Compare USB Modem Deals
The media is bombarding us with adverts for mobile internet services and the promise of “broadband on the move”. In fact, it is very simple: plug in a USB adapter – or modem stick – into the laptop or other mobile device. The vital “handshake” that takes place between the devices or the device and a LAN is, these days, almost invariably done automatically. If not, the stick comes with the necessary drivers on an accompanying CD.
As for speed, a number of 3G networks use a technology called HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) which offers breakthrough data speeds - up to five times (10 Mbps) higher than is possible in conventional 3G networks - as well as two-fold base station capacity. The new modulation method of HSDPA greatly improves the peak data rate and throughput, which enhances spectral efficiency. In addition to these benefits, users will perceive faster connections to services through shorter round trip times.
In central London - covered by Vodafone's HSDPA network, for example, you could expect to achieve between 1.8 Mbps and 2.2 Mbps. In real terms, that would allow you to download a 56 MB file in five minutes. Where 3G is unavailable, the USB stick reverts to GPRS (2.5G).