Mobile Broadband Speed

How To Pick The Best Mobile Broadband Provider

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This is a 4-part lesson on How To Pick The Best Mobile Broadband Provider. Previously we covered, how to pick a mobile broadband plan. Here we cover selecting a provider based on mobile broadband speed.

Picking a provider based on mobile broadband speed all depends on what you plan to do with it. Let’s revisit the 4 scenarios described in how to pick the best plan:

1. Day-To-Day Use & Want Great Coverage

2. Day-To-Day Use but Coverage Isn’t So Important

3. Emergencies Only

4.Very Sparingly Used


Chances are emergencies only and very sparingly used situations won’t require the royal treatment of uber fast mobile broadband speed.

While it might be unfair to say ‘since you don’t need it often then you probably don’t need a lot of speed’, there’s a bit of truth in it. If you’ve got a backup car, it’s probably not a Rolls Royce. It might be a Honda. It still rides nice and reliable but it’s not top of the line luxury.

Taking that into consideration, mobile broadband speed will factor most into your decision making if you use it on a day-to-day basis. However, all daily users don’t fall into the same category. According to a study by Net-pop, there are:


5 Kinds of Broadband Users

Figuring out which kind of broadband user you are is the key to deciding on mobile broadband speed. By reading, understanding and applying this section, you’ll be able to cut through the sea of options to select the best provider based on speed.

If you don’t go through this section, you run the risk of choosing a provider that’ll either overcharge you for service you don’t need or provide inadequate service that’ll keep you from doing what you need to online.

Without further ado, the 5 types of broadband users are:

1. The Content King 
2. The Social Clicker
3. The Online Insider
4. The Fast Tracker
5. The Everyday Pro


Content Kings

Chess King
"The content king looks to the Web for entertainment. Seventy-six percent of the group plays games online, and 75 percent of Web site visits are for personal reasons. Content kings spend an average 2.5 hours online each weekday".

If you fall into this category, it’s highly likely that mobile broadband speed is not just something ‘nice’. It’s damn near a requirement. Without it, your entertainment experience suffers greatly. You’d get booted from games and video stop and start every 2 seconds for buffering. Hardly entertaining. You’ll need a reliable network, good latency and great speed.

Your best candidates are Clear’s 4G WiMAX, Sprint Mobile Broadband and Verizon Mobile Broadband.

Stay away from AT&T. They’ve had several reports of sub-par performance in speed due to iPhone network strain. The last thing you need is being locked into a 2 year contract with crappy service. Wait until they upgrade their network and they’ve proven themselves once again.


Social Clickers

Social Media

"Social clickers, who skew both young and old, use the Internet as a means of communication.

The younger group uses social networking sites, IM, and other messaging tools to socialize, while the older group hinges its Internet use and communications more on e-mail.

Within the group, 78 percent contribute to Internet content or information on a monthly basis. More than half of social clickers’ time (57 percent) is spent on communications. The remainder is spent on news and information (10 percent) and shopping (8 percent)".

If you can identify with this group, then speed won’t be the ‘chopping block’ factor. Average mobile broadband speed will more than get the job done. Heck, you could even go budget carrier and get a lower tier speed if you’re really not that concerned.

While you can get just about anyone, budget carriers like Cricket & T-Mobile could save you a buck or two while you’re at it.


Online Insiders


"The online insider consumes content across the broader Web.

According to the report this person sees the Internet as ‘a rich personal and cultural phenomenon’. Behavior among online insiders is like that of early adopters.

Eighty-six percent contribute to Internet content or information each month, including posting to blogs, community sites, and chat rooms. The group spends upwards of $130 each month on e-commerce".

This one’s a toss up of sorts.

If you’re an insider, your experience is custom tailored. The advantage here is that you’ve most likely already got a fix on whether or not your online insider activities would require a bunch of speed & bandwidth. Depending on your activity, you could be a power user, average user or lightweight user.

Figuring it out shouldn’t be too difficult.

If your online activities include a lot of video or audio, then you’ll most likely fall into the power user category. If it includes light video, audio and mostly text/graphics, then it’s likely that you’re average. Lastly, if it’s just text/graphics, chances are it’ll be light.

Depending on which of these you are, you may need the best of the best mobile broadband speed, something in the middle or budget will do you just fine. Refer to the table below to make the call.


Fast Trackers


"Fast trackers typically use the Internet to seek out news and information. Content categories include news, sports, and weather. Fast trackers remain loyal to sources with frequent updates and real-time information.
The group reads news online (77 percent). It also typically looks up maps, directions, and public transportation information (66 percent). Reigner said fast trackers use the Internet to research products but typically buy in stores".

Fast trackers, like online insiders, could also be power, average or light users. Again, it depends on how you like to get your information. Mostly video? Then you’re a power user. Light video, audio and some text/graphics? Average. Mostly text/graphics? Light.

Pick a carrier based on speed accordingly.
Last but not the least we’ve got the everyday pro.


Everyday Pros

Everyday Professional

"The everyday pro is characterized by personal productivity and efficiency and looks to the Internet to fulfill those needs.

The group adopts complex tools to simplify life. About 84 percent use online banking, and 68 percent purchase from online retailers.
This group is older in age, and they are very much focused on the Internet as a productivity tool. They like to save money and time, and the Internet is a tool for total efficiency."

If you’re an everyday pro, you’re most likely an average or light user. The very nature of productivity requires that you cut all the extra fat.

Massive amounts of online media/entertainment = extra fat.

If you’re online to ‘get ‘er done’ and get out, then you aren’t sticking around long enough to be a power user anyway. Even if you do consume video and other ‘bandwidth intensive media’, the length of time simply isn’t long enough.

Here’s the tricky part though.

Since productivity and efficiency is important to you, budget carriers that don’t offer great mobile broadband speed might not make the cut. Rather, you may even pay a premium for the highest speeds because time is more important than money. However, If your activities don’t require the utmost of urgency, you can probably get away with an average speed carrier as well.


And Now Something You Can Sink Your Teeth Into

Now that you’ve got a good fix on the type of user you are, let’s take a look at the kinds of mobile broadband speed carriers offer alongside related info:



Its not expected that you’re going to look through each of these. It’ll be much quicker if you’ve already narrowed down your options based on the previous section: how to pick a mobile broadband plan.



As you’ve probably noticed, most prepaid and rental companies inherit features of their ‘parent’ networks. It’s to be expected since building a mobile broadband network from scratch is quite the costly investment. For many, it just makes a whole lot more sense to ‘rent’ or ‘lease’ the network and repackage it in a profitable yet mutually beneficial way for everyone.


While these tables provide a summary of speeds you can expect, each carrier has its own full review. Click on any carrier to hop to its respective review.

Since that was a truckload of info, let’s recap:

Content kings have the need for mobile broadband speed. If that’s you, consider fastest carriers 1st and average carriers 2nd.

Social clickers don’t need fighter jet speeds. While you can do average carriers, a budget carrier with lower speeds wouldn’t hurt you much either.
Online insiders can do premium, average or budget
. It all depends on the way you like to keep track of info that’s important to you. Decide accordingly.

Fast trackers can also be premium, average or budget. While an online insider’s mobile broadband speed tier depends on how they get their info, for a fast tracker it depends on the kind of information/media they like to keep track of. The ball’s in your court on this one.

Lastly, the everyday pro may need top speeds for productivity. If your activity is important but not urgent, you may be able to swing by with average mobile broadband speed. However, if you do budget speed, then you may end up frustrated.


I Know What Plan & Mobile Broadband Speed I Want. What Next?

Finish this lesson or buy useful stuff (it helps me pay bills)

How’s that for transparency?

I’m an ethical guy so naturally I don’t want you to buy unnecessary junk (which I wouldn’t recommend anyway) unless it’s something you actually want and will help you. Before we get to all of that, there’s still a few things you should learn.

Now that we’ve covered how to pick the best mobile broadband plan and how to pick a carrier based on mobile broadband speed, it’s time to figure what’ll make or break your mobile broadband choice. So, as I mentioned above there’s 2 things you could do right now:

I Know What I Want. Lemme Get Some Mobile Broadband Not sure if I know enough yet. Lemme keep reading
Get Mobile Broadband

Next up:

Finding The Best Mobile Broadband Coverage

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1 Comment

  1. anch says:

    Fantastic job man! Hope you make a penny or two on the site…


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