Mobile broadband allows you connect your laptop or your computer to the internet wherever you are. It works using either a small portable USB modem, or a data card. Although mobile broadband was initially seen as a solution for people who need broadband on the move, it is increasingly being adapted as the primary broadband connection method by many households.
O2 Pocket Hotspot
Superfast 4G connection with 50GB of data per month. Includes the Huawei 4G Pocket Hotspot with no upfront cost.
50GB data monthly
from £29.38 monthly
O2 WiFi Dongle
Superfast 4G connection with 15GB of data per month and a Huawei 4G Dongle.
15GB data monthly
EE 4GEE Router
Superfast 4G wireless router with a huge 100GB of data and a free EE 4GEE Router.
100GB data monthly
EE 4GEE WiFi Mini
Superfast 4G connection with 15GB of data and a free 4GEE WiFi Mini Router.
15GB data monthly
from £22.00 monthly
The reason for the increase in residential use of mobile broadband is that with the traditional ADSL broadband option, you need to have a fixed BT landline installed. However, with the growing trend of the mobile phone replacing the landline, many consumers are loath to pay the £100+ installation charge for a landline that they don’t need.
BroadbandNI.com operates independently of all the mobile broadband providers that are displayed on our site. The table above shows the main players in the market.
Mobile broadband is one of the fastest changing areas of this exciting industry, and there are a few big players that are dominating the market at present. Much of greater Belfast has decent 3G coverage – so you should be able to get 2-3mb connections reliably enough. Outside Belfast you would need to check your specific address with your mobile broadband provider. We have tested mobile broadband in Portadown and Armagh and have been able to get a 3.6mb connection. However – at busy times of the day the connection can crawl to a halt.
A word of warning – most mobile broadband packages come with a data allowance, and if you are a heavy internet user this is something you want to be careful about. If you are just a regular internet user, using the internet to check your email, do a bit of online shopping, update your facebook profile and maybe a bit of price comparison research then you could typically use less than 1GB per month – but if you are a heavy internet user who regularly downloads videos or uses online gaming then you may find you use quite a lot of data transfer every month!
The bad news for those of you who are too far from an exchange to get ADSL broadband (despite promises that Northern Ireland was the first region in Europe to have 100% access to high speed internet!) is that current mobile broadband solutions are unlikely to fix your problem. But this is a fast changing industry – so keep your eye out for developments.