Daily Archives: December 8, 2008

I’m wondering about 3G, a lot

AS MOST of my faithful reader (1) know, the PC has been part of my life since around 1981. I never got involved in the “PC wars” – far less interesting than laundry wars – a battle in which the Mac was pitched against the PC.

My learned reader will know that it was for the Apple that the spreadsheet was created, but for the PC that the spreadsheet came into its own with Lotus 1-2-3.  This “milestone” was the beginning of the end for the personal computer and the start of the era of the beancounters.

I currently find myself in a region where there is no wi-fi – never mind WiMAX – but thanks to T-Mobile I have a 3G dongle which, at a reasonable price, gives me internet access. Sometimes.  So why oh why is 3G so variable? The dongle reports a 7.2Mbps speed, but even in central London the rate is half or a third of that. Out here in sticklandia, it varies wildly between nothing and superspeed. Why?

I’d love to use WiMAX, but that seems like a pipe dream right now.  Luckily, all you need to do is position yourself close to one of those red telephone boxes that used to be owned by the Post Office, and you can roam using wi-fi, as long as there aren’t too many people in the way. I’ll be off to India again later this week, yes, to Bangalore. I can go there confidently knowing that 3G won’t yet be available but according to many vendors WiMAX is. Oh yeah? Oh yeah, fixed WiMAX not mobile WiMAX.

Is anyone ever going to call these vendors to the bar of accountability?  ◊