Will 4G mean the end of home broadband?

October 18th, 2012 by

Will 4G mean the end of home broadband?

An interesting question, one that Broadband Genie recently asked their readers with around 40% responding with yes, 17% said they had no plans to use mobile broadband and 45% stated that they would probably opt for both.

In theory it seems like a great idea. Stop paying a monthly rental charge and instead get free internet that you can receive anywhere you go. In reality, I doubt that is likely to happen anytime in the near future.

The first problem you have is reception. For those of us who live outside of a major city the reception on 3G can often be far less than acceptable. Many of those who currently rely on the internet for employment in areas such as Cornwall could never drop the landline in favour of 3G. So if people are going to make the transition to 4G then the signal in remote areas is going to have to be far superior.

Secondly, broadband deals can be relatively inexpensive. For those who pay for an all in one package that includes television and the phone, often the cost for the extra is negligible and isn’t, at least at present, too costly to make users serious about changing.

The third problem is trust. With the countless teething issues that 3G has had over the last few years, it won’t be surprising if users don’t believe the hype when they hear about connection speeds and coverage. How many times have you heard how great the speed will be only to find out that it was nowhere near what was promised?

Users will be careful not to jump in head first and I doubt many will be cancelling their home broadband any time soon, and rightfully so. If there is one thing we have learned regarding internet services and speeds in recent times is that often, providers do not live up to their promises, thus the term “up to” as opposed to an actual guaranteed connection speed.

The other thing you have to bear in mind is that superfast broadband is now being rolled out across the UK and with fibre optic cables going down across the land, will 4G really be able to compete with the download speeds? Unlikely, at least at present.

It’s most likely that people will opt for both until they have a good reason to do otherwise. However, this doesn’t mean that the transition won’t happen eventually. The idea of everyone ditching home broadband in favour of 4gmobile broadband isn’t that far-fetched. It’s more a case that it will happen slowly over a period of time and not until users are entirely sure that the service provided is as good as the service they are getting with fibre optic cables, which for me, won’t be any time in the very near future.

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Author Bio: Kerry Butters writes for the broadband deals site Broadband Genie. She is a writer with a passion for all things technology, and specializes in security, gadgets and social media.

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