Soon to be announced dongle sales figures from 3 are set to further illustrate the seemingly inexorable rise of mobile broadband and add fuel to predictions that the days of fixed line broadband could be numbered.
According to a report from the Times, the mobile broadband provider is poised to reveal that it has now sold one million dongles. The figures appear to offer proof that 3’s network’s download speeds and flexible tariffs are proving a strong draw for customers.
Take-up for its USB sticks could be even more marked in coming months after 3 recently launched a mobile broadband deal intended to appeal to Britons who are struggling in the current adverse economic conditions. The move saw 3 halve the price of its 15GB mobile broadband offering to just £15 per month when customers sign up for a 24-month contract. According to 3, the high monthly download limit attached to the offer will throw a lifeline to consumers who are concerned about exceeding their monthly allowance and being hit with punitively high charges.
Rival providers have yet to respond to the launch of the offer with similarly generous download limits. However, T-Mobile’s head of internet and entertainment Richard Warmsley recently appeared to rule out an imminent price cut, claiming that customers value the standard of service that they receive above a cheap headline rate.
The surge in sales for dongles and increasingly cut-throat competition for business among providers has been accompanied by predictions that consumers are now increasingly considering abandoning their fixed line broadband service. However, opinion is split within the sector. Many industry figures perceive that mobile broadband is being viewed by consumers as an additional service, which they will use on ad-hoc basis while continuing to pay for a fixed line connection.