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6 Steps For Selecting The Best Mobile Internet Service Provider (for Fast, Easy Access to Your Education Apps!)

by Kelly Walsh on April 20, 2011

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This article, from guest writer Rob Clymo, offers useful advice for users looking to select a mobile Internet service provider to access education applications and the many other tools and resources on the Internet. If you’re looking for a new mobile broadband provider, these 6 steps can help you make an educated choice!

Mobile broadband services are certainly a great way to stay connected to your online educational activities, and picking the right network provider for your needs is vital to ensuring that you get the best service.

These six steps can help you make an informed and prepared decision:

Step 1 – Coverage
Use the services of a free mobile broadband comparison website in order to check out the different deals and services in your area. Many network providers will give you a pretty good idea of coverage levels in your locale, as well as in other areas that you plan to visit. These sites tend to be regional – here’s a few examples:

Step 2 – Speed Test
Try and check the sort of speed you’ll get from your mobile broadband service by asking other people who are using the service your considering. If you can find someone who uses a service you are considering and can let you access some of the sites and tools you intend to use on a device that they use, this can really give you an idea of what to expect. Speeds are always lower than those advertised by providers. Also spend some time searching out and reading reviews from other mobile broadband service customers.

Step 3 – Consider Wi-Fi
If your own area is poorly served by mobile broadband coverage then Wi-Fi can often be an ideal replacement. Many devices that support mobile broadband coverage also support Wi-Fi. Aside from home based Wi-Fi routers, you’ll find wireless broadband in many fast food outlets, stores, cafes and bars. Airports and hotels also generally offer it, but often expect you to pay for it.

Step 4 – Select The Right Device(s)
Choose the right device for using your mobile broadband service. Many older machines such as out-dated laptops or poorly performing netbooks will not really be up to the job. If you’re looking to get a new machine then consider some of the free laptops with mobile broadband deals that many providers in several parts of the world will offer, via signing up for a lengthier contract.

You may also want to consider trying a tablet device such as an Apple iPad for a more seamless on the go experience. These are lighter and more compact than laptops, so travelling with one is less of a burden. The improved technology in tablet computers often means that you’ll get better reception on the move too.

If you need to dip into email, internet and social networking activities very frequently then it may be a wise move to get yourself a mobile bundle deal, where you’ll be able to sign up for a smartphone too. Many of these modern devices make the perfect travel companion, and they’re powerful enough to let you carry out most computing tasks without even powering up your laptop.

Step 5 – Shop Around
Whatever the option you plan on using for mobile broadband, be sure to shop around and look at all of the available packages. Deals and offers come and go all the time, so spend time on a mobile services comparison website (like those mentioned in step 1). With some simple evaluation, you’ll not only get yourself a top-performing mobile broadband service, but you’ll save yourself some money too.

Step 6 –Don’t Forget To Check Terms And Conditions
Every deal needs to be evaluated not only on the performance and value that it offers, but also on what the small print says you can and cannot do. All deals and offers have their own unique terms and conditions, so make sure you read them before signing on the dotted line.

Guest author Rob Clymo writes on behalf of Broadband Genie, an independent comparison website for broadband, mobile broadband and smartphones.

Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
5 Strategies for Staying on Top of School Work While Traveling
11 Reasons Why Every College Student Needs a LinkedIn Page
10 Excellent iPad Applications for Teachers

About 

Kelly Walsh is Chief Information Officer and a faculty member at The College of Westchester in White Plains, NY and is the founder and author of EmergingEdTech.com. As an education technology advocate, he frequently delivers presentations on a variety of related topics at schools and conferences across the U.S. Walsh is also an author, and online educator, periodically running Flipped Class Workshops online. His latest eBook, the Flipped Classroom Workshop-in-a-Book was published in September, 2013 and is available here. In his spare time Walsh also writes, records, and performs original (and cover) songs (look for "K. Walsh" on iTunes or Amazon.com or check out his original song videos on here on YouTube ).

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