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Mobile Broadband Advantages And Disadvantages

Connectivity In Motion

Mobile Broadband Advantages And Disadvantages

What is mobile broadband?

Mobile broadband, utilises 3G, 4G, and 5G mobile signals to deliver a reliable internet connection for homes and businesses, similar to smartphone connections through a SIM card-enabled device. It’s a viable alternative to fixed-line broadband, offering connectivity options for many households where fixed line broadband isn’t viable or for businesses that need a back-up connection. This blog explores how mobile broadband works, the many different types available in the market, and the advantages and disadvantages to help determine if it meets your internet needs.

How mobile broadband works:

Mobile technology applies the same technology that connects your smartphone to the internet while you’re on the go. Your device will access 3G, 4G, or 5G data networks based on your location. To connect your device, you can use USB dongles, mobile broadband routers, or directly inserting a SIM card into your cell phone, laptop or tablet and using the mobile hotspot feature. The best method depends on your internet service provider, data plan and device. Before using mobile broadband services overseas, make sure to check with your provider regarding roaming fees and data restrictions.

Different ways to access mobile broadband Internet:

  • Mobile Dongle: A small USB stick, which provides instant internet access once inserted into a laptop’s USB port. It can only be connected to one device.
  • MiFi Pocket WiFi: A small, portable, battery operated device that functions like a home router, that can be used anywhere.
  • Tethering: Some network providers offer tethering on their SIM plans, enabling you to use your smartphone as a mobile router to create a personal hotspot.
  • Data-Only SIM: A SIM card that can be used in tablets and newer laptops with a SIM slot for mobile data without a phone number.
  • Mobile Broadband Router – A router dedicated for mobile broadband services ensuring fast connectivity, WiFi access, Ethernet ports to connect to your wired LAN network, Firewall and VPN services.

View Our Range of Mobile Broadband Routers and Devices

How fast is mobile broadband?

The speed of your mobile broadband is affected by the package, location, and device used. Signal strength varies by region, and some devices only work with specific networks. In 5G areas with a 5G plan, users can access ultra-fast mobile internet speeds up to 1,000 Mbps, surpassing some fixed-line broadband packages. However, achieving top speeds may be limited until full 5G infrastructure is in place. As some providers have 5G plans that estimates a maximum download speed of around 100Mbps.

4G is the previous generation of mobile network technology, though it is incorporated into the advancing 5G network. By using a 4G-enabled device with a suitable plan in the correct location, you could potentially achieve a maximum bandwidth download speed of 150Mbps, although a more practical speed of 30Mbps is recommended by providers. In comparison, 3G offers a maximum speed of 7.2Mbps, yet connectivity may be weaker in areas with limited signal coverage. The download speed you actually receive is determined by your location and the device you are using.

What is the difference between mobile broadband and Wi-Fi Connection?

Mobile broadband grants internet connectivity via cellular networks, whereas Wi-Fi is a wireless local area network (LAN) enabling devices to link to a local router for internet access. Unlike Wi-Fi, mobile broadband is not constrained by specific network locations.

With advances in 5G technology what are the advantages and disadvantages to switching to a high-speed Internet Mobile broadband service over a fixed line internet connection?


Delivery Time – With a mobile broadband connection you no longer have to wait for an engineer to install a fixed landline or complete a site survey to work out how to route the internet service to your building. Simply order a mobile broadband router insert a SIM card and away you go enabling you to get connected to the Internet within 24 hours.

Choice of Providers – With a mobile broadband connection using a multi-network SIM card and or a dual SIM card router you can choose the best mobile telecommunication network and signal for your location. If one mobile network is slow you can automatically connect to a better mobile wireless broadband network to ensure the best speed and latency.

Support for a range of services – A mobile broadband service from Iotie can support a range of services including a Fixed IP Address, VOIP, Video Conferencing, Cloud and a range of VPN (Virtual Private Network) services to ensure you can connect to key services wherever you are located securely.


Shortage of Mobile Broadband Providers – While there is a diverse range of mobile broadband packages available at different price levels, the number of providers remains limited. This is especially noticeable when compared to the higher count of traditional wired home broadband providers.

Download Limits – The download limits on mobile broadband deals are usually less generous compared to home broadband packages. However, they fare well when compared to Internet access packages on mobile phones. Smartphones utilize the same 3G network as mobile broadband. Therefore, opting for a mobile broadband deal offers better value than choosing an Internet package for a mobile device.

Download Speeds – Depending on where you are located can have an affect on the speed and bandwidth your mobile broadband can deliver. Often you can find that a mobile signal is better outside than located within an office as walls can interfere with a network signal. In addition certain areas of the country may not have access to 4G or 5G networks with 3G as the only viable option.

When downloading files, 3G networks tend to be slower than traditional wired or cable broadband because of existing network constraints. Usually, the highest download speed you may encounter is approximately 7.2Mb. Some providers are have plans to trial download speeds of 14.4Mb in major cities, which is one to keep an eye out for further developments!

If you would like further information on Iotie’s range of mobile broadband services please call us on +44(0)1635 953890, open up a chat or complete the contact form below.

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