3G Mobile Broadband
The current technology being used by mobile broadband providers is 3G broadband, with 3G relating to the third generation of network technology used to provide access to the internet. Before this mobile providers used 2G technology although for internet access this had neither the speed nor capacity to offer a viable service. Until the new 4G or fourth generation standard is released 3G broadband is the current standard offered by mobile service providers.
What does 3G broadband offer users?
When 3G broadband was introduced as the new standard, using the mobile phone networks in order to access the internet became truly possible with the capacity to handle much larger quantities over 3G broadband and a much faster transfer of data over greater distances. Access to the internet using 3G broadband is now available to users from almost anywhere thanks to the increasing popularity of the use of mobile phones, which is providing much wider mobile network coverage. Internet access using 3G broadband now offers users far more freedom and simply requires the user to purchase a mobile device like a PDA, mobile phone, or a 3G broadband modem that they can plug into their laptop or home PC, which means that network ports, wireless hotspots and telephone sockets are no longer a requirement.
Which providers offer access to 3G broadband?
All of the main service providers currently offer 3G broadband like Telstra BigPond, Optus, Virgin, 3 and Dodo which is unsurprising considering the popularity of 3G broadband Australia. These providers already had an infrastructure in place to offer mobile phone services or simply use the network of the bigger providers so offering 3G broadband would simply have required them to upgrade their network to allow 3G broadband to be used. Depending on the limitations of each providers network and the type of customer they are looking to cater for each provider offers 3G broadband access at different speeds and in particular areas of the country.
The advantages and disadvantages of 3G broadband access
The freedom of being able to access the internet from almost anywhere is the biggest advantage of 3G broadband and is still better than wireless broadband, which either requires access to a wireless hotspot or a router that needs to be connected to a phone line. When comparing a 3G broadband USB modem, data card or USB dongle to the routers, modems and all the cabling that comes with them for normal internet access, the space saved by using 3G Broadband is another great advantage.
The main disadvantage of 3G mobile broadband is the coverage limitation of the mobile phone network that 3G broadband is accessed over. It is essential to check the 3G broadband provider you choose covers the areas you will be using your 3G broadband, in exactly the same way you would when choosing a mobile phone. The quality of Internet access using 3G broadband can also be affected by environmental issues, with anything from the walls of a building to weather conditions affecting the speeds you will get when using your 3G broadband.