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Mobile Broadband Interview - part 1 (T-Mobile)
By: Mark Jackson - Oct 8th 2007 : Page 1 -of- 3
"The thought of no longer having to remain tethered to the Internet from inside your home is very appealing but is it realistic?"

It’s fair to say that most major consumer focused broadband developments over the past few years have taken place in fixed-line markets, where ADSL and cable providers dominate. Prices have come down, speeds continue to increase and there’s a great deal of options to choose from; generally speaking, life here is good.

The one remaining problem is that you can’t take your connection with you; instead it remains there, permanently fixed to your home line as if it were intended to serve a jail sentence. Sure you can spread it around a bit using Wi-Fi, yet you can’t take it everywhere, but what if you could?

What’s that you say? “I can already do that with Wi-Fi Hotspots!”, yes you can but that generally requires an additional monthly fee and is often expensive, not to mention the limited coverage. Instead there’s another solution – ‘Mobile Broadband’ (3G/3.5G), which holds the promise of delivering a single connection that can be used almost anywhere - wirelessly.

Sadly such services aren’t quite there yet but with the launch of Three’s (3) new £25 per month business package, offering a usage allowance of 7GB per month (not to mention similar promotions from its rivals), Mobile Broadband no longer seems like a distant dream.

Interview

The thought of no longer having to remain tethered to the Internet from inside your home is very appealing but is it realistic? Price and services certainly seem to be headed in the right direction, yet to get the best understanding you have to speak with the mobile phone operators themselves.

This article forms the first of a two part interview aimed at answering some of the questions raised by this new generation of Internet access technology. In this first piece we’re pleased to be speaking with T-Mobile's manager for Mobile Broadband, Ralf Pearson, which will shortly be followed by the final part where we get to speak with Orange.

NOTE: The following questions were written a couple of months prior to this article, it has taken awhile to gain the responses and as a result some of the service/price related details may now be out of date.

1. Who are you and what do you do?

T-Mobile is one of the world’s largest mobile operators with 112 million customers worldwide and in the UK it is the network of choice for approaching 17 million customers, making it one of the largest networks.

T-Mobile has a range of innovative products and services such as Flext, a unique tariff with flexible pricing; U-Fix, a tariff that combines pay-as-you-go and a monthly contract and web'n'walk, which enables customers to surf websites on the move. T-Mobile's network coverage is among the best in the UK (over 99% of the UK population) with one of the lowest dropped call rates. It offers the largest worldwide Wi-Fi network, with over 1,000 HotSpots in business-friendly locations in the UK and 21,000 worldwide, and offers the fastest 3G network across the UK with speeds of up to 1.8Mb per second.

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