Cometh the hour, cometh the plan
A significant proportion of UK households have ditched the traditional landline in favour of a mobile-only connection - now it seems broadband could be getting a similar treatment.
According to industry watchers Analysys, around one quarter of broadband homes will be pulling the plug on fixed-line DSL and connecting over 3G - so-called mobile broadband - by 2013.
The increasing number of mobile-only broadband users, say the analysts, will be prompted by declining mobile broadband prices, giving them a "headline rate" often under their fixed-line rivals.
Will all these new mobile broadband users overload 3G networks with their capacity demands? Apparently not. Around half of DSL users consume as much data on their fixed line services as their average mobile broadband using equivalent, suggesting capacity demand will remain level as people switch services.
Nevertheless, as more web users go mobile, the operators will need to expand network capacity and changing their backhaul to an aggregated IP infrastructure, says Analysys. On the retail side, mobile providers are advised to bait their hooks with pay-as-you-go offers, capped plans and fixed mobile bundles to lure light users.
Analysys also predicts fixed line broadband operators will hit back by larding their plans with features and high speeds, but may still lose out to mobile operators who can promise a more flexible type of broadband.