How to Choose The Best Mobile Broadband Solution For You

Best Mobile Broadband

What people want from their broadband service

Mobile broadband has become a viable alternative to fixed home broadband solutions. You’ll get fast speeds at price points comparable to your wired broadband solutions, along with a number of other benefits.

We conducted a survey to find out what Australians want from their Internet services. Seventy percent of the respondents said they want to be able to move around with their broadband and use it anywhere. Seventy-seven percent said they don’t want to have to pay to reconnect their broadband service whenever they move house.

2017 broadband survey

77% of Australians don’t think they should be charged to reconnect their broadband if they move.

Mobile broadband plans solve these problems. They are mobile, meaning you can take them anywhere and use them anywhere your provider has network coverage. They are also portable and easy to set up – just plug in the SIM and use your plan – so you don’t have to pay to reconnect when you move house.

What you should consider when looking for your best mobile broadband solution

Mobile broadband plans are powered by a SIM card. Depending on your needs, all you might have to get is the SIM card, and plug it into your device. This applies to devices that have SIM card slots – like a tablet.

But if your device doesn’t have a SIM card slot, you can plug your mobile broadband SIM into a mobile broadband device like a pocket Wi-Fi. These devices will allow you connect multiple devices simultaneously, and they are portable enough to fit in your pocket, carry around, and use on-the-go.

You should also consider the following when choosing the best mobile broadband solution for you:

  • Your data usage
    Determine the type of data user you are. Average users can consume 3GB to 4GB a month. But if you’re a heavy user, opt for a much larger plan. Most importantly, monitor your data usage to get a better idea of what you need. Most telcos offer a self-service app where you can keep tabs on your data usage.
  • Is your device 3G, 4G, or 5G compatible
    You also want to know if your device can work with your provider’s SIM card. These days, any mobile broadband pocket Wi-Fi will have 3G and 4G compatibility. But if you want to access a 5G mobile broadband network, you need a 5G compatible device. Also, if you’re plugging in your SIM card into the device you want to use directly – like your tablet – be sure to make sure it is also 3G, 4G, or 5G compatible, depending on the mobile broadband SIM plan you choose.
  • Check the coverage in your area
    While mobile broadband solutions allow you take your connection wherever you go, they won’t work in areas where your provider does not have network coverage. Be sure to check the different coverage options before committing.
  • Mobile broadband plans usually don’t include Voice and SMS
    You likely won’t be able to make direct calls and text with a mobile broadband plan – you would need a separate SIM plan for that. However, you can use your plan data to make calls and text through apps like Skype or WhatsApp.

Optus, Telstra, and TPG Telecom (Vodafone) mobile broadband speed and coverage

All three major telcos in Australia offer mobile broadband plans. You’ll also find some great offers from MVNOs like Amaysim, OVO, and Yomojo.

But since these MVNOs resell the major telcos’ networks, their speeds and network coverage will be similar to the major telco they resell. So we’ll look at the major telcos’ speeds and coverage. Because MVNOs don’t have access to mobile 5G networks yet, we’ll focus on 4G speeds and coverage.

Note that your mobile broadband service’s performance depends on a lot of factors. For instance, your location – which determines coverage. If you’re in an urban, city area, you will likely get better speeds than in a rural area. Your device is also a factor – it can slow down your speeds or enable you get even faster speeds.

In sum

You’ll get a lot of benefits with a mobile broadband plan. The key positives are its mobility and the easy set up at no extra installation costs. But you might run into some drawbacks when it comes to pricing. Generally, mobile broadband plans can be more expensive than fixed wired broadband when considering the amount of data included.

Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.