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Advantages and Disadvantages of Mobile Broadband

Advantages and Disadvantages of Mobile Broadband

Most people are going gaga over mobile broadband, perhaps because of its limitless potential. This article discusses some important points on the advantages and disadvantages of using mobile broadband.
Rajib Singha
One of the highest selling points for mobile broadband is its portability, which is especially true for frequent travelers. This service saves the user from the trouble of plugging into the wall for working in the Internet. With its use, netizens can be online while they are commuting or are away from home.
In this way they can enjoy the flexibility that normal broadband connection limits with Ethernet cables, and a phone line. But as it is with any technology, even this one has its own share of drawbacks. The following section tells you about some important pros and cons of mobile broadband that you must consider before going for the deal.
Why Should and Why Shouldn't You Use Mobile Broadband?
The Pros
  • Most people are satisfied with the fact that with mobile internet, they do not have to shell out money from their pocket for a landline, which perhaps, they never use for making or receiving calls.
  • The service works great especially for students who move often.
  • One can get the set up on the same day.
  • The service offers a varied pay as you go options, which normal broadband connection doesn't. It is especially beneficial for those whose Internet activities are limited to working on emails or browsing for information.
  • Although standard broadband connections are commonly available, there are some areas which do not have this facility. So for such areas, mobile internet fits the bill.
  • The 'plug and play feature' of this technology subtracts the need of a source of electricity thus, making Internet access hassle free.
  • As this service does not involve any sort of lengthy contract, the user can go for a new provider in case he is offered a cheaper deal.
The Cons
  • Mobile internet access costs more than standard broadband connection. This is simply because, data transfer using cable costs lesser than when it is done over 3G networks.
  • One major drawback of choosing mobile broadband over the standard one is its inferior speed which may be up to 1Mbps compared to normal broadband which may offer up to 8Mbps. Also, the speed depends upon the location of the user, which in some places may not be of any use at all.
  • Restrictive download/usage limit is another disadvantage because of which people may opt out of accessing mobile internet. Because of the limited download allowance, it does not suit download-savvy users. The reason behind the service not offering the feature of 'unlimited download' is that it may overwhelm the system which in turn might slow down service across the 3G mobile network.
  • Usually the download allowance in mobile broadband is limited to 1GB and 3GB. And if a user exceeds this limit, then he may have to incur high charges. Compared to standard broadband package, the mobile one may charge up to 15 times more for additional usage. So for those who are into a lot of video streaming or online gaming, this service may cost them a fortune.
  • Due to higher latency, it may not be suitable for some games.
  • Although users of mobile broadband can avail the benefit of pay-as-you-go, initially they have to shell out good amount of cash for the USB stick or data card.
  • It is more likely that when multiple users are trying to access the Internet in a given area, the speed can be significantly reduced.
  • The USB stick that comes with a new connection is usually locked for a particular provider. So if a user wishes to go for a new operator, he would have to purchase a new USB stick.
  • Compared to standard broadband connection, mobile broadband scores less on the reliability factor.
What can be inferred from the above points on the benefits and drawbacks of using mobile broadband is that the service is worth its investment for people who require to access Internet while they are on the move, and/or for those who are more into checking emails, and browsing. On the other hand, those who usually connect to the Internet at home, and/or who usually engage in intensive bandwidth activities may not benefit from using this service.