Two women accessing internet with their devices

What is mobile broadband?

Mobile broadband is an Internet service for mobile devices using the WiFi connection that all mobile devices have. Mobile broadband can be a paid service or offered free by businesses. The service can be purchased with a monthly subscription, or can be purchased as required. A mobile broadband service is appropriate for situations where there is no 4G/5G Internet service available for a mobile phone, or where there is a data cap on the 4G/5G service. Mobile broadband is also used with mobile devices such as tablets and laptops. Some applications for mobile broadband are listed below. 


Hotels, motels and resorts must offer free WiFi; that is an important criterion for travelers when choosing a hotel and often the first item that guests review after a hotel stay. Some travelers have data caps on their 5G service, some travelers have no service as they are outside the area of their mobile operator. Hospitality guest WiFi must have a data speed limit for each guest so that one Internet circuit can be shared between many guests. Some hotels offer faster Internet with a credit card payment, this is called 2-tier WiFi.

Airports and flights

Most airports and many flights offer WiFi Internet. International airports have many travelers who don’t have access to a 5G service and there are no 5G services on a plane. Several subscription businesses offer mobile broadband in airports and on flights; Boingo is one of these businesses. It is common for airports to provide the first 30 minutes with free access then charge at an hourly rate paid on-line with a credit card. Subscribers can login with a password. 

Rural areas

In many countries around the world rural areas are underserved, with no Internet and only mobile network voice, no data. Often entrepreneurs fill this demand by providing a WiFi Internet service for mobile phones. The entrepreneur will sell vouchers with access codes that give people a limited time to access the Internet. The entrepreneur can connect the WiFi service to a DSL circuit (usually expensive) or to one of the satellite data services like HughesNet or Starlink. The data speed is limited for each user, but sufficient to send emails or make a Skype call. In Spanish speaking countries this service is called “Internet-por-ficha”.


Guest Internet has the products and know-how to help you build your mobile broadband network. We have a free eBook in English and Spanish that gives a step-by-step guide to building a mobile broadband network, that you can find in our WISPzone main page.



Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published