Broadband via the Mobile Network

Broadband via the mobile network is useful for those living in areas where it is not possible, or extremely expensive, to get broadband via FTTC or FTTP delivery. External aerials with boosters are available which enable a mobile broadband signal to be picked up even in areas where your mobile can’t get a signal. This makes mobile broadband possible even in more rural areas.

How it works

Mobile broadband doesn't require a telephone landline – it works by connecting you to a mobile network. The strength of the connection will depend on the strength of the signal in your area. It may be that 4G is available where you live, or even 5G. To see the availability, visit Ofcom's mobile phone coverage checker. Alternatively, you could install an external antenna to get a mobile broadband signal.

There are several ways you can get online with mobile broadband:

  • Plug a mobile broadband USB dongle into your PC, laptop or tablet
  • Plug a mobile broadband SIM into your tablet or any device that has this capability.
  • Use a MiFi device which acts like a broadband router, creating a personal wifi spot that allows multiple devices to connect to it (a password set-up is usually required), making it ideal for families.
  • Some smart phones can be turned into WiFi hotspots - check the settings with your manufacturer and network operator
  • Have a small external aerial fitted which is then connected to a router in your house. This is similar to installing a TV aerial to make sure you get a good picture on your TV.

There are mobile broadband deals from a range of providers that include these options, so you can choose the best connection type for you. Ofcom’s coverage checker will tell you which providers are operating in your area.


  • You do not need a landline
  • It can be a cheaper option than installing FTTC or FTTP broadband
  • Contracts may be more expensive than broadband via FTTC or FTTP


  • Contracts may be more expensive than broadband via FTTC or FTTP

Find out more

Many providers have now switched on their 5G networks and there are more that are being switched on all the time. However, you will only actually be able to connect to 5G in certain towns and cities across the country.

With any mobile contract, you should check the prices and packages available to you – particularly in terms of how much data allowance is included for the price.

For more information on 5G see this article form USWITCH.



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