If you are looking for flexible, portable internet access without having to sign up to a lengthy contract, pay-as-you-go mobile broadband should be your first choice. It’s a competitive market at the moment, thanks to the popularity of this type of connection, so finding a package to suit your needs should not be too hard at all!
What is Pay-as-you-go Mobile Broadband?
Pay-as-you-go mobile broadband basically allows you prepaid access to the internet without a contract. Especially good for the budget conscious, you only pay for what you use.
O2, Three, T-Mobile and Vodafone offer pay-as-you-go deals which are similar to a PAYG mobile phone deal, where you buy a phone and top-up regularly for minutes/text allowances. With pay-as-you-go mobile broadband, the customer buys a broadband USB dongle and then tops up regularly for data.
Unfortunately, pay-as-you-go deals are currently restricted to 3G only. 4G services are provided by only one company, EE, and are currently only available through long term contracts. This may change when other mobile companies launch their own 4G services.
Advantages of Pay-as-you-go Mobile Broadband
The pay-as-you-go market is very competitive, as excellent deals from all the main mobile broadband providers are made available as they try to attract your business. Take a look at our price comparison tables for the latest offers available.
With no contract tying you in and no fixed monthly fee, you only pay for what you use, making PAYG a very flexible option.
Travellers, students and business people, will find pay-as-you-go mobile broadband to be the ideal choice. You can keep in touch with relatives, prepare for meetings and do your work on the move. It lets you access the internet anywhere, and with pay-as-you-go, you keep in control of your expenses.
Disadvantages of Pay-as-you-go Mobile Broadband
As you can imagine, pay-as-you-go mobile broadband is only available where there is coverage. This is generally good in the UK, however more remote areas may find coverage to be inconsistent. Ofcom say that there are 7.7 million UK households that do not have a choice of all five mobile broadband providers currently in the UK. Take a look at our mobile broadband coverage checker to find out if you can get a signal in your area.
Another downside is that pay-as-you-go mobile broadband is not suitable for the heavy user (e.g. if you stream movies and/or game online ). After doing a bit of research, you will find very few unlimited mobile broadband deals currently available. If you are downloading 2-3Gb daily, then you should look for a deal on fixed-line unlimited broadband packages.