The truth about mobile broadband

internet_businessCan you imagine life without mobile internet? Think about it – arguments in bars would once more rage for hours, Facebook posts could go unliked for hours, and can you imagine how dull a train journey would be? Dark times indeed.

For most of us though, mobile internet is a near-constant presence – and a welcome one. The rise of 4G in particular has turned mobile internet from a cumbersome convenience to a super slick service that’s very hard to live without once you’ve used it.

It’s so good, in fact, that some people are actually abandoning fixed line broadband in favour of a dongle or Wi-Fi hotspot – who needs expensive cables when you can get speed enough for Netflix from the sky?

The point is, be it for work or for play, at home or on the move, mobile broadband is becoming an increasingly worthwhile investment, but if you’re thinking about signing up for it, there are a few things you should consider first:

Choosing mobile broadband                                                                       

Firstly, there’s cost and contract length to consider – the two are intrinsically linked. Some providers will hope to lock you in for a full 12, 18 or 24 months, while others may offer shorter monthly rolling contracts. It’s important to consider how long you want mobile internet for before signing up.

Taking a longer contract, for example, will likely offer the best monthly prices, and you probably won’t have to splash the cash on a dongle. That’s great if you need it for regular use, but not if you only need it for occasional use. Also, technology shoots forward like a greased cheetah and it can be infuriating to be locked into a contract when prices fall after a few months, or there’s something new and better available.

So for those of you uncomfortable with making a commitment, pay as you go can be a better option, though you’ll probably have to pay for the dongle upfront.

Secondly, consider coverage. Most providers have coverage maps, showing what level of service you can get in a particular area, so make sure you check all the areas in which you regularly use your mobile broadband service – not just where you live.

Finally, watch out for data limits. One of the big reasons some people prefer to stick with fixed line broadband is that mobile internet contracts often come with tight monthly usage limits. Data goes fast – especially if you start watching online video – so you’ll need to be disciplined with how you use the service. Having said that, some providers do offer unlimited mobile internet, so if you want free reign over what you do online, that’s probably your best bet.

In short, don’t just pick the cheapest mobile broadband package you can find. Just like when you’re [tp lang=”en” only=”y”]looking around[/tp][tp not_in=”en”]looking around[/tp] for the best mobile phone deals, you should think about what you need and then look for the best value option.


Many people don’t need mobile broadband – they get internet access through their phones, and if they need to connect, and the operator allows it, they can turn their phone into a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. But for those who do, it’s important to take a little bit of time to do your homework and follow the advice above, because if you do, it’ll be an investment worth making.

1 thought on “The truth about mobile broadband”

Leave a Comment