Mobile internet refers to using mobile phone networks to get online, either through a mobile internet dongle or a MiFi unit.
Unlike wireless internet, which allows people to surf the web in areas designated as Wi-Fi hotspots, mobile internet users can get online wherever they are, provided they are within range of the thousands of mobile phone masts located around the UK.
Mobile internet providers are able to offer their service by harnessing the 3G or 4G signals transmitted by mobile phone network masts. Thus, users are able to get online wherever there's a mobile phone signal.
3G is the older technology but is much more widespread than 4G. Conversely, 4G enables you to connect to the internet much faster than 3G, but is solely available in select locations across the UK, although coverage is improving.
You can access mobile internet by simply plugging a mobile internet dongle into the USB port of your laptop or your home computer or turning on your MiFi.
The enormous growth in demand for mobile internet has seen an industry-wide rush to capitalise on this massive market. As a result, most major UK telecommunications firms now offer mobile internet services, including:
Mobile internet is an essential service for anyone who needs to get online on-the-go and is vital for businesspeople who need to keep up to date with their e-mails. But it’s also useful to different types of people for a range of other reasons, too.
Students: Pay-as-you-go deals and short-term contracts let students secure mobile internet access for short periods. This means that they don’t end up paying for a home broadband product which they may only use during term time.
Travellers: Most mobile internet providers also have networks throughout Europe. This means that travellers can get online wherever they are in the EU and brings an end to the days of seeking out an internet café in an unfamiliar location. EU rulings have also made roaming data charges cheaper than ever, bringing mobile internet within reach of travellers all over the continent.
Cost-conscious consumers: Pay-as-you-go and one-month mobile internet deals are very keenly priced. Furthermore, with no landline rental and connection charge to pay, some serious savings can be made.
Light internet users: If you’re the sort of person who only uses the internet to check your e-mails and look up vital information, mobile internet is ideal. Simply choose a pay-as-you-go deal and add credit as and when you need it.
Compare cheap mobile internet deals on our cheap mobile broadband comparison site.
Looking for a fast mobile internet connection? Compare all fast mobile broadband deals.
Packages offer free setup and TV box.
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Virgin Media customers can access all hotspots for free.
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