Data hungry mobile broadband users in the United States and UK could face hefty bills if they exceed their data allowance. Carrier after carrier has switched from unlimited mobile broadband data plans to tiered pricing. Sprint is the only carrier to still offer true unlimited broadband. But this just brings the United States in line with the UK where no providers offer truly unlimited broadband there, too. The 3 Mobile Max mobile broadband for £15.00 a month with an 18 month agreement has the highest data allowance available.
With mobile broadband speeds on the up, many people are seeing mobile broadband as a viable alternative to paying for a form of fixed broadband. And why not? The coverage area is constantly increasing and it is hard to beat the convenience of having internet wherever you go with next to no hassle. Modern smartphones even offer the ability to act as a mobile hotspot, routing your laptop’s Wi-Fi connection through the phone over 3G. That way, as long as your device supports Wi-Fi, you can provide it with a 3G connection, no router or software configuration necessary.
But in order to use a mobile broadband connection in place of more traditional wired broadband deals, you need a data plan with high data caps. While there is no true unlimited plan offered in the UK, there are several heavy usage plans. 3 Mobile Broadband has a heavy 15 Gb data plan for only £15.00 a month. For most people that will be enough. O2 offers an interesting twist on the unlimited data concept, having set up a series of Wi-Fi hotspots that have no data cap, as long as you are in range of them. Then their lower true mobile broadband plans may be able to cover your needs.
There is no ideal solution. Mobile broadband has come a long ways, but it is still extremely expensive to operate. In a couple years, the price should fall just like it did for wired broadband. Of course, we’ll have invented even more bandwidth intensive applications by then.
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