Comparing the cost of mobile broadband to ADSL2+

  • Be careful of hidden costs with mobile broadband
  • ADSL2+ can give you more data for less money
  • Compare the different types of costs between ADSL2+ and mobile broadband

When it comes to comparing the base costs of mobile broadband services to ADSL2+ services, on the surface it seems to be no comparison at all. ADSL2+ prices generally start at around the $20 mark and can rise to as much as $149.95 per month depending on download caps – and that’s not including additional charges, such as phone line rental and modem purchases.

Mobile broadband, on the other hand, has a low initial cost and plan charge. However, hidden costs within some mobile broadband packages can trip up the unwary user.


There are a few different components to the cost of an ADSL2+ plan.

Plan fee

This is the monthly fee for your plan. Generally, it is weighted by the amount of data within your cap. These fees can range in cost from plan to plan, and provider to provider.

Modem fee
This is the charge for your ADSL2+ modem. Some providers will waive charges for modems if you are joining up on a fixed term contract. Otherwise, you may be able to reuse your modem from a previous provider to save money.

Setup fee
Internet Service Providers need to activate your phone line at the exchange for ADSL2+ to become active. This charge is often passed on to users – again, signing up on a fixed term contract may alleviate this charge.

Bundle fee
Many providers encourage users to also sign up on a telephone plan on discounted rates.

Excess usage charges
Most providers now speed-limit your account once you hit your data cap instead of charging for excess usage. However, the occasional plan may still charge you in per megabyte increments if you exceed your limit, so pay careful attention to the terms.

Mobile Broadband

Plan fee
Your plan fee will cover your initial data cap and limit. Most data limits for mobile broadband plans are far inferior to those of a standard ADSL2+ connection, and average out to around 4GB. Plan fees are correspondingly smaller.

Modem fee
This is the charge for your mobile broadband modem. Most providers offset this charge via a fixed term contract.

Excess usage charges
Many mobile broadband plans have an excess usage component. This means that if you breach your data cap in any given month, excess usage charges will start accumulating. Some broadband providers will warn users in a text message or email, whilst others don’t. Keep an eye on your usage limit within your account toolbox in order to stay within the limits.

For users who access the Internet for email and messaging, mobile broadband plans are a cheap and convenient way to connect to the Internet. However, the more data you use, the more likely it is an ADSL2+ broadband plan will suit your needs.