Mobile broadband is becoming increasingly popular due to the need to be constantly connected for work and social reasons. It’s becoming increasingly rare to find someone who has left their home and is not connected to the Internet is some way. In this article, I will look at how people currently use mobile broadband and how this may impact the future.
Keeping in touch with one another is now easier than ever before, due to the rise of social media on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Mobile broadband allows people to keep up to date while on the move, whether on the bus or in a different country altogether, you can see what your friends are up to at any time of the day.
Social Media has given people a new platform to communicate and being able to access Facebook or Twitter to check on any new messages is important to a lot of people. Facebook Messenger has become a communication platform that is able to link in with SMS and so many people choose to use this as their main communication portal. What it does do is allow communication in real time via mobile networks and home broadband alike.
WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in 109 countries according to a report from Business Insider. The percentage of users using Whatsapp in the UK is currently around 36% which is quite high considering the number of alternatives. This number rises when looking at teenagers, with 83% of teens in Germany using WhatsApp according to Statista.
Apple started the technology with FaceTime which allowed all iPhone users to contact each other with video calling over an Internet connection. Following on from this many others started to follow suit and offered alternative methods to call and video call each other. Some examples of where you can call people for free over an Internet connection is on WhatsApp and also on Skype Messenger.
Originally this technology was built for computers to be able to conference call but now it is a feature installed in a lot of apps on mobile and tablets. These calls are free, and all you need is a stable home broadband connection or strong mobile signal to make a call. This means that there is less of a reliance on mobile calls and text messages and an increased demand for mobile data.
The majority of mobile phone operators provide packages that have unlimited text messages and phone calls as standard. This is down to the increased usage of free calling and messaging on mobile apps. The cost of a mobile phone package now is based on the amount of data required per month. It is the bulk of information that is transferred over a mobile network is for mobile data as opposed to text messages and phone calls.
It is likely that mobile networks of the future will be purely data transfer. This is evidenced in networks such as EE promoting Wi-Fi-assisted calls and even encouraging users to use Wi-Fi to call and text rather than use the mobile network. Due to this kind of network usage, it is speculated that mobile networks and broadband lines may merge to become an all-in-one solution rather than separate services. The acquisition of EE by BT Group is evidence pointing towards that.
Facebook Live and Periscope are popular platforms to broadcast live videos to others around the world. These platforms have been used recently to provide live and up to date coverage of breaking news, often ahead of the major news networks.
Live videos are becoming popular due to the ability to communicate a message or share information live. This means that users can spread a message or show a performance without any expensive infrastructure to do so, all you need is a mobile phone and a mobile signal.
It is now possible to stream a live broadcast to your Facebook friends or followers instantly wherever you are in the world, and the reliance on the mobile network to so is important to a lot of pages with a large fan base. There are many popular Facebook pages that use Facebook Live as a platform to engage with their fans such as Aaron Crascall. Without Live capabilities, the pages would be reduced to edited videos, but the usage of Live videos allows people to be notified when this person is live and you can watch it wherever you are in the world.
Mobile Gaming is very popular, especially with children and teenagers who play on games such as Clash of Clans and Pokemon Go frequently. When I was at school, we had a Nintendo Gameboy and played on games such as Pokemon Red and Blue which were multiplayer but used wires to connect to each other, a technology that will seem ancient to a lot of teens today. Gaming today is primarily done over the Internet, and you can play with anyone around the globe. This provides increased capabilities within gaming and increases game addictiveness for many teenagers. Many teens today will be found playing these games on the move and often for long periods of the day. A mobile connection is essential to this generation.