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4G broadband VS fibre optic broadband

The broadband internet market has changed significantly over its short lifespan but in recent years, there have been a number of new ways to access broadband. The newest players to this market include fibre optic broadband and 4G mobile broadband.

Fixed line fibre

Fibre optic broadband is relatively new in technology terms. This technology uses high-tech glass cables to transmit signals, delivering a faster and more stable signal than traditional cables. It’s also less susceptible to interference, and the signal remains stronger even over long distances. Fibre broadband can often boast speeds of up to 1000Mbps, which means you can download films, music and games in seconds.

The drawback for such perks, however, can be the cost. Whilst package prices are certainly dropping and becoming more competitive, the attached costs won’t be for everyone. There’s also the question of coverage too, as not all areas in Ireland currently have access to these new fibre optic cables. Whilst all major cities will have coverage in time, more rural areas may find that they are left out of the loop.

You can compare the latest fibre optic broadband deals on Switcher.ie.

Line free 4G

4G mobile technology is one of the broadband market’s newest players and its biggest selling point is that it is completely wireless. Using mobile technology, it allows you to access it wherever you are as long as you have a signal. Of course, this technology’s biggest strength is also its biggest drawback, currently not all areas of Ireland are covered by the appropriate 4G signal. Although coverage is ever improving, it could present an issue if it hasn’t arrived in your area yet.

As with fibre broadband, price could also be a point of contention, but again, as the market opens up, prices are set to become more competitive. Also whilst coverage is still growing, it is far more likely that it could soon reach areas that fibre optic broadband will not be able to, such as more rural areas.

However, whilst 4G boasts up to 5 times the speed of 3G signal, it is still slower than what is offered by fibre broadband, with the highest speeds clocking in at around 40Mbps. Whilst this is still very fast for wireless technology, you’ll be downloading or streaming content in minutes rather than seconds.

Switcher.ie compares the latest 4G broadband deals so you dont have to.


Which broadband providers can offer these technologies for your internet connection? All major mobile providers are now offering 4G packages, such as eir Mobile, Three and Vodafone. For fibre optic broadband however, you can look to Virgin Media, Vodafone, Digiweb, and eir.


When trying to choose between these two types of internet technology, it’s likely that your decision will be based on a few things. The most important question to ask yourself though, is how fast you want your internet to be. If speed is of absolute importance, then you may want to opt for fibre broadband. If mobility is more your thing, then it makes sense to opt for a more mobile technology instead.