Vodafone.es 4G is pretty fast

If you’ve read my previous posts, you might be aware of the horror that is ADSL in Spain:



Yes, this really is the ADSL connection on a bad day. The line is long and noisy and at night, it becomes especially bad as the SNR plummets to negative numbers.

However, in exactly the same location, my Huwaei 4G router can get this (unit sited indoors, no external antenna):


Vodafone 4G

It is, basically, 100x faster. The only glaring issue is the tiny amount of data allowance that you get. For €20, a measly 1.6GB (on PAYG). I seriously fail to see the point in high speed 4G if you simply cannot use it for anything other than casual browsing. Even streaming a single movie per month would use your entire allowance up. Until telco’s massively increase the allowances to 10’s of GB for reasonable prices, fixed line ADSL is likely to remain for when you need to download large files, even if you have to leave it running overnight.

The situation of draconian 4G usage limits is a universal one. No operator that I am aware of offers a truly unlimited 4G connection for the home user. There are certain business contracts available but they are essentially off-limits for the normal user. Given that back in 2011, the average UK home user downloaded 17GB per month of data, even Vodafone Spain’s 10GB (and largest possible) monthly contract is nowhere near this figure, and that comes in at around €40pm.

I hear a lot about 4G “being the saviour of rural broadband”, but, until usage caps are lifted, that extra speed is at best useless, and at worst possibly very expensive.