Internet Service for Users Without Phone or Cable Line Access
written by: Steve McFarlane•edited by: M.S. Smith•updated: 5/22/2011
Here are some Internet service options for people who don’t have, want or can’t get service via a telephone landline.
slide 1 of 6
Not having a telephone landline does not eliminate all possibility of having Internet service. In fact there are quite a few options for getting service even if you don’t have a landline.If you want to get Internet service without having a phone lor cable line you will have to go with a wireless option such as 3G, 4G, and satellite.Here is an overview of some Internet services that don’t require a telephone line.
slide 2 of 6
4G WiMax and LTE Wireless Broadband
The difference between 3G and 4G is not as pronounced as that of 2G and 3G. However, 4G does provide enhanced data transfer rates and voice quality. Though there are two rival camps in the 4G arena (namely LTE and WiMax) both offer phenomenal performance. LTE offers superior throughput speeds (in excess of 100Mbps) while WiMax tops out at around 50Mbps.
4G wireless Internet can rival the speeds of the fastest wired networks and can easily exceed the performance capabilities and service reach of DSL, owing to the fact that the technology can handle more simultaneous connections over long distances at higher data rates. At present Sprint has the largest 4G network. Unfortunately, 4G coverage is limited to major metropolitan areas until service providers finish building their networks.
Pros: Superior data and voice services, bandwidth that can exceed DSL.
Cons: Not yet widely available.
slide 3 of 6
3G Wireless Technologies
Accessing 3G services will require the use of a 3G-enabled device (phone, laptop, etc.) or a standalone router such as Verizon’s MiFi that is used to provide wireless service via USB or Wi-Fi to devices within range. The 3G moniker actually represents several cellular technologies that include EV-DO, EDGE and HSDPA.
HSDPA/UMTS - While many complain about ATT’s 3G service, it is in fact the largest 3G network in the US, covering “over 230 million Americans and available in most major cities." ATT uses HSDPA/UMTS technology (High Speed Downlink Packet Access/Universal Mobile Telephone System) to provide wireless Internet. This technology can theoretically handle download speeds up to 7.2Mbps, but the average 3G speeds are around 1.7Mbps.
Pros: Can provide speeds on par with DSL.
Cons: Maximum throughput is limited to around 7.2Mbps.
EDGE - EDGE operates sppeds of 75Kbps to 135Kbps. This service is often offered as a fall back service in areas where high speed HSDPA is not available.
Pros: More widely available than other high speed options.
Cons: Limited bandwidth.
EV-DO Rev A – The mobile broadband standard EVDO (Evolution Data Optimized) is a CDMA network (such as the one Verizon runs on) standard that offers typical broadband download and upload speeds of 600 to 1.4Mbps and 500 to 800Kbps respectively.
Pros: Reasonable transmission speeds enough to handle streaming media.
Cons: Limited to CDMA networks and providers.
slide 4 of 6
Satellite Internet Access
Satellite Internet is provided through low earth orbiting satellites (LEO) that make it possible to provide Internet service to extremely remote locations. The system does require the installation of a satellite dish to receive the data signals coming from the satellite. However, the great distance that the signal has to travel does introduce a significant amount of latency in the transmission process. It can take between 1,000 and 1400 milliseconds for a round trip from the user’s computer, through the satellite, to the destination server and back to the user. This is particularly bad news for gamers.
Despite this shortcoming, satellite Internet averages about 1Mbps down and 256kbps up. Though download and upload speeds of 1Gbps and 10Mbps respectively are possible, that capacity has to be shared among all users who are using the satellite.
Satellite internet is the most expensive of all wireless Internet services discussed here. A 1Mbps service plan can cost $60/mo, and the price can be as much as $350 for 5Mbps. Of course prices can vary widely among service providers (DIRECTV, HughesNet, Wildblue and Skyway USA).
Pro: Offers service to nearly all corners of the globe.
Con: Bad weather can negatively impact service delivery, service is very expensive.
slide 5 of 6
There are some persons for whom getting Internet access over a phone line is not an option. Fortunately there are good wireless options including 3G, 4G and satellite. If cable TV is available in your area, cable Internet is also an option that you can consider, but the availability of any wireless Internet option is limited to what service providers are offering in a particular area.