Wireless Broadband – Food for thought!

New research published by broadband benchmarking experts EPITRO highlights that despite widespread advertising by the network operators claiming speeds in excess of the Governments 2 Mbps target, subscribers to mobile broadband packages are receiving an average of just 0.9 Mbps.

Managing Director of Tariam Satellite Communications Andrew Walwyn said

“I’m not one to knock the opposition, but in reality customers who call us rarely have a good word to say about Mobile Wireless services.

“The feedback we have is that true broadband 3G services are available in some of the big cities (where high-speed broadband is already in abundance with WiMax and in wireless hotspots, cafe’s and coffee shops) but rarely in rural areas or where the so-called “not-spots” exist and the services are really needed”.

Contention and lack of true 3G enabled cell sites in rural locations also mean mobile users often don’t see more than 56 kb dial-up performance.

EPITRO’s research isn’t broken down by area or network so it’s difficult for consumers to make informed choices, but the recent survey included results from 1.4 million speed tests conducted nationally.

And mobile wireless services don’t come cheap. Published costs on Vodafone’s website today (which include a recent reduction in price) offer a mobile broadband package which gives just 15 Mb per day for £1 (0.45 GB for £30 a month if used every day), and then charge an eye watering £2 per Mb if the 15 Mb daily allowance is breached. If you take advantage of cheap VoIP calling on services like Skype, this usage isn’t included in the initial bundled data allowance and is charged at the full £2 per Mb rate.

For home users in rural or suburban “not-spots” all this means mobile or 3G isn’t a viable alternative, and can’t really be said to be a “business grade service”.

ToowayDirect’s alternative for domestic users Tooway now offers up to 18 Mbps from only £17.99 a month (inc VAT) and this allows 2 GB at peak speed, and no excess charges beyond that. Larger data allowances are available. Even factoring in the cost of the hardware needed to use the service, over a two to three year period, satellite is a substantially faster and a more cost affective proposition.

New research by EPITRO highlights poor performance from mobile wireless broadband, we look at the research and put the case for Tooway as an alternative for Rural Home Users.