There's no doubt that mobile broadband has a very bright future, thanks to more and more of us taking up the option for computing on the go. What's more, with more powerful smartphones coming onto the market by the day and the tablet computer going great guns too, mobile broadband is being called upon to keep people connected in a whole variety of different ways.
Into the future
However, attempting to predict what the world of mobile broadband will be like come the year 2020 is nigh on impossible ñ or is it? With technology moving along at such a rapid rate, it might seem crazy to make any kind of predictions as to what the shape of mobile broadband will be like in 2020, but weíre already seeing some pointers as to the way things are going.
For starters, it's a pretty safe bet that in eight years or so the mobile broadband networks will have speeded up immeasurably. If you currently get regularly frustrated by the snails-paced mobile broadband that can struggle because of large volumes of network traffic and the like, then in less than a decade this source of irritation should have been truly minimized.
The secret already lies in the 4G technology that will result in consumers being able to enjoy much more rapid and dependable mobile broadband signals. In fact, 4G is likely to have been long since consigned to the scrapheap by 2020, with even better networks and technology that will provide speeds akin to those currently enjoyed by home broadband users and their fibre optic supplies.
Spread the load
One thing that is certain to be addressed is the fact that the networks are currently struggling to cope with the increased bandwidth being requested by the huge surge in mobile gadgets. Now that tablets and smartphones are commonplace, the need for more transfers and streaming options are meaning that networks are groaning. So, more investment is not only needed, but will be essential if mobile broadband isn't simply going to grind to a halt in less than a decade.
At the same time, it should also be good news for those travelling outside of their normal area of mobile broadband coverage. While currently it is seen by many as a no-no to tap into mobile broadband networks while abroad, the future should offer up a much more effective and practical way of staying connected while travelling overseas. Hopefully, this will also be backup up by legislation that will ensure that we, as consumers, don't get stung for enjoying this quick and easy new solution.
Then, of course, we will also probably be facing another dilemma as to what device we enjoy our mobile broadband on. While it looks likely that the tablet computer is here to stay, there's no guarantee that it'll still be around in less than a decade. However, with an increasing reliance on cloud computing where our files and even the software we use is stored remotely, tablets and smartphones are much more likely to still be in vogue than the desktop computer which, any way you look at it, is surely soon to be consigned to the scrapheap tooÖ
Dan Makwana writes on behalf of Broadband Genie, the UK based broadband consumer advice site.