Monday, May 12, 2014

Choosing a Mobile Broadband Provider

Mobile Broadband

The U. S. has been a leader in terms of broadband connectivity for many years now. Though it is second in the world in terms of total number of broadband users, sitting just behind China, it has a larger percentage of the population connected via broadband. Over 83 million people in the USA have a broadband connection and the term `broadband` is general enough to encompass various technologies. As such the diversity of broadband connections in the United States is comparable to the variance in the location and communication infrastructures which its citizens are supplied with. At the moment the U.S. does offer mobile broadband connections via 3G, but unlike European nations the level of 3G coverage is far from universal.

Mobile broadband contracts are available and you should check the detailed coverage maps which most internet providers have on their websites if you want to avoid disappointment. That being said, mobile broadband is still an attractive connectivity option, providing better range and less limitations than current Wi-Fi standards and most mobile broadband modems will be compatible with 3G networks around the globe, so it is ideal for roaming. If you are thinking about signing up for a mobile broadband contract, the next section should help you pick a package and provider that is right for you.

4G Wireless Internet

Once you have assessed which providers offer mobile broadband in your area, you will need to compare the various packages which they offer. One key consideration of mobile broadband is the connection speed. Unlike fixed line broadband connections for which providers can reliably estimate your connection speed before you sign up, mobile broadband speeds are reliant on multiple variables and conditions and so are harder to pin down. As such most providers advertise their services as capable of downloading at up to the theoretical maximum, which is usually either 3.6Mbps or 7.2Mbps. The speeds which you will achieve in your own home will vary.

You will also need to consider the amount of monthly data allowance which a provider is willing to permit. If you are a personal user and mobile broadband is going to be your main gateway to the internet then you may need a decent allocation of data if you want to download, surf, stream videos and chat online without exceeding your limit. On the other hand, if you are a business user who will be connection via mobile broadband infrequently during business trips then a smaller data allowance and a cheaper package may be more appropriate.

It is important to consider the minimum contract length of a particular mobile broadband package. In general mobile broadband will require a longer commitment than fixed line broadband packages, of 18 months or more, so you will need to weigh your options up carefully. However, there are some pay as you go mobile broadband contracts which require you to top up your account whenever you need to use it rather than relying on fixed monthly payments. You will usually need to pay for the USB modem, which should reinforce the importance of thorough research before you pick a mobile broadband provider.

By Chloe Brookes - News & Reviews Editor,

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