Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Three Offers One Month Mobile Broadband Contract

The Mobile Broadband industry is a very competitive one. Each year the big broadband providers try to bring out better deals in order to convince new consumers to sign up with them. Some offer free laptops others generous download limits. Three has decided to offer a new one month only contract aimed at those who don't want to get tied in to 18 months worth of monthly charges.

Their pay as you go mobile broadband offerings now include a month-by-month contract with a 5gb download allowance. Their 'dongle' (don't you just hate that word?) costs £20 on this contract taking the first monthly cost to £35. Users can cancel at any time and will only be required to pay for the remainder of the month. In contrast those canceling most 12+ month contracts are obliged to pay the remainder of their monthly costs making it effectively impossible to cancel most mobile broadband contracts.

This deal is likely to appeal to those needing mobile broadband in the short term. Students who spend part of the year at home will be able to use mobile broadband whilst at university without having to pay for it year-round. The downside to this plan is that you would receive a considerably smaller download allowance than with a long term contract.

Orange and Vodafone Bid for T-mobile

Mobile phone company T-Mobile is owned by Deutsche Telekom but might not be for much longer. Both Orange and Vodafone have expressed an interest in taking over the company. T Mobile has been under performing recently despite the appointment of a new MD but is not yet in the position of having to sell up in a hurry.

T-Mobile is the 3rd largest mobile phone company in the UK with around 19.2 million subscribers. Vodafone is the largest provider and Orange the 4th largest. Whoever is successful in their bid is likely to become the largest mobile phone operator in the UK by inheriting T-Mobile's massive user base.

If either Orange or Vodafone are successful in their takeover bids then the big five Mobile Phone providers in the UK will become the big four. Some have speculated that this will be bad news for consumers as it will result in less competition. Personally I believe that having one provider with double the amount of subscribers will mean that other companies will be forced to bring out some eye catching deals in order to compete. This would potentially be good for the consumer who is used to getting more for their money each year as it is.

Three mobile have already taken the big step of introducing free Skype-to-Skype calls as well as free Three-to-Three calls for most packages. It will be interesting to see how the other four (soon to be three?) providers compete with this.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Is The Recession Boosting Mobile Broadband Sales?

Mobile broadband continues to attract new customers, it's growth unhampered by the global recession. A report by the EITO (European Information Technology Observatory) has predicted that the UK wireless communications market will grow by 6.6% in 2009.

“Thanks to new applications and attractive devices, mobile telecommunications remains a growth market in spite of the economic crisis“ EITO-Chairman Bruno Lamborghini

The UK is leading the charge with the highest growth rate in Europe with mobile revenues expected to grow by 3.8%. Internet browsing is having a massive impact of mobile phone design as the increase in average screens size shows. Mobile browsing capabilities are now becoming the most important feature for many when looking for a new phone.

Mobile broadband provides a lower cost alternative to traditional fixed line broadband due to lower monthly data costs and lack of line rental fees. Those looking for short term or more flexible contracts are turning to mobile broadband. Improvements in the 3G infrastructure have reduced the difference in connection speeds between mobile broadband and fixed line connections. The availability of pay as you go mobile broadband deals mean that those with lower monthly usage levels are able to take advantage of lowers costs based on their exact usage.

Some of the best mobile broadband deals offer free laptops as part of a monthly subscription and this has no doubt helped to boost take up. Getting online is now a similar process to getting a mobile phone contract and younger users are more comfortable with this than with fixed line subscriptions.

Being the lower-cost alternative has been good more mobile broadband companies with the recession changing the face of the industry. The ability to spread the cost of buying a laptop appeals to customers who feel less financially secure.

Mobile Phones: the Future of the Internet.

Mobile internet is growing fast with the release of more Android handsets (including the new HTC Hero) and the new iPhone leading the way. The bad old days of WAP connections and web pages incompatible with mobile browsing are on the way out. Mobile phones with full internet browsing capabilities are starting to emerge and mobile browsing looks to be the future.

Reportedly half of the world's population has a mobile phone with developing countries being the fastest growing markets. Mobile phone technology continues to improve and in the future those who cannot afford a fixed line connection will be able to connect via their mobile phone. As internet compatible handsets become more affordable and data charges are reduced the market continues to grow.

Improvements to the 3G infrastructure are needed in order for coverage to become more widespread but in larger cities a good signal is easy to come by. The availability of free wifi connections in public areas and coffee shops means that users can switch between wireless and 3G connections in order to get the most from their mobile device.

It seems that the idea of using a physical phone line to connect to the internet is fast becoming outdated. Good riddance to it.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Vodafone launch signal booster

Mobile phone provider Vodafone has announced plans to launch a signal boosting box called the Access Gateway. The Access Gateway will boost mobile phone signal strength for those in low signal areas. The box, which will cost around £160, plugs into a home broadband line. Signal strength is boosted via the home phone line for those with a broadband connection.

This seems like a strange move for Vodafone who, some will argue, could have used the money spent on developing this product on improving their signal strength. I would also question the usefulness of a device that boosts signal strength for mobile phone but requires a fixed phone line. I would have thought that those with a home phone would be less likely to be concerned by lack of a mobile phone signal.

Having said that those in rural areas who struggle to maintain phone signal might be very interested in this product. Those who like to keep their home phone line free of business calls could also benefit from the increases in mobile signal strength. Any opposition is likely to come from those who feel that signal strength improvements should be paid for entirely by their operator.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

One in five intend to get online within the next six months.

Further to news that cheap offers are increasing mobile broadband takeup it has been revealed that most of those not currently online plan to get connected within the next 6 months. This represents a major opportunity for mobile broadband providers as these potential customers will not yet have an allegiance to any particular company.

These new consumers will have to decide if they want to get fixed line broadband access or pay as you go mobile broadband. Those who own a house a already rent a phone line will tend to pick the fixed line option whilst younger consumers who use mobile phones and rent their accommodation or are at University often go for mobile broadband. The choice is confused further by offers of free laptops with some of the best mobile broadband set ups.

Ofcom has recently publish some surprising stats which show that a significant proportion of those who are currently offline intend to remain so:

"43% of adults who currently do not have internet access would remain disconnected even if they were given a free PC and broadband connection."

These two stats (both produced by Ofcom) seem to contradict each other so it will be interesting to see what happens over the next 12 months.

Mobile Broadband Coverage on the Tube by 2012?

Mobile phone coverage on London's underground Tube network has always been a bit hit-and-miss. Whilst a good signal isn't out of the question coverage varies a lot and cannot be relied on. A mobile broadband signal (typically 3G or HDPA) is even harder to get and keep.

The British Government has pledged to help mobile broadband providers to increase the signal strength by 2012. The 2012 Olympics are aiming to be the most technically advanced Olympics yet and mobile broadband for spectators is part of that aim.

The Digital Britain Report has suggested that the forthcoming Olympics are a great reason for broadband operators and the city of London to work together for greater digital coverage. The technological no-how is currently up-to-date but the network systems need upgrading. The issue as usual is who will accept the costs: the government or the providers. If the providers foot the bill there will need to be profit in it for them.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Mobile Broadband Demographic Widens

When mobile broadband was first launched it was mostly the preserve of white collar workers. Business men up and down the country were connecting on trains and during business meetings to collect their emails and exchange data. The portable and flexible nature of mobile broadband suited those who were often on the road or who commuted to work.

Now mobile broadband is used by a wide section of society. Some of the best mobile broadband deals come with free laptops targeting those who do not have a fixed landline or a computer yet. Increasing coverage and rising speeds make mobile broadband a real contender when considered amongst the full range of options.

The demographic is now hard to pin down as dongles are used by an increasingly large percentage of the population. Those at university are a booming market as they are able to move freely whilst maintaining their connection without being locked into restrictive contracts. Pay as you go mobile broadband allows them to keep control of costs by paying in advance.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Cheap Offers Increasing Broadband Takeup.

The increase in competition in the Broadband industry is benefiting consumers and increasing the amount of homes going online. Cheaper offers are expected to mean that only one quarter of the population will not have some form of connection by the end of the year. The UK is currently 11th in the world rankings when it comes to Broadband penetration with around 60% of households having an internet connection.

The big Broadband success of the past few years must have been Mobile Broadband. Deals which include a laptop for a monthly fee have been well targeted at those who do not have a fixed phone line as well as those who's only use for a computer would be in order to access the internet. The availability of pay as you go mobile broadband is improving with approximately 99% of the country able to receive data. Fees of around £15-£20 are more palatable to consumers than the idea of buying a laptop outright then paying a monthly fee on top.

Mobile Broadband specialist 3 has unveiled it's latest plan which may be their best mobile broadband offer. Users can get 15gb a month for £15 rising to only £22.50 with a free laptop. With deals like that (and many others for different providers, for instance Vodaphone) there is no longer any excuse not not be connected.

Friday, 12 June 2009

How To Lock Your Wireless

A recent survey has shown that a large number of broadband users in the UK have left themselves open to piggybacking. If you don't know what that means then you may well be one of them, here is everything you need to know about Wireless security.

When someone uses your unlocked wireless connection to access the internet it is called piggybacking. This can be a bad thing for you for several reasons.

  • Your connection may be slowed down. Sharing your bandwidth with others can be frustrating and slow.

  • You may end up paying extra. If you have a monthly limit on your downloads someone using your wireless may cause you to exceed this. Remember some 'unlimited' broadband packages have fair usage limits.

  • If the person piggybacking is downloading illegal content you could be liable for prosecution.

If you use wireless broadband via your telephone line you need to know how to lock your wifi router. Here is how it is typically done. If this doesn't work for your set up try visiting your manufacturers website.

  1. 1) Using your internet browser log on to your router's set-up page. This may be located at not it will be a similar number which should be in your instruction manual. (If you don't have this it can usually be downloaded from the manufacture's website).

  2. 2) You may be asked for a log-in and password. This will be in the instruction manual and will normally be along the lines of 'admin' and 'password' unless you have already changed it. Next look for a section called 'security setting' or 'Wi-Fi Protected Access' or another similar term. Enter a password making sure it isn't anything obvious. You can test passwords with a password checker.

  3. 3) Save the password and you're done!

Welcome to Mobile Broadband News

Hello and welcome to Mobile Broadband News. We aim to keep you up to date about what is going on in the world of Mobile Broadband including developments regarding 3G coverage and the eventual implementation of the 4g network.
We will also cover other Broadband related topics such as Fibre Optic and Cable although the main focus will be on Mobile Broadband.
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Hi, welcome to Mobile Broadband News Keeping you up to date with the world of Mobile Broadband. My name is Simon Grant, for more information please see my Google Profile:
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