Even before the iPad made its debut, mobile broadband device sales had dropped around forty percent over the past 18 months. According to Rob Webber from Broadband Expert (http://www.broadband-expert.co.uk/), things like smartphones and the iPad aren’t entirely responsible for this trend.
The feedback we hear most often is that speeds are disappointing and coverage is inconsistent or non-existent in many areas.
After hearing similar complaints, my husband and I are among those who’ve opted to stick with hardwired broadband at home where portability isn’t an issue. For travel, we’ve often thought about signing up for pay as you go mobile broadband. (Last weekend’s drive from Kansas to Minnesota and back certainly would have passed more quickly had I been able to stream Netflix to my laptop, for instance!) But from what I’ve heard, mobile broadband in its current state is not going to be any faster or more reliable than my iPhone, which is much lighter and easier to carry on trips than a laptop.
Despite the abundance of mobile broadband deals being offered as providers attempt to compete with the lure of the iPad and smartphones, Webber says we’re not alone in our reluctance to make the switch. That may change as new 4G technology finally delivers speed and reliable coverage competitive with home broadband service.
That coverage bit is the key in my mind. I get all tingly when I think of surfing the ‘net on my laptop while sitting beneath a shady tree in the park. Until 4G coverage expands I’m only as mobile as my iPhone allows me to be, and that’s a pity because I hear there’s a big, wide world out there.