I’d like to welcome Broadband Genie as one of the Connected Internet’s sponsors.
For those of you who haven’t come across Broadband Genie before, the original site allowed users to quickly compare broadband providers and to find the best deal based on their requirements e.g. where they lived, what price they were willing to pay and what speed they want.
The site is actually owned by a good friend of mine, Phil Wilkinson, and we go a long, long way back. I first met Phil in 1999 when he was developing a shopping comparison service and needed funding to pay for a beta trial. Instead of paying for the beta I tried to buy his company, but I couldn’t get my FD to review the deal fully as he was in the midst of organising our IPO.
This was a pity as Phil sold his site to Kelkoo for stock a few years later, and Kelkoo was then sold onto Yahoo. Funnily enough we were both working for the same boss at another company at the time, although Phil left once the deal completed.
I think that Phil and his team have made a wise move in setting up a mobile section within Broadband genie, as mobile broadband is going to be a big growth area in the UK over the next year or so. Mobile broadband in this context is obtained by connecting a 3G dongle or data card to a laptop, rather than via a mobile phone. These are getting more and more popular in the UK not just with business users, but also from consumers who want good connectivity on the move. Some of you may say that there are many free WiFi hotspots out there if you know where to look, but in my personal experience you just can’t beat the convenience of connecting to a 3G signal whenever you want, rather than trying to find a WiFi signal. Also, with a WiFi signal you can’t roam.
Mobile Broadband offers are also getting within the reach of the average user. For instance on the Broadband Genie site one of the featured offers is £15/mth deal from 3, that provides a free modem and 3GB of free transfer (5GB if you agree to an 18 month contract). This is within the reach of many pro-sumers.
Another interesting offer on the mobile section of the Broadband Genie site is from T-Mobile who are also giving away a free modem, and in return for £10/month you get unlimited (well, there’s a 3GB fair use policy), with speeds of up to 4.5Mbps. When you consider that 2 years ago you couldn’t even get a package like this on your phone, it’s a very good offer.
I think Mobile Broadband is seriously going to start challenging WiFi access on the move for laptops, and already we are seeing laptops with 3G cards built in. If you haven’t considered getting a 3G dongle before, then maybe it’s time you headed over to Broadband Genie to find the best deals.