What is mobile broadband?
Mobile broadband is becoming a popular go to for those who live or work in rural areas where natural broadband is either slow or non-existent.
What is mobile broadband?
Millions of homes and businesses now have access to fast fibre optic internet via the BT Openreach network, Virgin Media network. If you can get fibre it’s a great choice, providing fast (sometimes gigabit) speeds at an affordable price.
But that’s if you can get it. There are still many properties where the only option for fixed-line broadband is ADSL, which can be very slow depending on the condition of the line and distance from the exchange. This is a particular problem for rural areas, but there are still urban locations that lack modern broadband infrastructure.
If you’re in a situation where internet access is very sluggish, you might be looking for alternatives, and one potential contender is 4G/5G mobile broadband.
Understanding how Mobile Broadband works and the benefits of it can make a big difference when considering what broadband is right for you. There are a few confusions around Mobile Broadband so lets start with the basics and go from there. Mobile Broadband has two variations to it:
- Portable MiFi – devices which allows you to put a SIM card into the device and allows you to take it wherever you go and use it as you see fit. Be that on the train, on a plane or even in cafe with no WiFi. As long as your device has a connection to the mobile network you have chosen (most networks offer this) you will have a connection to the internet.
- 4G/5G Broadband router – These are best used at a static location such as an office or at home. Using this method, you are almost having the same set up as traditional fibre broadband, just with a few extra components (discussed below).
How does mobile broadband work?
Mobile broadband works very much like traditional broadband, with a main router which produces internet connection. So, what is the difference? The main difference comes from how they produce an internet connection.
Fibre broadband gets it’s connection from a copper wire which comes from a cabinet in your local area and ran to your house, which then connects into your router and produces internet.
Mobile broadband generates internet via a mobile network SIM card. These are identical to mobile SIMs that you use in your mobile device but have slight differences in how they function. Mobile broadband SIM cards are designed to have multiple devices running on the SIM without crashing and causing issues. Instead of having a copper wire running to your house, mobile broadband generates its connection via antennas attached to the back of your router. In most cases though, it is more beneficial to purchase an exterior antenna, install it to a high point off the property and running an antenna extension wire which goest into the back of the router. Why? Because we are then putting the antenna (which is the component which receives the signal) at a higher vantage point to pick up a much stronger signal.
Ultimately the choice between standard fibre broadband or mobile broadband will come down to your needs, location and demands.
Who can benefit from it?
Most buildings could benefit from mobile broadband, whether they use it as a back up to their current fibre broadband so if that goes down the 4G/5G network kicks in, meaning no down time.
Over the last year or so with working from home being very common for most, they have found that their fibre broadband is not quick or reliable enough for their needs. So this has seen a huge demand for mobile broadband at homes so home works can cope with their work loads.
Those living in a rural area can also benefit from mobile broadband. We have recently installed mobile broadband who was only seeing 3mbps with fibre broadband and is now seeing 35mbps on average!
What are the main benefits?
If broadband options in your area are poor, but your mobile signal is strong, mobile broadband can be a real lifeline.
In some areas, 4G speeds can be higher than those of the local fixed broadband. It’s a solution you’ll often see in very rural areas that fixed broadband lines struggle to reach.
Mobile broadband is also a great low-cost solution for a temporary problem, perhaps if you’ve just moved home and the broadband is taking time to get connected. Even a week without being connected could be frustrating for the whole family.
With people working from home at the moment, and possibly far more so in the future, mobile broadband could be a solution to having your own connection for work, keeping the fixed broadband for the rest of the family to use.
- It’s a great way of getting broadband (or higher download speeds, or a more reliable connection) in areas where a fixed line is a bit iffy or difficult to reach.
- There’s no need for line rental. All you need is a SIM and a compatible device.
- Mobile broadband plans are usually a lot more flexible.
- In some areas, 4G speeds can be higher than those of the local fixed broadband.
- Perfect for businesses or homes in rural areas.
“Mobile broadband has massively increased our broadband speed, making it much easier to work from home.”
How can you get started with mobile broadband?
Getting started is easy, at ATS Connection we specialise in all aspects of broadband and are reinventing how mobile broadband works. Being specialists in mobile broadband we can advise on the best set up you need for your property, install the necessary hardware and supply mobile broadband SIM cards.