Broadband - Take to the Road With Mobile Broadband

By: Liam G

Over the years broadband has become increasingly flexible, with 2008 set to be a very interesting year. This is because of the expected widespread adoption of mobile broadband.

Although mobile broadband technology has been around for a few years, there have been a few factors holding it back, mainly cost and download speeds. Technological improvements however, have meant that mobile broadband is now a viable and cost efficient option.

The technology in question is known as High-Speed Downlink Packet Access or HSDPA and currently allows for download rates of up to 7.2Mbps, very close to rivalling the advertised rate of most fixed line connections. HSDPA speeds are likely to improve considerably as the technology becomes more widespread and network advancements are made.

Unlike other wireless technologies, notably WiFi, mobile broadband does not require a hotspot for operation, it is truly mobile. Making use of the 3G network, which covers around 90% of the UK you are able to get on the internet, wherever you can find a signal - similar to finding a signal on your phone. Moreover, this network is planned to cover 98% of the country by 2009.

All that is required to get online is a subscription and a USB dongle, often provided by the network operator.

There are a growing number of packages on the market, with the UKs main operators offering some very cost effective options. The majority of packages have a fixed limit on the amount you are able to download in a month, just like the caps imposed on fixed-line packages.

The difference with mobile broadband though is that the caps are generally much lower than that of fixed lines, making them an unsuitable option for users who wish to download large amounts and have access to a fixed line.

On the other hand, mobile broadband is likely to be the perfect option for business users who are on the move or students that are unable to afford costly line rental charges. It may be the only option for some users, such as residences too far away from their local exchange to get broadband, but who are within reach of the 3G network.

As mentioned the market for mobile broadband is growing quickly, with the technology expected to be fully incorporated into the broadband market throughout 2008. Finding cheap broadband is therefore very easy, even more so online.

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