Mobile broadband is become more popular due to its flexibility and the infrastructure that now enables high-speed connections with mobile phones across large parts of the country. It does, however, still come with some major drawbacks that make it unsuitable for most people as an alternative to ADSL or Fibre Broadband. That being said there are still some major reasons you would want to consider using your mobile data allowance rather than having both mobile and landline broadband. I will look into the reasons for and against mobile broadband as an alternative below.
It is possible to get 4G mobile broadband speeds of up to 17Mb per second in some areas and on certain networks, and the slowest 4G speeds are still around 9Mb per second. This makes 4G speeds comparable to standard landline ADSL for the most part. If you are currently only able to get ADSL broadband in your location or if you can’t even get that, then mobile broadband is a viable alternative providing your usage is low enough, and you have a constant 4G signal.
One of the biggest problems with mobile broadband is that 4G connections do not reach some areas of the UK, especially rural areas where you can even struggle to get a signal at all. If you live in a 4G dead zone, then mobile broadband is unlikely to be a suitable option for you as you will spend most of your time looking for a signal and not surfing the web. Mobile networks do provide signal boosters that you can install in your home. However, the problem with these signal boosters is that they often require a broadband signal in the first place which makes the decision to use mobile broadband mute.
Travelling with mobile broadband is one of the many benefits of switching to mobile broadband. If you do find yourself travelling around the country or even abroad often, a mobile broadband plan may be perfect. You’ll be able to start downloading when you are at home and continue to download on the move, whether that be walking down the road or on a train. This is something that mobile broadband can offer that is just not possible with home broadband.
The biggest hindrance to mobile broadband becoming the primary broadband choice is due to the cost and the cap on data allowances. Currently, the biggest costs for mobile phone owners is the data. Data caps can be up to 50GB per month with a lot of mobile phone operators, but that is not very much for those that use broadband daily for things like streaming or gaming. In fact, if you were to download a game on the Xbox One, you’d use up your entire allowance in one go.
Data caps are great for mobile usage but they do not really benefit those of us that wish to replace our home broadband with a single access point via mobile. The cost of that data is also much more expensive than it would be with home broadband and the major benefit to home broadband is that you can get unlimited download and faster speeds for much less than a mobile phone contract.
That being said, mobile broadband is making progress with its infrastructure, and soon there is likely to be 5G access across the United Kingdom. This may take some time to implement fully but will offer speeds to rival fibre optic broadband and could put home broadband providers out of business. In order for it to replace home broadband the mobile networks will need to consider the pricing of their contracts, if they cannot compete with home broadband, they will still be second choice for Internet access.
As mentioned above, the major benefit of mobile broadband is the ability to take your Internet connection with you. If home broadband were able to stay connected when you left the house, there would be no need to have data on your mobile phone plan. Using your phone to access emails, watch shows and listen to music on the move is becoming part of everyday life, and many would find it hard to leave the house without being able to access apps like WhatsApp and Facebook. Staying connected constantly is shaping the way our world works and as time goes by we will only become more reliant on this technology. It is, therefore, reasonable to assume that mobile broadband is likely to see more investment than home broadband in future due to our increasing need to stay connected.