Mobile broadband (HSDPA) is fast gaining popularity in Australia thanks to more and more consumers taking advantage of cheap deals to keep them online wherever they are. Mobile broadband connections give you the freedom to take you broadband connection with you and connect to the internet with your laptop away from home.

Thanks to the popularity of Mobile Broadband there are now many Australian internet providers who offer a mobile broadband service in many parts of Australia. Exetel, Dodo, Optus, Telstra Bigpond, 3, and Vodafone all offer great mobile broadband deals with download limits to suit your needs.

Mobile Broadband was first introduced to Australia back in 2003 when Hutchison 3 launched the first local Australian 3G network.

Mobile Broadband really began to take off when Telstra Bigpond launched its countrywide NextG HSDPA service in late 2006, Australia’s first national 3G mobile broadband network.
Since the introduction of Telstra Bigpond’s national 3G network, other mobile broadband providers have raced to keep up with the improving speeds of mobile broadband service’s in major Australian cities.

Unfortunately Telstra Bigpond currently has the only truly national mobile broadband service and when travelling out of major cities with a mobile broadband service from another provider, chances are your provider is roaming on the Telstra NextG network.

While Telstra currently boasts the faster national mobile broadband service to 98% of the Australian population, competitors as fast catching up, beginning with upgrades in metropolitan areas.

Optus upgraded its Melbourne and Sydney networks to HSDPA in May and says it will extend its mobile broadband network to reach 96 per cent of the population towards the end of 2009.

The popularity of Mobile Broadband has continued to grow steadily as a mobile alternative to traditional fixed home broadband services such as ADSL, ADSL2+, Naked DSL or Cable broadband connections. Mobile Broadband for business means consumers can connect and stay on line when they are away from the office and this ability has been a driving force behind the take up of Mobile broadband services.
However, it is not only businesses who are taking up mobile broadband services, as many consumers are taking advantage of a broadband connection without needing a home phone line. Thanks to the constant upgrade of 3G technologies by Australian providers of Mobile Broadband networks, it is now possible to reach speeds of up to 3000kbps within major Australian cities. Speeds are still relatively slow once you leave major cities due to the vast distances in Australia that make it unviable for a high speed network that covers all of the continent.
Fortunately, as the popularity of Mobile broadband increases, the speeds and coverage available should improve exponentially. The recent merger of 3 and Vodafone means these companies will now be able to offer faster speeds and greater coverage to their mobile broadband customers. Competition for a market share of the Australian mobile broadband market will also result in increased investment in mobile broadband technology, including upgrade to the bandwidth available through mobile networks.

Telstra's HSDPA NextG mobile broadband network is now planning to move into its next phase of developments, 3.5G – the fastest national mobile broadband service in Australia. 
It looks like mobile broadband is shaping up to be one of the most popular broadband connection in Australia in the near future. You can compare all the current mobile broadband plans form the major Australian providers right here on Compare Broadband.