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December 18, 2017

Things to Check Before Choosing Your Mobile Provider

By Special Guest
David Fournier, Correspondent

Internet on mobile has now become quite popular. If you are looking for a new plan for your mobile devices, there are a few things you may need to pay attention to.  There are several options available and choosing the one that would most suit you may be a daunting task. The tips here should prove to be helpful dealing with the difficulties you may be facing choosing the right provider for your mobile devices.

Things to Check
There are indeed innumerable mobile providers, each with many different plans. A single service provider lists a host of options with attractive freebies and other benefits. But, how would you choose a reliable internet provider? We would advise you to go through your requirements and compare them to what the service provider claims to offer you. That way, you should be able to arrive at the best plan that would be suitable for your usage patterns.

The Usage Limits
Calculate your usage requirements before opting for an Internet Plan for your mobile devices. Never go by the jargon used by most of the service providers.

Unlimited does not necessarily mean unlimited in the context of the internet plans, especially in case of mobile internet plans. There are bandwidth caps up to a particular amount of data. Also referred to as Fair Usage Policy or FUP, this would mark the maximum data you can consume at the maximum speed. After this data, your internet will work at throttled speeds. Check whether your service provider counts both the download and uploads for calculating the FUP limit. Calculate your normal upload and download needs before finalizing the plan you would opt for.

Contention Ratio
The speed and the bandwidth caps are communicated to you when you inquire about the plans. The contention ratio is not normally mentioned to you. Knowing it before choosing your new provider is what should help you in the long run. 

Contention ratio refers to the number of users that can connect to an internet plan concurrently at any given time. In the good old days, the mobile internet was not as far reaching as it is now. If the contention ratio is smaller, it would mean you will be facing outages and slower internet speeds when the users on a particular network are large in number. With the number of mobile internet users growing exponentially, it has been quite common to see declining internet speeds even when you opt for a high speed internet plan on your mobile. 

Upload Speeds
Internet service providers – whether mobile or broadband internet service – emphasize the download speeds that their network offers. However, they conveniently forget to mention that even the upload speeds play an important role in determining the quality of the internet service. 

In the past the internet was normally used for downloading content. Whether watching the content on your favourite news portals or watching a video, download speed used to play an important role. But, these days, people have been uploading a host of content. Social media has been instrumental in bringing about this change. A reliable internet provider should be capable providing decent upload speeds along with good download speeds. In fact, though not common in reality, a plan that offers symmetric speed where both upload and download speeds are equal would be ideal.

The Connectivity At The Locations You Regularly Visit
When talking about the mobile internet, how can we forget the connectivity feature at the locations that you normally visit. Does the mobile internet plan that you choose has connectivity at your home and work locations?

Your home and work locations are the most important when you look at the best connectivity options. You may have a list of the places that you normally visit. Having a scarce network connectivity that would leave you with slow speeds and poor performance can be quite frustrating. Check out those network service providers that offer better connectivity options at the locations that you frequent.

In Conclusion
No matter whether you are opting for a mobile internet plan or a broadband plan, the first thing you need to pay attention to would be the terminology of the technology used in the context. Get yourself acquainted with the different jargons associated; or else you may get confused when they are used by the service providers in an attempt to lure you.

We assume the tips we have explained in the above paragraphs should help you choose the mobile provider that meets your requirements efficiently. Do share with us the tricks and tips you learned on in an attempt to choose a best internet plan for your mobile devices.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

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