The Mobile Broadband experience has improved greatly in recent years, but I often still find myself in an area where I cannot get a 3G connection, and instead have to rely on the older, and much slower, GPRS service.
I found a great product though that helps to make a GPRS connection usable and bearable, and I've been using it for years. Onspeed is both an application that runs on your PC, and a web-based service. For an explanation of how it works, see here.
All you really need to know though is that it can speed up a GPRS connection significantly, my experience being about a 5 to 8 times increase. You can even adjust the amount of acceleration, at the expense of the quality of images on webpages if you crank it right up. Find out more here.