Mobile Broadband Speeds on the Rise

An investigation in yesterday’s Guardian found that mobile broadband speeds have risen considerably in the past two years. Predictably, big cities like London, Birmingham and Glasgow tend to have the fastest speeds (5Mbps+ – basically the complete works of William Shakespeare every second), whilst rural areas enjoy something less supersonic – 0.23mbps in one Welsh village I clicked on, although that’s still several times faster than dial-up internet.

On-the-go internet is certainly living in interesting times, with mobile devices being able to cope with increasingly complex data – something that has been well illustrated by the rather clever adverts that Everyone Everywhere (EE) have been putting out lately. As Mike pointed out in an earlier blog, 4G comes with a hefty price tag, at least for the moment, but you’d expect that price to come down as more operators offer the service.

It all does question, though, whether mobile web browsers are currently able to meet with this new demand. There’s a bewildering range of them – 24 different browsers all purporting to be "webkit" for a start, and that’s without even considering Internet Explorer for Mobile, Opera Mini, Opera Mobile, Firefox for Mobiles, NetFront, … you get the idea. It’s a very, very long list. That’s not to say that a standard web browser is the answer, because it really isn’t, but some kind of adherance to web standards is getting more and more crucial for the sake of everyone’s sanity.

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