The rise of mobile broadband has been spurred on by the development of 3G and 4G networks. The high data transfer rates and faster internet speeds are just some reasons behind the mass acceptance of mobile broadband. Businessmen and the average consumer use their WI-Fi enabled laptops, tablets and Smartphones to tap into these networks on the go. The following 5 tips will help you get started the right way with mobile broadband.

PAYG Dongle, MiFi or Smartphone?

Your first consideration should be what you hope to get out of your mobile broadband. Smartphones are ideal if you just need to check your email, browse a few websites, and connect to your social networks on the go. To get the full online experience on your tablet or laptop, a payg dongle is what you’ll need. A mobile Wi-Fi unit (MiFi) can be used to share your mobile connection with other users.

Prepay or contract?

How often will you use your mobile broadband connection? The answer to that question will determine whether you sign up for a contract or pay as you go package. For very light and sporadic use of the mobile connection, a payg package will suffice. Service providers now offer competitive packages in order to stay ahead, so they offer contract packages with great rates on data and hardware. Most providers waive hardware fees with contract packages.

Data and Speed

There are data calculators online that you can use to determine your monthly data usage. Checking your emails and browsing the web will not drastically affect your data usage. However, you need to watch the rate at which you stream videos, play games and download large files if you select a small package. There’s been a lot of hype around 3G and 4G networks. Choose a package that you can afford, and most important, one that meets your needs.

Provider and Coverage

A great deal on mobile broadband is useless if the provider does not offer good coverage in the areas where you need it most. Before you commit, use the provider’s coverage checker to evaluate the quality of the coverage. Only then can you really choose the best broadband provider.

Discounts and Special Offers

Consumers win when providers compete for their business. That’s good news for you if you know how to hunt for great deals and bonuses. If you’ve narrowed your options down to two or three providers, call them up individually and see what sign up incentives they’re willing to provide. It might be impossible to negotiate a discount on the price, but incentives like free hardware, waived fees, and free months off your contract are compelling reasons to sign on.

When you sign up, start with the lowest package that falls within needs. It is always easier to upgrade than downgrade your package.