Using a Canadian Moto G in the UK -- poor data speeds
October 14, 2015 4:31 AM   Subscribe

Hallo. I just arrived in London today for a conference and I'm very tired. I brought my Moto G (1st gen, I think -- not LTE) from Canada, and bought a pay-as-you-go SIM card from EE. Phone and text work fine, but data speeds are miserable -- 0.15 download/upload. It's only connecting on the EDGE network, and I can't get it to use HSPDA. Am I screwed re: data speed? The people at the EE store weren't very helpful; they variably said the speed would improve in a few hours, or that it wouldn't improve at all because it's a Canadian phone.

I feel like I just wasted 20 GBP and now I have to scrounge for WiFi wherever I go. Is there any way to get a better speed on my poor phone? Should I have gone for a different provider?

I'm including my UK phone # in my profile temporarily since I won't be able to access email frequently. Please text/call if you feel like it!
posted by greatgefilte to Technology (10 answers total)
Response by poster: Ah, I think I've sorted it. I have the US GSM model, which does HSPDA on 2100 MHz, and I need to access it on 1900 MHz? Can this be helped at all?
posted by greatgefilte at 4:34 AM on October 14, 2015

Response by poster: OK, according to my research, Computer Says No.

Please ignore.
posted by greatgefilte at 4:43 AM on October 14, 2015

If it's data speeds you're after, Craigslist is a great way to pick up and unload phones that are compatible with your carrier/SIM.
posted by ostranenie at 4:46 AM on October 14, 2015

According to Wikipedia, EE uses the 2100 MHz band for 3G, so your phone ought to work. Try turning it on and off again?

According to this page, all the UK phone networks have 2100MHz 3G transmitters, so your phone ought to work OK with any of them, although you won’t get universal coverage as it won’t pick up the 900MHz towers that O2 and Vodafone use out in the sticks.
posted by pharm at 8:04 AM on October 14, 2015

Response by poster: pharm, I wonder if that first Wikipedia page is up to date? I've not given the whole thing much more thought since I'm going on 30 hours without sleep and I went ahead and bought the hotel wifi pass... :p
posted by greatgefilte at 12:31 PM on October 14, 2015

Response by poster: Ah, I think I found it. My phone uses 1900 MHz for 3G, not 2100. ( This is what I get for working on little sleep.
posted by greatgefilte at 12:56 PM on October 14, 2015

There's plenty of good $30(or $30-equivalent, like you know 30 GBP) phones out there nowadays. I'd just go in the closest 7-11 or whatever and buy an acer liquid or a moto E or whatever is on sale and doesn't have garbage specs. Assuming it's in budget that is.

Models shipped with different frequencies have different antenna tuning and different baseband firmware, it's not something you can hax your way around. You just need a different temporary phone
posted by emptythought at 1:44 PM on October 14, 2015

If you bought the sim in the EE shop, having told them that you wanted to put it in your Canadian phone, you were mis-sold to. I would return the sim, get your money back, and perhaps use it to buy a cheapo phone like empty thought says.

Good luck!
posted by mgrrl at 3:52 PM on October 14, 2015

Response by poster: mgrrl, I tried, but they won't take it back. I suppose I'll just keep the SIM and get a cheap phone to use it with next time I'm in town.
posted by greatgefilte at 1:26 AM on October 15, 2015

Here's your best phone option with EE. It's £49, and by all accounts very usable. I think you should be able to bargain your way out of the compulsory top up.
posted by ambrosen at 10:47 AM on October 15, 2015

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