Online and on the move

It’s amazing how technology moves on. From LPs, to cassettes, to CDs, to music downloads; from video recorders to DVD players; and does anyone remember when our internet access was restricted to a desktop PC and a phone line?

OK so that wasn’t so long ago. However, technology has moved on at an incredible rate – and now even wireless routers are starting to look out-dated.

That’s because there’s new technology which takes wireless internet to a new level allowing you to gain access to the internet anywhere at any time of day – and you don’t even have to be in range of a Wi-Fi hotspot.

It’s known as ‘mobile broadband’ and it is available from three of the leading mobile phone networks in the UK – T-Mobile, Vodafone and 3 Mobile.

There are several devices which make mobile broadband work – mobile data cards, built-in 3G laptops, phones with data modems and the most predominant – USB modems, known as ‘dongles’. The technology you need is available from each provider.

Already speeds are available in excess of 7Mb and there are a range of packages to choose from. Most deals offer you a data allowance – i.e. you are charged based on the number of downloads you make. There are also pay-as-you-go deals available along with contracted offers with download caps.

Below is a table with an overview of the contract deals available from each provider. Note that I have handpicked what I deem to be the most ‘competitive’ deals from each network. There are other deals available – but you might have to pay more for shorter contracts or even have to pay out for the ‘dongle’. To compare all the deals available check out our broadband comparison tool.

Network

Product

Speed

Monthly cap

Contract length

Dongle cost

Cost

3 Mobile

Broadband Lite

Up to 2.8Mbps*

1Gb

24 months

Free

£10/
month

3 Mobile

Broadband Plus

Up to 2.8Mbps*

3Gb

18 months

Free

£15/
month

T-Mobile

Web’n’Walk Plus

Up to 1.8Mbps

3Gb

24 months

Free

£20/
month

Vodafone

Mobile broadband

Up to 7.2Mbps

3Gb

18 months

Free

£25/
month

3 Mobile

Broadband Max

Up to 2.8Mbps*

7Gb

18 months

Free

£25/
month

T-Mobile

Web’n’Walk Max

Up to 1.8Mbps

10Gb

24 months

Free

£35/
month

Vodafone

Mobile broadband travel

Up to 7.2Mbps

3GB

18 months

Free

£95/
month

*Speeds are only achievable in the 3 Mobile Turbo Speed areas. Sourced by moneysupermarket.com on the 14th of January, 2008.

Mobile broadband has been embraced by students who have a PC or laptop as they can now get online without line rental. It’s ideal for business users too as they don’t have to be desk-bound.

Expect more providers to offer mobile broadband packages later this year. However, there is already plenty of choice in the market and there’s nothing to stop you from being at the cutting edge of technology.

DISCLAIMER: Please note that any rates or deals mentioned in this article applied at the time of writing and may no longer be available/applicable today.

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