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The future of broadband

ADSL and 3G are the dominant home broadband and mobile broadband technologies right now. But with fibre and 4G now up for grabs and getting cheaper all the time, they're unlikely to be for long.

Potential threats to ADSL broadband:

Mobile broadband

4G is possibly the biggest threat to ADSL. 3G speeds reach up to 21Mbps, whereas 4G has the potential to deliver 100Mbps or more.

Given that this is the maximum speed of cable, 4G is likely to surpass that, too, as there are no wires, installation or equipment.

Cable broadband

The edge that cable broadband has over ADSL broadband is obvious in terms of the superior speeds that it can offer.

At present Virgin Media, BT and companies such as Plusnet and Eclipse which use BT's fibre infrastructure are among the companies that offer fibre-optic connections.

Max speed with Virgin is 120Mbps and is 76Mbps with BT and the providers which sell their own versions of BT's Infinity fibre optic broadband product.

WiMAX broadband

WiMAX, a technology that offers high-speed broadband via radio waves, is another contender to replace ADSL broadband. The ubiquity of radio coverage in both urban and regional areas of the UK are definitely points in its favour.

Unfortunately for WiMAX it has arrived a little too late, as mobile broadband has already established a stronghold on the roaming/wireless market. This head start may well prove impossible to overcome.