Default network connection drops.. frequently

UK moto G 16gb. 3 mobile.

Network connection drops all the time. I mean, like every 30 seconds when using the phone. It seems to be because it is constantly flipping between 3g (2.5g slower, and HSDPA+ speed 3.5G).. I guess I'm in an area where HSDPA+ is barely possible. BUT, since the retarded 4.4.2 UI has been built for ****tards, in now only has the option of 2g or 3g. no more, manual vs Auto etc etc. This really annoys me.

Has anybody else had this problem? Can anyone let me know where the option to set data network selection manually vs auto is. and if there is any way I can improve the network selection.

My phone does exhibit the signal degredation when the back is covered, but I think this is universal amongst phones really.