Only a few years ago, the first thing many people did when buying a new 3G phone was to switch to 2G-only mode as they felt it would reduce power consumption. Whether that had an effect or not, that's what they did. Times have changed and today smartphone users leave their device in 2G/3G mode because connected data apps (web browsing, email, instant messaging, etc. etc.) have become an integral part of the experience. I have now gone even further and have switched to 3G-only mode as UMTS coverage has become almost as ubiquitous as 2G in where I live (Cologne-Bonn area). And here's why:
- HD-voice: Quite a number of my friends have HD-voice capable phones now with superior voice quality. For the moment, that's only available on UMTS in practice so I don't want my phone to be handed over to 2G and thus be kicked back to the traditional narrow-band voice codec.
- Simultaneous voice and data: Especially during longer conference calls I take on the mobile phone I like to be able to switch to the web browser or the email client to do some background research. UMTS had the simultaneous voice and data connectivity already back in day 1 and I've become used to it and don't want to be thrown to 2G during the voice call and my data applications to stop working.
- Security: Yes, this one's perhaps a bit on the paranoid side but GSM is not as uncrackable anymore as it used to be. Better to be on the 3G side.
Admittedly, I switch back to dual-mode 2G/3G when I travel as 3G coverage is not as ubiquitous as in my home town.