(www.ISPreview.co.uk, UK, London) The results from 412 respondents to ISPreview.co.uk’s latest survey have revealed that 54% of people are interested in Mobile Broadband but, when asked which aspect of the service they "[needed] to see improved the most", speed topped the list with 25% of the vote. Bigger usage allowances came a close second with 23%, followed by "Service Reliability" (22%) and last of all "Lower Prices" (18%).
It’s quite understandable that consumers expect Mobile Broadband to be fast, much as they would with any Internet access service that has "broadband" in the title, but many often buy such products only to be disappointed by the performance. In reality data capacity costs money and Mobile Broadband revenues cannot keep up, thus real-world download speeds are often found to be considerably lower (1-2Mbps) than the theoretical maximum of 14.4Mbps promised by existing technology (HSPA).
"Mobile Broadband users clearly expect a lot from operators but the good news is that the situation shouldn’t get too much worse, although admittedly it might have trouble getting better too, at least in the short term," commented ISPreview.co.uk’s Editor and Founder, Mark Jackson. "Some operators (3 Mobile) are already adopting traffic management measures to improve how they handle Internet data and future Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, which will replace HSPA, should make more efficient use of existing capacity."
It’s important to remember that Mobile Broadband is by no means a proper replacement for traditional fixed lines. Mobile networks are costly beasts and lack an equal level of service; though admittedly both suffer from similar issues of coverage and performance, albeit not to the same degree.
The facts are, without a rise in prices or tougher usage restrictions – unlikely in this competitive environment, Mobile Broadband performance will not change much over the coming year. Cash strapped operators won’t be bumping up usage allowances like they did in 2008/9 and service speeds aren’t going to leap forwards like a Kangaroo, but it should improve.. eventually.