3G in the Capital

I’ve been in London the past couple of days to undertake a site audit for a new customer here. Before leaving, I took advantage of an offer Vodafone gave me to try their 3G Data Cards under the "Mobile Connect" brand.

I’d last looked at 3G Data Cards in early 2005 when my conclusions were that they were a great idea, but unreliable and ridiculously expensive per megabyte.

After 30 minutes using the card in a heavily populated area of Birmingham, and a longr session again in my hotel room in Belgravia, London (uploading this blog entry amongst other things!) I’m afraid to say… things haven’t changed much!

In neither Birmingham nor London have I managed to get a 3G connection and so I’m browsing at 56kps through GPRS. It’s adequete, and the facility to plug a PCMCIA card in to my laptop and get an Internet connection easily is nice, but a 56kps connection for around £6/megabyte? Merely collecting my e-mail via a web-interface and browsing

BBC News took up half a megabyte (and that is using a compression program like OnSpeed) – so you can imagine the escalating costs if you were, say, dealing with a customers problem via Remote Desktop over a secure connection.

So the verdict hasn’t changed. Until Vodaphone and the other 3G Data Card suppliers increase their coverage and lower their outrageously expensive tariffs… data over 3G remains a toy for the Executive with a very large expense budget.


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