Introduction There was a time when internet connection meant only the fixed line connections through wires. We all remember slow dial-up connections we used to have in earlier days, with landline phone and modem which barely used to give us the speed of 56 kbps. As the time progressed and with the digital revolution, these slow dial-up connection got replaced with high speed fixed line connections popularly called broadband connections. These were high-speed connections and gave users speed of 256 kbps in earlier days to 100 Mbps as of today. But with the mobile and smartphone revolution, surfing the internet while on move became a necessity and people wanted to remain online and connected while on move. This resulted in another form of internet service called "mobile internet" becoming popular.
Both broadband and mobile internet services are equally popular nowadays and both have their technological differences as well as pros and cons. Sometimes people looking to get new internet connection may feel a bit confused as to which service to go for, "mobile internet" or "broadband internet"? Here I would like to highlight the factors that should be considered when deciding between the two services.
Technology difference between broadband and mobile internet I would first start by explaining the basic technological difference between the two services without going into much technical depth. The fixed-line broadband internet is a fixed internet service where the user can only access the internet only within their house premises. Here the internet is provided with help of copper or fibre optic cables which run from user premises to the service provider exchange. This type of internet is not useful to the users when they are out of their house premises and are travelling. While the mobile internet is a service provided by the mobile operators through their mobile towers just like they provide mobile voice service. So users can access it while on the move just like voice services.
In the fixed-line broadband services, there are different standards like DSL, ADSL, and Fibre (FTTH) based on the type of connectivity between customer premises and the exchange. DSL, ADSL have copper cable connectivity and require a phone line while the fibre has optical fibre connectivity and does not require any phone line. Modems are required in all the cases. Similarly, for mobile internet, there are different standards like 2G, 3G, 4G where G stands for generation. Each newer generation offers better speed than their predecessors. 3G and 4G mobile internet services sometimes are also called as "mobile broadband" since their speed is lesser but still comparable to the fixed line broadband services.
One more major technological difference between the two is that in a fixed line connection there is a dedicated channel between the customer premises and an exchange, while in mobile internet connectivity resources available from mobile towers are shared among many users and there is no dedicated channel for each user.
Pros and cons for Fixed-line and Mobile internet
Which service to choose? Now an obvious question which might come across anyone who wants to go for a new internal connection is whether to go for fixed line internet or mobile internet? Well, the answer to this will depend much on pros and cons listed above and on the fact that which factor holds greater importance to you. For some users who are always on the move, the mobile internet may be a better choice even at a higher cost and unpredictable speed. Whereas for other users who normally use the internet at home and want uniform speed fixed line broadband internet may be a better option. Broadly speaking three factors likely to play a major role in this decision are cost, quality, downtime and mobility.
One thing I would like to add here is that with the advent of 4G mobile technology, data speeds have increased and have come to a step closer to the fixed-line internet. So many users now think of mobile internet due to the flexibility of use while on the move. Tariffs wise also as already said earlier by me Reliance Jio 4G has triggered a price war and tariffs for mobile internet have come down to a great extent and have even beaten fixed line internet.
Conclusion To conclude both the mobile internet and the fixed-line broadband internet are two different variants of providing internet service and the prime difference between the two is that one is internet on the go while other is internet at a fixed location. So users nowadays have to make a smart choice as to which one suits their needs the most and make an informed decision.
Wi-Max combines the features of wired and wireless broadband, but after the advent and popularity of 4G and 4G LTE, it is more convenient to have a mobile internet which serves us with speed as well as mobility. As of now, to create market share and upper hand, there is fierce competition in reducing the data charges. However, we have to wait and see whether this stays affordable and also how consistent the speed and stability will be.
The article discussed the advantages and disadvantages of having a fixed broadband internet or mobile internet and the author concluded that mobile internet with the emergence of 4G is attained very good popularity and it is almost beating fixed broadband internet. As a constant user of the mobile internet, I fully support and am in agreement with the views of the author. Now the addition of Wifi hotspot facility in our smartphones, we can use our laptop with internet while on the move without any additional device, which is making many to go for mobile internet. I feel the coming days are full of the mobile internet than fixed broadband internet.
It is a well-known fact that mobile internet is preferred for on the move net connectivity.The choice of what we take depends on the number of users or whether it is an individual or a family use.
For instance, we have on mobile with an unlimited access and rest of mobiles with the basic internet data pack. At home, we have a fixed broadband line connectivity. So, for a family, both are often used. Many cities have broadband provided by the same cable provider. We have found that the price of the broadband when taken with the cable, is cheaper than mobile or broadband alone.
I think, once the mobile companies reach a point beyond which they cannot absorb the losses incurred on the ridiculously cheap mobile internet charges, then the prices might change.
One issue that needs discussion is the safety while we surf or stay online. Here a password protected fixed line or a virtual private Network would be safer for a home user which children rather than a mobile network alone.
Regarding installation charges, many service providers at apartments are charging very less, because the outlets are already present and they need the business. BSNL also sometimes waives off the installation charges for new connections. (eg: the Hindu had an article about BSNL waiving off installation charges, dated July 2017)
Lastly, we all have bought Dongles for internet on the move and at home/office. Is there a role for Dongles or have they outlived their purpose?