Homer Simpson’s Guide to Mobile Broadband

Pros and Cons of Mobile Broadband

Mobile broadband is rapidly becoming more and more popular. It has largely replaced the far more limited WAP Internet which was widely available on mobile phones until a few years ago. Mobile broadband uses the mobile phone networks for sending and receiving data rather than the telephone or cable television lines used by regular home broadband connections. Following is a look at the pros and cons of mobile broadband.




The biggest disadvantage of mobile broadband is the price and it is mostly for this reason that it cannot, at present, fully replace normal home broadband Internet. However, if you regularly use Internet while on the move, mobile broadband can be very affordable if you use it sparingly and avoid downloading large amounts of data. You should also consider getting a better tariff rate if you plan to use it a lot.


The whole point of mobile broadband is, unsurprisingly, mobility. You can access mobile broadband from any smartphone. Using a USB mobile broadband dongle, you can also access the Internet from a laptop or desktop computer. These dongles are very small and can easily fit in your pocket, allowing you to take your mobile Internet connection with you whenever you go.


Mobile phone coverage is available in far more places. It fills Internet service gaps in areas where there are no other broadband options available. For those living in rural areas where the telephone lines have not been upgraded to carry a broadband signal, mobile broadband is sometimes the only option. Anywhere where you can get a signal on your mobile phone, you should be able to access mobile broadband.


Directly related to price, and something that makes mobile broadband an unrealistic alternative to a static broadband connection, is low bandwidth. Mobile broadband connections have low monthly download limits, often around one or two gigabytes. The highest (and very expensive) are typically around ten gigabytes per month. This makes mobile broadband impractical for heaving downloading and streaming media.


Mobile broadband speeds are improving, particularly with the launch of 4G and its upcoming rise to becoming the industry standard. However, speed is also largely consistent with signal strength and various other factors such as interference. Speeds are typically more than adequate for casual Internet usage, however, and with the bandwidth limits, this should not matter so much anyway.

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