Broadband Guide - What you need to know
4G LTE Mobile Broadband

Switching to Mobile Broadband

There are many reasons why people opt for mobile broadband. It may be that they don't have a landline phone or, they may suffer from the dreaded rural broadband 'non spot' disease. If this sounds familiar stop and think before you make the switch to mobile broadband. Don't just base your decision on the cheapest package. If your mobile broadband is going to mainly be used at home, check which mobile phone masts are nearest to your property. It's not as relevant if you live in a busy built-up city centre as the chances are all of the phone operators will have wide coverage, but in the more rural areas it can make a huge difference.

No matter which company you talk to, they will probably tell you that you will receive a good signal. But, picking the provider that has a phone mast nearest to you is likely to give you the advantage - and a faster broadband speed! If you have a few mobile phone masts situated near you it doesn't necessarily mean they will all offer the same broadband speed as not all mobile phone masts offer the same service.

Search for mobile phone transmitters

By entering your postcode into the postcode search box on the Ofcom database below, you will be able to see which masts are in your area. If you have more than one mast near your property, you need to click on the blue pins to find out more information. Look for a mast that offers UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunication System) Transmission type, rather than GSM (Global System for Mobile). The second key thing to consider is the 'Transmitter Power' - basically, the higher the better!

wi-fiOnce you've decided on a provider, you'll need to invest in a mobile broadband dongle or MiFi. For those of you that are new to this technology, a dongle is a USB stick that you plug into your machine and it can only be used by one device at a time. Although dongles tend to be cheaper, they are restricted to use with USB sockets - so not suitable for iPads, tablets or phones! MiFi is a gadget, roughly the size of a mobile phone that creates its own WiFi network, so multiple users can log on simultaneously. It's network is accessible to any device capable of picking up a WiFi signal. The fact that it isn't tethered to your machine means that you can position it where the signal is strongest. There is even the option of purchasing an external aerial with some models! If you're looking to future-proof your purchase, it's worth investing in a device that is capable of receiving 4G - even if it costs a little more.

4G Internet specialises in supplying 4G broadband to rural homes and businesses.

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Ofcom external resource: Mobile Phone Base Station Database