Figure Out If You’ll Have The Coverage, Speed and Data Capacity To Get The Job Done When In The Field With Clients (& Make $100 If You Get A Broadband Card)
If you’ve got a mobile office, then what you need in mobile broadband is pretty specific.
For you, its not about living in a rural area, being stuck with dialup at home or having satellite broadband issues.
You may not even be interested in using mobile broadband while you’re at home.
Instead, you need reliable high speed internet while you’re on the job and especially when you’re working on the go.
You’re the mobile office professional in practically every sense of the word.
Whether you’re in real estate, medicine, stocks, or simply service clients on the go, one thing rings true.
You don’t work behind the confines of a desk.
As such, you need internet while on the job site (whether that be Starbucks, a Ritz-Carlton, or any random client’s location). Due to the nature of your work, you need an internet connection that travels with you and isn’t tied to your ever changing surroundings.
To add a cherry on top, you may need a connection like mobile broadband that uses the same level of encryption that banks use so as to connect to your company’s VPN (Virtual Private Network) or even just your office computer.
Enter Mobile Broadband.
If you knew everything you needed to know about mobile broadband for your mobile office, you’d have already bought it.
Clearly we’ve got…
Questions That Need Answering
There are 4 areas that you need to cover before getting mobile broadband for you mobile office:
- Broadband Cards
You’ve got to know specifically the kind of plan you’re working with as well as speed and coverage for one big reason:
When you’re pushing the pedal to the metal, you can’t afford for a screwup. Your reputation is on the line here and there’s quality work that needs to get done.
Bearing that in mind, we’ll go through each of these categories to find the a solution that works best for you.
Fun Fact: Spending $60 on Mobile Broadband Could Put $340 in Your Pocket
If you travel on average 1 hour per day between locations to get to internet, you could gain an extra 5 hours per working week (20 hours per month) to be more productive, & make more money.
How much do you make per hour?
If it’s $20 per hour, that an extra $400.00 per month. Since most mobile broadband providers charge $60 per month, that’s an extra $340 per month.
Don’t make that? Plug however much you make per hour into this simple equation to figure out how much extra you’d be making:
[ Hourly Rate ] X [ Extra Hours gained per month ] – [$60] = [Extra Cash each month]
If it puts money in your pocket, then get it.
Mobile Broadband Plans For Mobile Office Professionals
There are 5 types of broadband users. A mobile office professional like yourself will most likely fall one of two categories:
- Fast Trackers
- Everyday Pros
“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 Everyday Pro is characterized by personal productivity and efficiency and looks to the Internet to fulfill those needs.
The long and short of it is you’re online to get stuff done. As such, there’s a strong chance you won’t use the kind of bandwidth that causes ridiculous overage fees.
Therefore, depending on your average use, you’ll need 1 of 2 kinds of plans:
- Regular (5 Gigabyte capped plan)
There’s not much to figure out if you’re an occasional user. You either are or you aren’t. If you don’t use the internet (or mobile broadband connection in particular) everyday and it’s more like once a week (or even less), then you’re an occasional user.
Keep a mental note of this. I’ll cover which providers are best for occasional mobile office workers at the end of this article.
The 3 big providers (Sprint, AT&T and Verizon) all have 5 Gigabyte caps. If you go over these caps, they want stupid sums of money from you.
While there are a bevy of mobile broadband providers that may not have these fees, most of them won’t make the cut for a mobile office professional.
You’ll need the best in speed, coverage and reliability which the ‘big 3’ have. Besides, losing face in front of a client can mean more than embarassment, it can mean cold hard cash.
Not the kind of thing you wanna take chances with.
To avoid that losing face as well as overage fees, I’ve put together a short article (if you’ve read it, glance through for a quick reminder and pick back up here):
You’ll learn whether or not 5 Gigabytes will be enough for you. Be sure to hop back over here after checking it out.
I Know Which Type Of Plan, What About 3G Speed?
Now that you know which plan you need, let’s cut through the need to know info on speed.
Most prepaid ‘occasional-use’ providers resell the service of either Sprint, Verizon or AT&T. As such, their speeds (occasional and regular 5 Gigabyte plans) look something like this:
|Internet Service Provider||Average Download Speeds|
|Verizon Mobile Broadband||600 – 1400 Kbps|
|Sprint Mobile Broadband||600 – 1400 Kbps|
|AT&T Mobile Broadband||700 – 1700 Kbps|
To put that in context, average speeds are similar to the lower end plans of DSL.
How To Make Sense Of The Mobile Broadband Speed
People who get the fastest speeds in the United States average about 3.9 Mbps (Akamai’s ‘State of the Internet’ 2010 report). According to Gizmodo & PCWorld’s 3G speed tests in 2009, average 3G speeds are about 1 – 1.4 Mbps
While that may seem a lot slower than the cable internet speeds you might be used to, it helps to have a real way to put it in context.
Use this speedtest tool to see what speed you have right now. That way, these number will make a lot more sense to you. You’ll see if mobile broadband is half your current speed, about the same or even more.
Find Out Your Current Speed
After finding out your current speed, keep the number in mind so that you can compare it to the other numbers mentioned in this article. It’ll help put things in context.
As someone who used mobile broadband as their sole means of connecting to the internet for over a year, 3G speed is enough to run most mobile office tasks:
- YouTube videos load fine (you’d have to wait a little bit for HD though). You can also stream music and naturally web pages are no problem.
- If you need to load up Google Earth/Google Maps to display some real estate or pull property locations and information for a client, it can do it.
- If you’ve got to send or access a couple medical records it can get it done as well (just don’t leave it running for hours on end and you’ll be fine).
- If you’ve got online lessons you need to take via text, some audio and a little bit of video, it can get the job done as well. (I assume you’re doing it part-time and not 8 hours a day).
Figuring Out 3G Coverage For Your Mobile Office
Verizon and Sprint are the kings of mobile broadband coverage. They’ve invested wads of cash in the hopes of getting people like you and me to give them money each month. While AT&T would like the same, their coverage isn’t as spectacular.
At the time of this ad, Verizon had 5 times the 3G coverage of AT&T.
So why include them if their coverage is so crappy?
Easy. There are still a couple places that AT&T has coverage while Sprint & Verizon do not. Sometimes its just the luck of the draw.
So How Do You Check?
Verizon 3G Coverage Map – select ‘Broadband & V Cast’, refresh the map and plug in your address
Sprint 3G Coverage Map – select ‘Data, Email and Multimedia’ and plug in your address.
AT&T 3G Coverage Map – select ‘Data’ (if not already highlighted) and plug in your address.
Make a note of who’s got the best coverage in your area. For a more rugged test, see if you or your friends have 2 or more bars of cell phone service with each/any of the providers.
Your Exit Strategy
When you decide to get mobile broadband below, try it for about 7 days.
That’ll be enough time to figure out if you like it and want to keep it.
If you do, then great.
Everything Checks Out? Well Get The Darn Thing Already
Not having the internet costs you time, money and resources.
Think of all the lost time spent trying to find an internet connection, how much those WiFi for a day services charge and remember how much of the headache having mobile broadband will probably save you.
It’s not about how much mobile broadband will cost you, it’s about how much value it’ll bring to you
Now that you’ve:
- Checked mobile broadband coverage in your area
- Found the plan you need and speed to expect
- Learned that 5 Gigabytes is enough for you
- Gotten familiar with your exit strategy
- Seen how Mobile Broadband can save you time and money
1. Order Your Broadband Card for Free
(This is an affiliate link to our partner. At mobile-broadband-reviews.com I only recommend the best for readers. With a great track record of service and providing every broadband card for free, it’s a solid deal. In some cases, you can make $100 by getting a broadband card)
2. Test it for 7 days.
If you don’t like it for whatever reason, return it following these guidelines.
3. Make Up To $100 By Getting Your Broadband Card
Check out the free “Mobile Broadband Buyer’s Guide“.
If you haven’t signed up already, take 30 seconds and do it now. Rather than doing it yourself, take a guided tour through essentials of mobile broadband. It’ll save you time, money all while avoiding buyer’s remorse.