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UK has cheapest mobile broadband in Europe
Wednesday 13 January 2010 15:39:02 by John Hunt

A report issued yesterdy by CCS Insight shows that the UK is leading the way to cheap mobile broadband in Europe. Looking at the five leading markets, the UK beat France, Germany, Italy and Spain by driving down average prices for mobile broadband to around €17 (£15.20). Conversely, the highest costing country was France, where 4GB of data can cost as much as €85 (£76), but on average users pay twice as much as in the UK.

Broadband subscribers in these five major European markets are expected to rise from 22 million at the end of 2009 to over 43 million in 2011 with revenue rising from €6 billion to €11 billion over the same period. Most mobile broadband providers charge a flat rate fee for a set amount of usage, however in Italy, most tariffs charge on a time-based model. This is expected to change somewhat in 2010 with operators following the trends of their European counterparts.

Mobile broadband tariffs in Europe, Q4 2009
Source: CCS Insight

The GSM Association, predicts that this coming growth will help boost the technologies used for mobile broadband which will provide users with better services.

"As the GSM family of technologies continues to evolve and we see increased deployments of HSPA+ and LTE networks, Mobile Broadband users will experience even faster data rates, more than sufficient to compete with fixed line broadband offerings."

Michael O'Hara, (Chief Marketing Officer) GSMA

LTE is an emerging next-generation mobile broadband solution which will allow users to connect with peak speeds in the hundred of megs. Tests in April of 2009 by Telefonica (owners of O2) in Madrid saw speeds in excess of 140 Mbps. When launched as a live service, they expect peak speeds to be around 340 Mbps. The next step up from LTE, is LTE Advanced which meets the 3GPP requirement of a 4G mobile broadband service which can provide speeds up to 1Gbps. With these speeds in mind for mobile services, there is a definite rival to fixed line DSL and fibre based services in the pipeline. How long until we see LTE Advanced is not known, but O2 announced in October their plans to run LTE trials in the UK.


Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
uk good for cheapness, we all love our money in this country. But poor for quality and longevity.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Of course you can't let anything pass without moaning about it.

Why don't you focus on the real issue, like the fact as a home user you're still an idiot to use mobile broadband, given the costs involved...
Posted by otester over 7 years ago
Cheapness is ruining the UK.

Overselling is the main blame for this, mostly done by corporations.

I'd rather pay a larger amount and get the advertised speed and for regular network upgrades.
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
Users can connect at 100s of megs? What all of them at once? Is LTE really that good?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
Mobile broadband IMO will never be a massive success, Ive not even found a network that can deal with simple voice calls reliably, (Conversation breakup, getting cut off, naff single in bad weather) let alone broadband running at hundreds of Mbs.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
^^^ Opps obviously meant signal lol
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
I remain highly sceptical. 100 users hanging off one transmitter trying to connect at a couple of 100Mb/s at the same time just doesn't sound possible. It might be possible for one or two people in the wee small hours of the morning but that's not very useful.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
Indeed AndrueC, if mobile providers still cant even provide 100% reliable person to person phone calls, like you i remain more than sceptical about them giving users hundreds of reliable Mbs in internet land.
Posted by otester over 7 years ago

It's (download) ~325Mbps divided by n amount of users (~170Mbps if 2x2 instead of 4x4 antenna is used), upload is ~85Mbps divided by n amount of users, per 20Mhz of bandwidth. Each provider probably only getting 1 channel each.

~50 users (inc. calls) gives you an approximate minimum (3UK lol)...

Download: 6Mbps
Upload: 1.5Mbps

Vodafone (7.2x3=21.6Mbps mast) minimum of 1Mb suggests ~20 users, so Vodafone assuming usage/pricing ratio stays the same, should give:

Download: 16Mbps
Upload: 4Mbps

At night (12-8am) multiply by 2.5.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
quote"Vodafone (7.2x3=21.6Mbps mast) minimum of 1Mb suggests ~20 users"

Should be funny when hundreds try to connect then.
Posted by 2doorsbob over 7 years ago
LOL i'll have to agree with carpet and audrue c on this one with advertised speeds of 7.2mbps and the actual average speed being just 1 meg at the moment you dont have to be sherlock holmes to work this one out ,you've more chance of getting 2 yoghurt pots and a piece of string to work lmao
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
Thanks otester, I think you posted that in another article. The question then is how many people are trying to use it at once. If it's only for mobile use then the figures you suggest seem fine and it would make for a good service.

OTOH if it's to be used to compete with fixed lines (ie;dongles for home use) then I think we'd be looking at higher numbers of users.
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago

My initial suggestion of 100 users per mast was based on that scenario. It appears that would render any such service incapable of high quality iPlayer.
Posted by otester over 7 years ago

Yes I did post it in another but I thought it was also relevant here.

If they start supplying home router kits then this will dent 3.75G a lot, I'd hope the likes of Vodafone/T-Mobile would adjust pricing to give better networking performance.
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
@otester:Yeah, I wasn't being critical - it's good information and certainly relevant here.

I've also heard about using home base stations but I'm a bit puzzled by that as well. It doesn't sound like much of a solution to me unless the house is fed by fibre and has plenty of spare bandwidth.

Radio for when you're out and about makes a lot of sense - my puzzlement concerns some people's claims that it's a serious competitor or decent alternative to fixed lines.
Posted by otester over 7 years ago
Also today I played A half-life COOP multiplayer mod (Sven Coop) on my laptop on the train (70mph) using my Vodafone dongle, no lag and had a ~110ms ping to a UK server.
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
Well that's a good use of mobile broadband. From a purely technical POV I think it'd be better to have wifi and the signal routed through the railway system somehow but that's another issue.

You were mobile and you had decent connectivity - exactly why we need it. OTOH when I'm sat at home or the office then mobile BB seems like misuse.
Posted by mastrodimitris over 7 years ago
I live in Finland and I am charged 12,90 € per month,the equipment (stick) included,for mobile broadband with no limits.Where do you see the cheapest mobile broadband in Europe?
Posted by 135Goodwin over 7 years ago
Hardly surprising is it really with so many "Not Spots"
Posted by dshano over 7 years ago
the miobile BB needs to be more faster than is seems>>
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