess things will kick off next time they bill me.


Hi, sorry. I am chasing up a response from 3 Ireland and will get back to you asap.

Kind regards


An Open Letter to Robert Finnegan - Managing Director of Three

I read with interest and not a little anger a piece on about X-Series in Ireland at

As an X-Series Gold customer I can tell you that I and a number of other customers I have been corresponding with on are extremely disappointed with the service.

Having attempted to deal with your customer services representatives in India for the past month without success I am now trying one last time to communicate with Three about these issues before I seek the intervention of third parties. Incidentally, the complaints form on your site gives the impression when submitted that something has gone wrong as one is presented with a 'Page Not Found' message after submission and this situation has persisted since early August despite I and others having brought it to the attention of Three Ireland on numerous occaissions.

In what sense can you make the claim that X-Series or indeed Three Ireland's 'Unlimited' broadband addon provide unlimited access? As I intend to post this correspondence on and also send a copy to COMREG I am sure there will be great interest in your response.

Why exactly have third party applications which don't use port 80 been blocked recently and with no notice to existing customers. Is it a cynical move by Three to improve the experience for the very vocal USB modem customers by freeing up extra bandwidth at the expense of mobile broadband addon phone customers? This may be a harsh assessment but what else are customers supposed to think when Three are still actively advertising the USB broadband service on TV knowing that this service still faces huge issues in the area of SMTP, FTP, VPN etc.

The Irish X-Series Orb registration process requires a UK phone number and is therefore unusable by Irish customers as it stands. Even if I could actually register with Orb I would not be optimistic about my chances of being able to use it as every RTSP stream I have connected to seems to drop after a period of 2 to 3 minutes rendering it essentially unusable.

The Skype client which is in fact a rather crippled relation of it's PC cousin doesn't support text messaging and only seems to work in 3G areas. However, a third party application called Fring which integrates a Skype client supports text messaging and can work for voice even over GPRS. I have been in touch with Skype to express my disappointment with the quality of the service they are associating themselves with in their partnership with Three Ireland.

The MSN client also seems to be crippled in terms of the functionality if offers in comparison to the official Microsoft Symbian client with a very reduced feature set. It too only appears to work in 3G areas while once again, Fring would allow access even over GPRS. Since Three have recently blocked Fring that is obviously not an option.

What seems to have emerged from my own investigations is that those on higher data tariffs with Three Ireland have actually less access. How do you explain this?

Is it Three Ireland intention to cripple the services so much that they know customers could never even vaguely approach the limits set in your 'fair usage' policy - a policy I for one have never actually seen.

In addition your customer support staff in India seem ill equipped to provide any more than platitudes when called about service issues.

I would refer you to the following threads on which I hope you will find an enlightening read.

By Three's own definition of X-Series:

"what’s free to use on the internet should be free to use on mobile broadband (subject to fair usage and international roaming conditions, of course)."

Fring is free, the official MSN Symbian client is free, many other third party applications are free. Many RTSP streams are free.

I look forward to your response which I will expect in writing.

Kind regards,


well got an e-series phone last month the "fantastic" n73! well it would be fantastic if three allowed updates from nokia!! 3days in and i had phone replaced in store as software crashed and less than a month later the replacement has the same issues! customer care next to useless and store staff told lies saying that n73 and other symbian phones are supposed to freeze up in menus haha waiting on a final replacement and any problems with that and god help three! why OH WHY WONT THREE ACCEPT THE FREE UPDATES PROVIDED BY NOKIA FOR THE N73 instead of insisting on the old bugged slow software from last year??


and of course i have also got the same problems as the rest of the decent customers commenting here with being treated badly by three in every respect not only in relation to my new(OLD) handset but also with service outages and no apologies or compensation for services paid for but not provided! three are a disgrace next to genuine phone service providers!


Hi, I bought my nokia 6120 from 3 Ireland on 19th of December since then I was trying to connect to my VOIP provider (blueface) and it never get connected registration failed or just nothing. I tried to install fring and it never works either. I thought its because I don't have any packages that might be the reason so I bought 100MB package but still no joy. I tried to discussed this issue several times with 3 technical support in India. At first they didn't know any thing about the SIP or VOIP or even fring but then I asked them about the ports 5060 for sip and for fring TCP 80 (http)
TCP 18182
TCP 52000 - 538000
UDP 52000 - 53800
UDP 5004 and stun 10000
They said they are all open but I know they are lying. In actual they don’t know anything or if they know anything about the port blocking they don’t want to tell the truth to the customer. They should open the ports for their Bill Pay customer as if somebody is paying extra money then he/she should be able to use the service as they like to use.



In Ireland, Real streams from 3rd party sources lose connection consitently after 1 minute 44 seconds. 6 months after first alerting the issue to Three Ireland and having done everything I possibly can to have this issue resolved including having representations made on my and the other affected users behalf by the authors of this blog, incrediably we still have no resolution.

I have stared a thread on to collect the details of users with this issue to show 3 it is not an isolated problem and that we as customers demand at that point that it is addressed.


It would seem that Irish X-Series users aren't the only ones affected by the Real streams issue.


It would seem that it is not just Irish users suffering from diconnected RTSP streams after 1 minute 44 seconds. See this thread:

I did an interesting little experiement today. Using Orb I added a couple of the BBC streams to my favourites and tried accessing them via Orb - I got the same disconnect issue relaiblly after 1 minute and 44 seconds.

I then changed the streaming protocol within the Orb settings to use 3gp rather than a RTSP stream and sure enough, no disconnection so it is a workaround even if a clunky one. It would seem that there is something about the way Three are handling the RTSP streams that the Real Player doesn't like

Real streams originating from Orb work fine for me - I can stream both music and video from my home pc without issues over RTSP - it is only third party rtsp streams that disconnect so between that and the fact that streaming works fine from these sources over wi-fi I believe there should be enough information there for the network engineers in Three to narrow down the problem if they are interested in doing so.

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