Does Your 3G Broadband Ever Go On The Road?

Does Your 3G Broadband Ever Go On The Road?

Does Your 3G Broadband Ever Go On The Road?I’m a constant user of 3G broadband, largely because I travel a lot and I want to ensure that I’ve always got an Internet connection I can access wherever I happen to end up. That’s a logical reason to use a mobile broadband connection, but it turns out that it might not be such a common one.

Picture by fabi_k

At a media event to discuss its current LTE trials yesterday, Optus disclosed an unusual bit of information about its 3G broadband customers: most of them use the service at home rather than elsewhere. More precisely, as Optus’ Henry Calvert explained:

What’s quite interesting is 84% of Optus customers we see to be using mobile broadband at home. It’s quite low mobility. There’s a bit of fixed line substitution going on.

If you’re in a share house, or an area where there’s no ADSL, that’s obviously a potential strategy for Internet needs, and even road warriors might use their dongle if there’s a problem with the home ADSL connection. But with such a high percentage, maybe there’s something else going on.

So I’m wondering: have you got a 3G broadband service largely for home use? Tell us — and tell us why — in the comments.

If you’re considering 3G broadband, be sure to check out our Planhacker guides to prepaid and postpaid options.


  • yep. my mobile broadband is mostly for home use. i rent my home and find that mobile phones and mobile broadband to be the cheapest and most convenient option by far. (and when i do take my laptop out i also take my connection so that’s handy…)

  • Used to use mobile broadband for mobile use, until 3 offered 1GB per month for $4 as a mobile data allowance – so now I use my phone tethered for mobile broadband.

    I use the dongle in a 3G router to provide unrestricted internet access / VPN to our office access to on-site employees working at a client site – so it is no longer mobile.

  • Our 3G broadband is used at home, because we can not get fixed line broadband to our house. Another perk of living in rural Australia. It is a fixed line substitute because we have no fast fixed line option. Please let me get on my soap box some more about the NBN and what a farce it is.

  • Im just to purchase a USB dongle for home due to being advised we cant get ADSL into the house because of a “Pain Gains” issue. I live in Lake Macquarie and speed we were getting thru Vodafone was pitiful, it was easier using a dial-up. So now i am on the market to find a better provider than VF

  • I wouldn’t use my 3G connection at home regularly but I have noticed it is a popular option for non technical people. It’s so much easier to plug in a dongle than to try and work out cables, modems and routers if you just want to use a laptop and check emails.

  • I mostly used 3g at work. I got sick of having to bypass the corp proxy to get to my remote desktop software so I got 3g (on the company dime no less) so I can access it (for legitimate work purposes… Seriously). Now that our info security guys have found it in their hearts to let me past the firewall I can do it from the work PC so now-days its not used so much

  • While I personally have numerous fixed line services at home I do have several friends who use a mobile broadband service at home as a replacement for a fixed line.

    I have actually found it most common for people that are renting as often the apartments will not come with a phone line by default and therefore it is just easier for them.

  • With the half price broadband pack plan on 3, 2GB for $10 is the cheapest Internet option for me. (any one know of any better?)

    My Nokia is in UMTS only mode (no roaming charges).
    JoikuSpot shares it over WiFi for multiple connections. (got a license cheap on sale. otherwise 3spot is only $10 I think.)
    An access point gives non- WiFi machines access also.

    All for less then Naked ADSL’s “line rental”. (e.g. Internode’s Naked ADSL vs non naked are ~$10 dearer for the same plan.)

    When not at home, I’ve got Internet with me also.

    Only downside is that it is slower and my Nokia N97 is not stable.

  • Not so much at home as at a client site with my corporate laptop. I know a few non-techie types who use it at home because ADSL etc is too complicated.

  • When we rented for 6 moths it we cheaper to get a 3g dongle than pay ADSL connection and then either break contract or pay the transfer fee. When we got a 12 month contract we changed to ADSL

  • Next door uses 3g extensively for home as they cannot get a fixed phone line to use ADSL (or a phone for that matter). We live in an outer suburb of Melbourne.

  • I live directly in between two exchanges. I cannot get service from either so I have no home phone line or cable/DSL internet connection options. I use Optus Wireless and download large files from other sources.

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