Key Tech: Mobile Broadband

What is mobile broadband?

Put simply, mobile broadband allows for you to access the internet through a portable device called a modem, on mobiles and tablets. Just like internet on the computer, mobile broadband gives you internet on-the-go, and has become a pinnacle to our technological society.

Portable modem and Internet on Phones

The main types of mobile broadband can be divided into portable modems and phone internet. Portable modems can be either wireless or shaped like USB sticks to be attached to a device such as a laptop or computer. Wi-Fi modems act like a personal wireless hotspot – connecting you to the internet whenever you like. Phone internet works with your current mobile provider – an add-on to your current plan or prepaid sim allowing you to have 3G on your phone with the ability to turn it on and off at your discretion.

Carrier speeds

Because mobile broadband is mostly accessed on-the-go, the connection speed is far slower than that of ADSL or cable internet, just simply because cable internet has a stronger and more stable connection than mobile broadband. Whilst simple tasks like loading apps and web pages won’t be a problem, it could affect the download speed of very large files.

Contract types

It wouldn’t make sense for you to join a 5GB monthly plan if you only use the web to check your emails. If you’re not sure if how much data you’ll use in a month, it’s best to join a plan that allows you to use up all the data within a reasonable time frame.


Before signing up to a mobile broadband plan, make sure to check if your area has sufficient coverage. There are areas that are labelled as ‘black spots’, meaning there is little to no connection around that area due to the extent of the connection by your carrier. One way to test if there is good coverage is to use any test period offered by your carrier to test the service properly.

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