Mobile Broadband

Mobile Broadband

True mobile broadband on the move or in the home without needing a phone line!

Mobile Broadband works by providing Internet over a mobile operator's 3G network. Users access the mobile broadband service by plugging in a (USB) Dongle into a laptop or desktop computer. Some providers now offer a special mobile wireless router which is accessed just like a normal wireless router. There are free laptop and mobile broadband bundles with the cost of the laptop built into the monthly line rental, usually between £10 and £30 extra per month, depending on the laptop.

Most providers have pay montlhly, pay as you go (no contract) and risk-free broadband starter kits. There are tariffs for both home and business users.

Getting started is usually very straight-forward. Simply plug your 3G Dongle into your laptop or PC, let the software auto-install, and start surfing! Most operating systems are supported, including XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Mac OS X.

Compare providers below or view Mobile Broadband Offers on one page

Mobile Broadband FAQs

How does Mobile Broadband work?

All the mobile networks offer mobile broadband through their 3G (HSDPA) network. Most mobile broadband packages come with a free USB Modem / Dongle, a small device which you plug into your laptop or PC and connects to the mobile operator's 3G network.

Who is it suitable for?

Mobile Broadband is ideal for regular consumers, mobile workers, students or anyone needing a wireless Internet connection that can be used wherever you have a mobile signal. The highest speeds are available where 3G network coverage is good. Outside of this it will usually switch to the 2G network. However, 3G coverage in the UK is generally good and improving all the time.

For some customers mobile broadband may be a better option than a fixed line service. For example, BT line customers with ADSL broadband who live a certain distance from their local exchange cannot get very high speeds, so mobile broadband may be a good alternative.

How much does it cost?

Prices start from around £5 to £10 per month, with pay monthly and pay as you go options. Free Laptop and mobile broadband deals cost around £20 to £35 per month.

What speeds can I expect?

Current mobile broadband speeds are advertised at around 3.6Mbps to 7.2 Mbps. As with most fixed-line broadband packages, you're unlikely to get the advertised speed. The exact speed will depend primarily on the 3G signal strength and the number of users on the mobile network in your area.

Mobile Broadband Help

Still not sure? Check the guides below to find out more about 3G Mobile Broadband and USB Modems/Dongles.

Mobile Broadband Providers

T-Mobile Mobile Broadband
From £10 p/month

T-Mobile Broadband offers headline speeds up to 7.2Mbps. The T Mobile USB dongle comes free on PAYM. Also available on pay per day. The service has received favourable reviews from PC-Pro magazine and The Observer.

T-Mobile Dongles »

Vodafone Mobile Broadband
From £10 p/month

Mobile broadband tariffs that are popular with consumers and small business users. Headline speeds are up to 7.2Mbps. Pay monthly and a 30 day contract option.

Vodafone Dongles »

3 Mobile Broadband
From £7.50 p/month

A good range of packages including laptop bundles to suit all types of users. A 3 dongle is available on PAYG and PAYM. Good 3G coverage and some of the cheapest prices.

3 Mobile Dongles »

Orange Mobile Broadband
From £5 p/month

Orange offers several mobile broadband and laptop packages with headline speeds currently up to 3.6Mbps. Very good 3G coverage in the UK.

Orange Dongles »

O2 Mobile Broadband
From £10 per mth

Pay monthly and very cheap PAYG option. The O2 dongle is included free on all pay monthly plans.

O2 Dongles »