For years now we have wondered how we ever survived without a mobile phone. What did we do when our cars broke down and how were our children ever safe. Mobile telephones have changed us forever and they are now second nature and part of the tapestry of life. It is now the turn of the tablet and, to a lesser extent, laptop to alter the way we go about our lives. We need access to the internet at all times and our tablets can provide us with that, as long as they are connected to mobile broadband.
Now to do this they are going to need one of three things; they will either have to have built-in mobile broadband, a mobile Wi-Fi dongle or a mobile broadband dongle. However, for now we are only interested in the ones with built-in mobile broadband.
Let’s start with laptops that have mobile broadband built in. These are still not particularly common but if you sign up for a broadband deal that includes a laptop then it is likely that you will receive a compatible model. This is a popular choice for people who want to include the cost of a laptop with their broadband service as it means you don’t need to have the money to fork out for a laptop all at once. However, these types of deals do tend to be more expensive in the long run so if you can afford a laptop you might be better sorting everything out separately.
If not then try to make sure that the laptop you receive within the package can be switched to other suppliers when the initial contract has run its cause, otherwise you will be stuck with a deal that might not be best for you for the lifespan of the computer.
Tablets are slightly different in that they are still relatively new and the technology that they possess differs considerably throughout models. You need to be aware that not all tablets have third generation broadband capabilities built in and that only a selected few will give this function as standard. The iPad 3G and Dell Streak are 3G enabled along with Samsung’s Galaxy Tab although the way these three connect to a service is not the same. Samsung and Dell offer a system that connects via an included Sim card and work very much like a SmartPhone. The iPad might not come with a Sim and may require you to purchase a micro Sim Card as a separate item.
Most 3G mobile broadband providers will offer micro Sim cards that are compatible with the iPad and these tend to work on a pay-as-you-go or monthly subscription basis.
Therefore, the advice that should be given if you are looking to get 3G mobile broadband without the use of Dongles is to try and look for the newest technology and find the best deals available from providers. Be careful about how long a contract is set up for as these things generally become less expensive as competition grows and never sign up to a laptop included deal when the laptop will only ever work with one service.
Tom McCoy works for one of the biggest providers of mobile broadband (the term in Danish is mobilt bredbånd) for Europe.