GPRS and Mobile Phone Signal

Found 6th Jan 2011
I have been offered a good deal on an iphone 4 with Vodafone. I've never been with vodafone before so at lunch I took a colleagues blackberry home to test the signal strength in my home ( I have mega issues with Orange in the home) The blackberry was giving me 5 bars on GPRS. Can I assume that I should hopefully get a suitable 3g strength on an iphone 4 based on that?

Also does GPRS and 3g affect your signal strength or is that something completely different?
Community Updates
They are totally seperate, you can't make that assumption, I have 5 bars GSM/GPRS and no/1 bar of 3G.
check this: vodafone.co.uk/per…ap/

not going to be 100% accurate but it'll give you some idea. Best get a vodafone SIM and a 3g phone off a mate again and test yourself. You don't want to be tied into a contract and have crappy signal for 18 months!!
I might risk it. I have 7 days to cancel I suppose.
wherever you have a 3G signal you're guaranteed to have GSM/ GPRS connectivity albeit slower...if you find yourself in a low 3G-signal-strength-area , simply go into your settings & force the handset into 2G and reception should generally improve..2G signal has greater penetrance of solid structures than 3G signal and should result in better reception than 3G especially for voice
.... The better alternative especially for your home is to get a femtocell
( vodafone are the only company offering a box that works with any 3G phone). I live in shooters hill which is terrible for 2G let alone 3G signal quality. A femtocell sorted all that out. I actually have 3.5G signal strength indoors.. I'm pretty sure vodafone will waive the £50 charge for the femtocell ( SURESIGNAL) especially if you're signing up for a high end phone contract. Got mine free and it was just a £10 SIMO contract !!
The femtocell takes about an hour or even a day to set itself up. It can handle calls from 32 handsets although at any one time only 4 calls can be made simultaneously ....You don't even know the aerials there but work it does.. have you ever wondered how the mobile phone shops buried in the deepest depths of shopping centres' can showcase their handsets when everyone else just outside the shop cant get a signal ..it's thanks to a femtocell...most shops have one plugged in @ the back..guarantees a signal every time
The other networks tmob/orange offer alternative signal strength boosting tech without any need for extra hardware...( look up UMA technology ..several BB handsets some HTC & Nokia handsets have the tech built into the phone already..not to be confused with voice HD)
p.s. I've made passing comments /debated the relative merits/ health of mobile phones ..you only have to sift through the forum threads from the past
thanks Darklight. very informative, I appreciate it.
generally transmission speeds increase to the right but signal strength is not necessarily guaranteed


penetrance( & therefore signal strength) increases in the direction indicated below
HSUPA(3G++)→HSDPA(3G+)→UMTS(basic 3G) →Edge→GPRS→GSM

so if you simply text & voicecall it makes sense to let your handset reside in 2G (GSM)mode
only switching to 3G mode hoping for a good (faster) connection when browsing

switching b/n 2G/3G mode's easily achieved by placing a widget on your homescreen & simply toggling it

OF course if you have a femtocell indoors or @ your work place or anywhere else you spend a considerable amount of time then the phone can be left constantly in 3G mode and a super-strong 3G signal will always be guaranteed . The Femtocell covers a range of about 30 metres radius. If I remember correctly I also had to specify what floor/level it was going to be located (.. errr microwaves travel in straight lines...explains why you could be right next to a mast & have no reception at all)
A femtocell is one of the industry's best kept secrets...if you find out about it they want to charge you money to have one. In fact some folks actually had a monthly charge tagged on their line rental..cheeky really as the whole point of taking out a plan is to to be contactable but for me to pay vodafone for extra equipment to guarantee reception in my home & to use my electricity to facilitate this is clearly unpalatable to be honest and I quote one disgruntled user
"The impact of a femtocell is most often to improve cellular coverage, without the cellular carrier needing to improve their infrastructure (cell towers, etc). This is net gain for the cellular carrier. However, the user must provide and pay for an internet connection to route the femtocell traffic, and then (usually) pay an additional one-off or monthly fee to the cellular carrier. Some have objected to the idea that consumers are being asked to pay to help relieve network shortcomings.[1] On the other hand, residential femtocells normally provide a 'personal cell' which provides benefits only to the owner's family and friends"

hope this helps further

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