Faster is better, right?
Virgin Media has today joined Vodafone as the UK's second 7.2Mbit mobile broadband supplier.
"We’re thrilled to be offering this faster mobile broadband to our users" said Virgin Media executive director Graeme Oxby. "If you’re not at home or near a wireless connection, mobile broadband is the best way of staying connected on the move and we’re delighted to be making this a speedier, more pleasant experience for our customers."
Virgin will offer the new 7.2Mbit access speeds across its full range of data contracts from one month rolling to 18 month deals (pictured below). The problem however is Virgin will be charging both standard and existing Virgin Media TV, broadband and/or landline customers an extra tenner for the 7.2Mbit modem and it is debatable whether it will make any real world difference.
My feature The Truth About Mobile Broadband has already dug into this, with the average percentage of mobile broadband contracts achieving just 24.4 per cent of their advertised speed. Of these just Vodafone had a 7.2Mbit data network at the time and this achieved 18.1 per cent of its advertised speed, just 1.3Mbit - a mere 0.1Mbit faster than second placed Three on its 3.6Mbit network.
Consequently the motto is be careful. Much in the same way there is no point subscribing to a 24Mbit home broadband connection if your line maxes out at 4Mbit then there is no point upgrading to a 7.2Mbit dongle if you're getting circa 1/1.5Mbit speeds everywhere you go...