March 1, 2016
PC Pro has a report signifying that the assortment of 3G and other alternatives of mobile broadband could supersede fixed line broadband services such as ADSL and cable by 2018.
3G data cards have been in existence for some time, but the usage allowance was frequently measured in 10’s of Mega Bytes but the last year has seen products appearing at just £10 per month with 1000MB (1GB) of usage included. Consequently sales are thriving, but it is too soon to envisage whether this is dormant demand for a service that small businesses and pro-consumers want, i.e. to be online no matter where they are.
The mobile data cards, while offering much improved value than earlier, are still pretty light in terms of allowances- 7GB could set you back £25. The equivalent amount of money on a fixed line service would get a lot more data. One actual risk that conceivably only those in the most crowded parts of the country may be seeing is the level of contention present on the wireless networks. A big unreciprocated question is whether the mobile networks will increase capacity as more people sign-up to keep existing performance levels. In the fixed line broadband arena we see some providers waiting until a network reaches breaking point before upgrading and others upgrading before capacity issues occur.
Several of the unlimited mobile packages do have fair use policies which have restrictions. The mobile market opened up the use of unlimited in advertising with clauses that could see them charging for surplus usage or altering your product.
Is mobile broadband going to be the sci-fi vision of every appliance being connected wirelessly to the Internet? Well it appears to be heading that way, although it is likely fixed-line will endure in the home and business place as the development in fixed line speeds are currently out-pacing that of wireless. We may see millions of mobile data cards sold in the next two years, but in all likelihood the bulk of usage will remain with fixed line providers.