Carboxylated ficolls were prepared as model spherical colloids of variable charge and size, with radii ranging from 3.0 to 19.3 nm. Capillary electrophoresis (CE), electrophoretic light scattering (ELS), and potentiometric titration were used to determine mobilities as a function of pH, degree of ionization alpha, and surface potential psi(0). Measured mobilities typically display a plateau at high pH, corresponding to high alpha and psi(0), confirming the general nature of this effect for charged spheres, seen also for charged dendrimers and charged latex particles. This result is examined in the context of a discontinuity in mobility predicted by the Wiersema, O'Brien, and White (WOW) theory and a more recent primitive model electrophoresis (PME) theory, in which bound counterions are considered either as point charges or as hard spheres. While no mobility maximum can be determined as expected by these two theories, our data seem more to support Belloni's theoretical expectations on charged polymers and spheres. Here we explain the mobility plateaus in terms of counterions accumulated close to the surface (surface potential-determining ions) or within the shear plane (mobility-determining ions).