The Way Business Is Moving published by
Issue Date: April 2006

Hey, this stuff works!

1 April 2006

I have to admit to being a bit of a Luddite when it comes to the 'mobile revolution'. In my line of work, mobility is essential and I often work from home or a coffee shop - and on special occasions, I even go into the office. But all I wanted was a laptop and a reliable Internet connection in the office.
I have always been dead against this constantly connected hype. The fact is I always have mail in my inbox and if I can spend some time in a coffee shop dealing with them offline (sending them at the end of the day or whenever I get to a connection again), that is fine - of course I would not even dream of switching my cellphone off. There have been occasions when having a hotspot would have been useful - such as when overseas - but then you can always make a plan.
Apart from not wanting to be constantly bombarded with pinging and cute, psychosis inducing sounds every time an e-mail arrives, the cost of connectivity is enormous. Recently, however, my view has changed.
I use an ADSL account that was moved from Telkom to IS a while back. Of late, this connection has been up and down more often than a popular lady of the night (I was going to use the term 'more often than a crack whore in peak business hours' but was told this is too American and would not do). Of course, everyone blames Telkom, except Telkom, of course.
The result has been a determination to find a wireless broadband solution to replace this cable nightmare. There is the rub. No one can or wants to tell me if I am zoned for anything except cellular coverage. Since this happened over a deadline period, I have had to resort to GPRS - and it works.
Important things can be downloaded to my PDA and edited or dealt with appropriately and then sent back from wherever I am. I am a late bloomer I guess, but this stuff is wonderful in emergencies. It is still too expensive for day-to-day use, but maybe one day we will get there.
Would it not be nice if 3G was comparable to ADSL (without the regular breakdowns) in terms of price and download speeds, and assuming cellular coverage meant 3G coverage as well? There would be no need for any other form of connectivity and, contrary to my contempt of the past, I would sign up in a flash. But I forget, that would only happen in a competitive market.
Andrew Seldon


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