Mobile data allowances are rising every year and pricing is remains the same. New technologies made available by the phone companies are raising the speeds you’ll get from any mobile internet connection you have.
What’s driving these changes in mobile internet use ?
Of course, there are changes to the way we use our mobile internet connected devices, too and that’s what’s pushing the price of data down and our expectation of convenience up.
- The expectation of immediate gratification : We can get whatever we want almost immediately when we search using Google. We can click and collect our shopping in moments. We’ve come to expect the same from every other aspect of our lives, including our TVs. Now we binge watch, we refuse to watch adverts whenever possible and get movies on demand.
- The digitization of television : The digitization of television has spurred a host of new entrants and a diverse set of disparate digital video assets around the internet. A host of content producers from Amazon, to YouTube, to HBO are producing ‘digital assets’ which are put on the internet and tied together for us in to programming regeims.
- The Netflix effect : Netflix is so popular that it actually slows whole networks down at peak times – between 5pm and 9pm in am most any country. The service embodies what we’ve come to expect from our entertainment providers. Content is recommended to us based on our preferences. We watch what suits our unstated needs.
The price of mobile data is falling:
As these content companies produce their wares, the way we get to it is becoming more affordable and mobile.
- Competition : Major phone companies are constantly increasing data allowances to win your custom. In some territories, the number of GB of data you’ll get in your plan is roughly doubling every year. Smaller phone companies offer more data (although often far fewer value adds) than the big boys.
- Smarter consumers : Inflation is low but there has been no real wage growth in many parts of the world for some time. In the USA, real wages have been essentially stagnant since the 70s. This cost of living pressure is driving a more discerning customer when it comes to shopping around and moving to the best deal.
- Super fast data : 4G data speeds are now the most commonly accessed on most phone networks. Carrier aggregation is squeezing even faster speeds out of these networks on newer devices. 5G is coming soon and will offer near limitless bandwidth by today’s standards.
There has never been a better time to go totally mobile for your internet conneciton
The rise in IP based entertainment services and reduction in the price of mobile data is changing behavior. People are watching video wherever they go and they’re doing it on mobile internet connections.
Everyone wins with mobile only agreements. Phone companies already own the networks to which they’re providing you access in these plans. Whatever you pay them goes direct to their bottom line – unlike fixed broadband connections which are often provided wholesale.
Users love these mobile plans too. SIM only plans can be used in any unlocked phone (new, second hand or hand me down) and changed at the consumers convenience. So popular are SIM only agreements with consumers that they now outsell contract plans 2:1 in most western markets.
You’re most likely to use your mobile data SIM in a so called ‘dongle’, a data only network connection. This is the final step in the mobilization of the internet. It connects you wherever you are, in the car, in a mobile office, in a rented apartment to the internet at an affordable cost. And there you can make use of the video content which is available online or any other internet service you need.
So, should you replace your home broadband connection ?
Most people value the mobile aspect of a mobile broadband connection and are prepared to pay a premium for it. Gone are the days of eye spy with my little eye on family trips. Kids expect Peppa Pig when they’re on a long car journey.
Unlimited mobile data connections will be here soon.
With 5G on it’s way, there is going to be a lot more mobile network capacity and prices will fall further. It’ll be possible to download the next hours’ Netflix episode in around 1 second. Mobile services are still expensive compared to fixed alternatives for average users. But as the prices of mobile data continue to fall, the proportion of people who can go fully mobile will rise, eventually overtaking fixed mobile broadband connection numbers
Many commentators believe it will only be 2 or 3 years, perhaps sooner, before mobile data costs are on a par with fixed, even for those who live on Netflix. If you haven’t gone fully mobile yet, it won’t be long before you do.