Do you plan on using your cell phone as a hub for receiving emails and messages on the go? Maybe you download songs and other stuff on your phone and want to find out what affects the speed of download? Internet on the phone depends on five factors, all of which heavily influence download speeds and your personal internet experience.
Type of Mobile Connection
Mobile networks have undergone major improvements over the past decade. Today, you have the opportunity to use GPRS, EDGE, 3G and HSDPA networks together and each as a standalone.
Starting with the basic GPRS, it provides the slowest transfer rates of just 128kbps while EDGE increases speeds to 236kbps. They fall under the 2nd generation of mobile networks and are available almost everywhere in the world. The next generation network called 3G uses a myriad of network types to increase speeds to 384kbps or higher while a further step up is HSDPA also dubbed as the 3.5G connection. This can breeze through the internet with transfer speeds of 14.4 Mbps although most service providers restrict bandwidth to just 3.2Mbps.
Obviously, new generations of mobile network offer faster speeds and a better end user experience so try sticking to 3G or higher connections for the best internet browsing.
Malls, cafes and many public places now offer free Wi-Fi connection. Anyone in the vicinity of these locations can tap into open Wi-Fi networks for free and cruise through the internet. Wi-Fi connections are always better than mobile network connections because of phenomenal transfer rates of 150Mbps or more. Moreover, you actually access a fixed line or ADSL network through Wi-Fi achieving greater reliability. This connection does not depend on the signal strength of your service provider.
Web Browser Matters Too
If you thought that the default browser is what your phone can only operate then think again because people with older cell phones will feel their internet speeds throttled by the connection speeds blaming it on their phone whereas a simple change of web browser can boost speeds. A popular application, Opera Mini is known to quicken web page browsing experience offering seamless scrolling and pinch zoom capability.
Mobile Phone Features
The speed of your mobile internet depends heavily on the phone features. A phone with faster hardware and better display will be better able to exploit high 3G speeds. However, a phone with low internal memory and an older OS will be bottlenecked even if it has got HSDPA connection enabled. For example, Blackberry is superb with mobile networks but slower with Wi-Fi connections.
If speed matters a lot then purchase a top of the line mobile phone with the latest specifications and witness the true potential of mobile networks.
Costs Vary Based On Usage
Traditionally, all mobile network operators charge users on a per MB basis or usage basis unless they are specifically told to put in a monthly rental. 3G rentals are obviously costlier than 2G rentals or EDGE rentals but in return you get a higher speed with more download quota.
Fred Williams is an expert in the field of mobile and technology. He works for one of the leading internet providers in Denmark, offering cheap mobile subscriptions (interesting to know is that the term in Danish is mobilabonnement) as well as broadband internet and other services.
Photo Credit: William Hook (CC BY-SA 2.0)