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Terribly low download (and upload) speeds. Please help.

SMARTY Pioneer
SMARTY Pioneer

Brand new customer here. So apologies if this question has been asked before...

I purchased a data SIM yesterday and plugged it into my iPad, restarted it etc - all the usual tricks mentioned in the articles and elsewhere.

Having done all that, ever since yesterday I have only seen a maximum download speed of about 7 Mbps nothing more.

I have access to 4G in my home, and my iPad device is 4G enabled.

The low speeds are really terrible. I cannot watch YouTube or any movies etc.

Is there any trick I am missing to get the advertised max of 70 Mbps and such please.

Please help. Thanks.



SMARTY Motivator
SMARTY Motivator

This is the Smarty community forum, we are customers like you, we do kit work for Smarty.

Did you check that you have good coverage with Three, Smarty’s parent network, where you live ? 

We do see a lot of people on this forum who buy a Smarty SIM card due to the value for money pricing, but without checking they have good coverage where they live. 

The advertised speed is only a guide, assuming optimal conditions, those being close proximity to a three network mast, no large constructions / buildings interfering with the signal etc. 


@CosmicMath It may be that there is  poor signal in your home.

did you try putting the sim in your phone and then using it as a hotspot to see if things are different?

SMARTY Pioneer
SMARTY Pioneer

Hi thanks for the replies.

I do currently have a phone and monthly plan with 3 ( for my main mobile phone, and at home I get about 13-17 Mbps download speed on average when I do the speedtest.

With Smarty data sim in my iPad, from the same place where I speed tested my phone, I get only about 3.5 Mbps on average. I think I have only seen it hit 7 Mbps once (on the very first day of my use).

I don't quite understand why this discrepancy though, given both seemingly using three for their services.

@CosmicMath ...but quite probably the Three customers get preferential service as they pay more.

Phones and iPad antennas built into the device make a huge difference with connection issues from the mobile phone network. The processor in either device plays a big part as well.  this might be the issue. You could use a signal strength app to see in you premise where the best signal strength is. 

SMARTY Pioneer
SMARTY Pioneer

That is possibly one explanation.

Do you or does anyone here know how the three's own MiFi quality / speeds are like?

If that is pretty good, then I might also consider buying one of those.

I am desperate to improve my internet speeds/access, as the Sky Superfast broadband (WiFi) that I have at home really does not do a good job.


@CosmicMath  Sorry, but I can't help there as I have never used Three directly or another device.

I am currently fortunate enough to have a decent signal here (hope that doesn't jinx it!!!!!) and have been able to use my phones a hotspot for Zoom meetings etc when my home broadband went down for a short while.