Broadband is a type of high-speed internet connection which has become one of the most used forms of Internet access because of its high speeds.
This definition of broadband is commonly used as a general description given to any high-speed internet access – broadband is actually used in many technologies and in telecommunications is defined as a wide bandwidth data transmission which can simultaneously transport multiple signals and traffic types.
With origins in physics, acoustics and radio systems engineering, the broadband term became popular in the 1990s when it was used as a marketing term for internet access which was faster than dial-up access.
Broadband, however, is a relative term. The broadband signal handles a wide band of frequencies, with the wider the bandwidth of channel, the greater the information-carrying capacity. For example, in radio a Morse code will be carried by a narrow band, while a broader band will carry speech, and an even broader band will carry music.
What spectrum does mobile broadband use?
Radio is just one broadband technology – telecommunications, computer networks, TV and alternative technologies such as power lines have all been used for data transmission.
However, it is in the context of Internet access where the term broadband is most commonly recognised. The term broadband in regard to internet access has evolved from its origins as a marketing term against dialup internet, with mobile broadband the emerging marketing phrase for wireless internet access through mobile phones, tablets, portable modems or other devices.
Using the spectrum of 225 MHz to 3700 MHz, mobile broadband describes the process of wireless internet access being delivered through mobile phone towers to computers and mobile devices. Mobile broadband has evolved through the years, with new technology and infrastructure being introduced every 10 years or so.
Each new generation of technology introduces non-backwards-compatible transmission technology, higher peak data rates, new frequency bands, and wider channel frequency bandwidth in Hertz. The first mobile data services became available in 1991 during the second generation (2G), which was followed by the third generation (3G) in 2001 and the fourth generation (4G) in 2006.