As the Internet continues to become more and more popular around the world it has opened up new gateways to new areas and new countries for many people. However, while the headlines would suggest that the Internet, and more recently broadband, is available throughout the world this is not always the case.
So how readily available is landline broadband and mobile broadband?
Background to the thread
This particular thread has been started by a couple who currently live in Greece, were originally from the UK, and are looking to move to France in September 2009. However, they have already been told they will not have Internet access in France until December 2009 and are now looking at the possibility of mobile broadband and mobile Internet.
It appears that the couple work from home and require Internet access, which is both affordable and reliable, from day one. So what exactly is an offer and what do they need to consider?
Like many leading European countries, France has grabbed the Internet market with both hands and there is significant access across the country. However, like other countries such as the UK, the best access and the best speeds are always centred upon the more popular cities and towns in France. While there are a great number of Internet providers throughout France there is a necessity to check coverage in the area you are looking to move to as well as the cost factor.
While on the whole landline broadband Internet connectivity is available in France this particular couple are enquiring about mobile broadband which is the latest “big thing” in the Internet market.
Mobile broadband in France
France Telecom, the parent company of Orange mobile, is one of leading providers of mobile broadband throughout the world and France is no different. The company dominates the French Internet market and with rumours rife of a potential takeover of competitor T-Mobile it would appear that the company has major plans for the future. However, is mobile broadband really as developed as many would have you believe?
Investment into mobile broadband
Mobile Internet and mobile broadband, basically the same service, have received significant press comments over the last few years. There is a growing belief among Internet users that mobile broadband will be available in your area today, whether this is in France or in the UK or anywhere around the world, but in reality this is not always the case.
A quick look back at the history of the Internet sector was show that both traditional Internet providers and mobile Internet providers were forced to invest significant amounts of money in the early days to get the industry off the ground. Mobile phone companies in particular were forced to pay excessive fees for various licenses around the world, many of which were never activated due to the swift improvement in mobile technology, something which has cost many mobile phone companies significant amounts of money.
As a consequence, despite various attention grabbing headlines, mobile broadband is not available in many rural districts around the world. Even though there is no doubt that France Telecom has one of the leading mobile broadband providers, in the shape of its Orange division, they still appear to have the same problem as many UK mobile broadband providers. Until services are able to bring in sufficient income to fund development and improvements we are very much in a “chicken and egg” situation. As mobile phone companies have been stung before with regards to heavy investment for limited return, in many ways they are unwilling to take the same risks yet again.
Mobile broadband dongles
The lady who posted the thread obviously has knowledge of mobile broadband, by the very fact she mentioned dongles, which is encouraging to see. More and more people are now becoming aware of how simple the system is in theory and in practice although unfortunately coverage is still patchy to say the least. There is a question relating to whether you are able to buy these mobile broadband dongles online or need to visit a shop, although the Internet has in many ways brought shops into our front rooms and it is now possible to acquire your mobile broadband dongle online.
In many ways there are savings to made by acquiring services such as mobile broadband online because of the significant costs reductions experienced by providers – in this particular instance France Telecom and its Orange subsidiary.
Have laptop will travel
We are seeing more and more instances of people moving between countries and taking their own “mobile businesses” with them. The ability to access the Internet has become a vital for many expats who not only want the opportunity to work from home but also access various services and control their finances online. As we touched on in one of our earlier post regarding Internet, it is vital that you investigate working practices, working visas and local regulations with regards to working in your new homeland and the documentation which is required.
Taxation is obviously a vital issue for many with the potential to get into serious trouble if taxes are not paid on time and in the correct manner.
The future of the Internet market
As we have seen in many different industries over the years, the onslaught of the worldwide Internet market has attracted the attention of a significant number of large players. However, the ever-growing demands for funding and investment have taken their toll on some of the smaller and medium size companies resulting in a more prominent position for companies such as France Telecom and in this particular instance its Orange subsidiary.
The rumours that France Telecom is looking to acquire T-Mobile, whether true or not, shows that we are seeing the emergence of “super mobile broadband providers” who will dominate the market in due course. On a coverage point of view, the larger companies will be able to fund a roll out into the more rule areas of France and other countries but how long this may take remains to be seen.
Like countries such as the UK, France has a well-developed Internet sector and the ongoing development of mobile broadband is starting to bear fruit. However, whether mobile broadband services are readily available across France and indeed reliable to the same extent as landline broadband services is very much open to debate. Mobile broadband has been put forward as the next growth sector in the Internet arena and while there is no doubt it will lead the sector ahead in the future many believe mobile broadband technology is still well behind the more upbeat headlines.