Mobile broadband is essentially a type of broadband device that allows the user to use the internet when on the road. You can either have it on your phone or dongle or any other 3G device, such as an enabled tablet computer.
When it comes to the question of keeping the costs of your mobile broadband to a minimum, the first thing you need to ask yourself is what will you be using it for and how long do you intend to use it?
Dongles: If you are constantly on the road, have no fixed connection at your home address and tend to use it on a long-term and regular basis then you should consider the option of getting a contract.
Whilst some people don’t like to be tied to a contract, it’s no different to a cell phone agreement on the whole. With a contract you will often get a dongle for free and have lower charges for overall usage, shop around for the best deals and ensure you have good coverage in your area.
If you are only needing it for a vacation, then you may want to buy pay-as-you-go (PAYG) dongle.
However, do look into data roaming costs. These can vary widely and you may find that your credit runs out very quickly, especially if you’re travelling abroad.
Cell phones: Most cell phones are now equipped with the capability for use as a mobile broadband modem these days. The secret is to understand how your bill works and how to keep any unnecessary costs down.
Most operators will provide you with a mobile broadband allowance. You may want to look at this when taking your contract out and ensure your package suits your needs. Once in place, avoid going over your download limit, as some providers will hit you with heavy charges.
One of the major things that can affect your cell phone bill is data roaming. The term data roaming refers to using the internet outside of your contract provider’s coverage. Depending on where you travel around the world the costs can vary dramatically so unless essential, turn off roaming before travelling. This will ensure you don’t arrive home to an enormous bill after your vacation; avoid checking out Facebook, turn it off completely so that you don’t arrive home to a shocking bill.
VoIP: (Voice over Internet Protocol): Not all mobile broadband packages allow you to use VoIP, which are basically services such as Skype, so check there’s an app for your phone or computer, and that your provider allows you to use it as it could have an effect on your broadband allowance.
Finally, if any of these concern, you then speak to your provider about a cap. A cap will ensure that once you reach a certain point your data allowance. This way, whether at home or abroad, you will not have to worry about any surprise bills in the post – however, if you are intending to use the internet for a lot of downloading then consider paying that little extra for unlimited downloads.
About the Author: Kerry Butters
Kerry contributes this article on behalf of Broadband Genie, the consumer
information site for mobile broadband.