I’ve been out in Portugal for the last couple of weeks; I only returned to the Netherlands yesterday. So, it’s been my first time to do some real testing with the iPhone 3G running on the T-mobile network. I’ve been a solid KPN customer for the last few years because my experiences with other networks has been consistently poor. My wife is a doctor and she was interested in whether or not she could use the iPhone as her main phone. Her key criterion is dependability. If she is called out for an emergency in the middle of the night, she must be reachable, wherever she is in the country. My conclusion from a little testing around Leiden: the iPhone 3G is fantastic but you should not trust the T-mobile network.
I’ve had a couple of times where I get a bar or two or no bars at all. Leiden is not a small town and nor are we out in the sticks, so to not have reception seems absurd. The last couple of weeks in Portugal, I’ve had data roaming turned off, but the device still locks in a network in case you’d like to make or receive calls. Optimus has had 5 bars wherever we’ve been in the Algarve. This leads me to think that it’s T-mobile’s network at fault and not the gorgeous iPhone 3G itself.
I will say that 3G coverage has been reasonable. I’ve had no dropped connections and although it pops in and out of 3G, it’s not something I’ve noticed. I am very much looking forward to getting my unlock codes so I can stick my KPN SIM in and get great voice and data coverage again.