There is no doubt that people across the world have embraced mobile broadband in a way that has revolutionised the telecom industry. Mobile phones have come a long way since the first ones arriving in the late 20th century that were the size of shoeboxes and thus, hardly portable. Today, together with other handheld devices like Mobile Wi-Fi (MiFi) devices and dongles these portable devices provide access to the Internet anywhere via 3G and 4G mobile broadband.
Several UK operators such as EE or BT offer affordable packages for both landline and mobile broadband and so you might be thinking of ditching the landline to go completely mobile for the voice calls and other benefits? Not so fast. This comprehensive breakdown of some benefits the fixed line broadband holds over its rival could help you reconsider.
While mobile packages are usually inclusive of free minutes, which means their voice calling benefits outweigh those of landline packages; these fixed phone packages often have many advantages of their own.
Landlines generally offer free calls to 0800 numbers and cheaper calls to premium numbers than mobile phones. While mobile plans allow phone users more flexibility, landlines are great for emergency purposes as they are easier to triangulate locations with.
In some postcodes, there are also landline tariffs that include free weekend and evening calls, which is great for those who are heavy weekend users.
You can easily set up a new home phone line for internet with several offers. Many UK network providers allow customers to save on installations costs and time by setting up TV and broadband with a bundle.
There are also several offers for landline broadband in certain areas that simply require plug-in and easy self-setup using provided instruction guides.
In comparing how landline broadband and mobile packages stack up on price, you would find that landline generally costs less even after factoring in installation and other fees. The cheapest, most basic mobile broadband products offering similar plans will cost slightly more than the cheapest fixed phone broadband packages.
The real cost savings with landline broadband start to increase with heavier use. The tariffs available for mobile phones are more or less the same as landline plans across light and medium users, with some price variations depending on days/time of heaviest use. However, when it comes to heavy users requiring higher allowances for both data & voice, landline broadband becomes much more cost-effective than mobile.
The superior speeds that are attainable with fibre also make landline broadband a more attractive choice for the heavy user. With mobile broadband speeds being largely variable between 3G and 4G connections, landline users enjoy more reliable and greater maximum speeds with fixed home connections and fibre optic broadband.
Although there will always be speed variations, even in home connections, 3G mobile broadband is more suitable for web browsing, general internet use and not as reliable with heavy applications. It can seem slow for streaming or other demanding uses where you could find yourself strangled by limits to data usage and restricted speeds.
Most households would find landline broadband to be the best option as it can usually accommodate online gaming, streaming HD quality videos and faster downloads, even with multiple users at a time. Landline broadband typically has more bandwidth to cope efficiently with intensive internet use while not sacrificing fast speeds.
Download limits are a huge advantage of landline broadband deals over mobile broadband. Most mobile internet packages offer much lower download limits than even the cheapest home phone broadband packages. Unlimited downloads are available on almost all landline packages from UK providers and are cheaper than mobile packages that hardly offer unlimited download allowance.
The unlimited download capacity of landline broadband is greatly beneficial for households needing heavy internet use. The few basic home packages that do not offer unlimited download allowances are still much more generous than the allowances available with mobile broadband services.
What remains to be seen is if the now lower bandwidth for mobile networks would be able to compete with the unlimited capacity of landline broadband in the near future. In any case, it is still highly unlikely that this would make it a better option than landline, since the limitations in place now would mean the costs would also go up and make similar broadband capacity for mobile phones even more costly.
Taking all these factors into account, it is easy to see that for the most part fixed broadband networks presently have the advantage over mobile broadband. The two services could be used to complement each other, even though the markets often overlap but landline broadband packages remain more economically viable today.