The problems with 3G international calls and how they can be resolved

January 16, 2012 | Rebtel

There are many different downloads available for your smartphone and iPhone that allows you to make 3G international calls or perform a variety of other Internet-based tasks using 3G technology. In terms of communication, some of the most popular apps, including those by Viber, Rebtel, Skype and Tango offer a simple, accessible way to make international calls via 3G, but it has to be remembered that 3G technology is not infallible.

What is 3G?

In terms of meaning alone, 3G stands for the 3rd generation of mobile telecommunications standards. In reality, 3G is the technology which has been the driving force behind the swell in popularity of smartphones and Internet broadband. 3G allows users access to the Internet while on the move at a much higher rate than was previously possible. This simple function alone has led to the development of the smartphone handsets that are now fast outselling traditional mobile phones. It has enabled an era of global communication on the move at a quicker and cheaper rate than ever before.

What are the problems with 3G?

Wireless 3G technology has certainly had a huge impact on modern life for many, but it has to be remembered that this technology is not perfect. If you are using 3G to make international calls then some of the more commonly encountered problems are:

• 3G ‘blackspots’ – While 3G has wide coverage, there are many parts of the globe where the 3G signal cannot be picked up and reception is poor. If you are in one of these 3G ‘blackspots’ then you will find your ability to make international calls or use other 3G services severely impaired.

• Data Rates – One of the anomalies of 3G is that the International Telecommunications Union have not clearly identified the data rates that users should expect from 3G equipment. As a result, many users who are using 3G enabled devices may find that the data transfer rates they experience are of a much lower performance than they were expecting.

• Instability – As 3G is still an emerging technology, there are still teething problems in its use and application. This leads to a degree of instability when using the technology, meaning that your calls can be of poor quality, or the signal lost for no appreciable reason at times, especially in areas where 3G reception quality is below average.

Are there any solutions available?

Until recently there were few solutions available for the international caller who had their 3G call cut off or lose quality. Many just had to wait until the signal improved to make the call once again. This is frustrating for many people and companies have worked hard to figure out a way to resolve this issue.

Rebtel however have come up with a simple, yet brilliant solution. Their “Keep Talking” function allows its customers to talk to their contacts via 3G, but if their call connection starts to fail, or their call quality degenerates, the user is prompted and allowed to transfer the call either to a traditional mobile call or to WiFi (if it is available).

This simple solution means that even if 3G coverage is poor, you can continue your conversation without being interrupted provided you are with the Rebtel service.

Certainly, if you make a lot of 3G international calls, the Rebtel app is one to consider downloading to avoid frustrating down time caused by a lack of 3G coverage while you are on the move.

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