Mobile broadband left for dust


The difference in data speeds between mobile broadband and fixed broadband is growing, according to research. And fixed line broadband is getting faster.

Broadband comparison site Broadband Expert said fixed broadband services are now, on average, twice as fast as mobile broadband.
Broadband Expert clocked the average fixed line broadband speed at 3.61Mbs based on over 308,584 fixed line broadband speed tests, compared to 1.57Mbs for mobile broadband based on 5,345 tests.

Fixed broadband services are now 0.66Mbs faster than they were in February 2008, when the average speed was recorded at 2.95Mbs.

By comparison mobile broadband services surveyed by the same company in April 2008 have increased in speed by just 0.1Mbs.
Broadband Expert’s William Harvey said: “Broadband providers are phasing out slower services with many providers entry level packages starting at up to 8Mb and a number of providers upgrading customers on slower services free of charge.

“Whilst we are looking to make more and more of our broadband connections with the growth of online video, music downloads and online gaming the demand for faster broadband connections will continue to grow”.

He added: “Mobile broadband is capable of achieving speeds of up to 7.2Mbs in areas of 3G coverage.

“However where no 3G coverage is available mobile broadband services rely on the much slower 2G network hence the area in which you use your mobile broadband connection can have a huge impact on the speeds achievable”.

Harvey expects the gap in speeds between fixed and mobile broadband to grow further, as home broadband providers invest huge sums in updating their networks.

In July, BT announced it will invest £1.5 billion to roll out fibre based broadband services capable of speeds of up to 100Mbs whilst Virgin Media is aiming to make their 50Mbs service available to nine million UK homes by the end of 2008.