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Mobile Internet from a cell phone
How fast and reliable is it?
MatthewHSE




msg:361612
 2:41 pm on Jul 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well, I posted this question a few days ago in the PDA forum, but apparently that board doesn't get used much. So I'm going to commit a slight breach of etiquette and post the question here in hopes of an answer. If this is inappropriate, the moderators may feel free to remove this thread.

I've been thinking about getting a cell phone lately. I've never had one before, in fact I've only made about five calls on a cell phone in my life. All that to say that I'm not very familiar with cell phone features and how they can be used, etc.

One feature I just found out about the Verizon network is that you can connect your phone to a computer via a USB cable and get mobile Internet anywhere you can use your phone. I thought this was pretty cool and almost worth the monthly fees just for this one feature. But, I was wondering how fast the connection would be, and if it's reliable. For instance, if it's 28k and gets dropped every minute, that doesn't do me a lot of good. If it's closer to DSL speed and stays reliably connected until I disconnect, that would be worth something.

Does anyone else have experience using the Internet in this way? What is it really like?

Thanks,

Matthew

 

kamakaze




msg:361613
 2:52 pm on Jul 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't directly but my brother-in-law does with his Motorola cell phone. He said the connection was like a 14.4-28.8 and it was stable. But boy is that slow :-)

RammsteinNicCage




msg:361614
 5:26 pm on Jul 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

With my cell phone on the SprintPCS network, it's rather hit or miss if I can connect to the internet (more hit, but too much miss). The speed is pretty slow too. I have a low level phone and a low level plan though, so I don't know if you spend more money you can get better stuff.

Jennifer

ControlEngineer




msg:361615
 3:32 am on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Verizon has a new service where you add a PC card to your laptop and subscribe to their service. You can get high speed (I think) internet access. However, I understand that it is not yet available everywhere and cost about $80/mo.

Maybe this is the way of the future, but for now I think that using WiFi and spending alot of time at Starbucks or motels with free access is the way I will continue to operate while on the road.

I still find my cell phone to be almost a necessity when traveling. However, I have yet to use the rather limited internet features available with my Cingular phone.

ganderla




msg:361616
 3:37 am on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Verizon has a new service

This is called NationalAccess/BroadbandAccess. I use it and I like it quite a bit. I only get the regular speed where I live, but when I was in Vegas, it was fast. Not like cable fast, but nice.
The price is about $80 and a bit too much IMHO. I bought this about a year ago when I though I would be traveling quite more than I do.

MatthewHSE




msg:361617
 12:04 pm on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

That new Verizon service sounds interesting, but I'm not going to spend $80/mo on a service that I only expect to use a few times per year. ;) From some of the comments made so far it looks like the "normal" web access through a cell phone may be pretty slow; can anyone confirm the average Internet speeds on Verizon's standard ($39.95/mo) plan?

Paul in South Africa




msg:361618
 12:47 pm on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Here the fastest that I have managed to connect using a cell phone is 33.6, however, most of the time 28.8 is the maximum. I finally broke down and got a 3G card for my laptop a month or so ago and can highly recommend it. I cannot get ADSL or any other wired broadband connection where I live so it was the only high speed option available to me. Even outside the 3G coverage area I can still connect at 57.6 which, while not fast, is at least as fast as dial up with the advantage of being completely mobile. Cost is a factor, approximately US$90 per gig of data transferred.

Frequent




msg:361619
 2:22 pm on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm not sure if it's nationwide but I bought the mobile office kit for my verizon phone and use their ungodly slow (but free!) web access with my laptop. I believe it's called Quick2Net and it just burns your minutes. No other charges. Did I mention it's slow? 14.4 top speed, often slower.

Freq---

BTW- I'm in the US.

nigassma




msg:361620
 7:41 pm on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

I guess that's one advantage of having DSL. You can get access anywhere there is a phone line.

ControlEngineer




msg:361621
 11:56 pm on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

I guess that's one advantage of having DSL. You can get access anywhere there is a phone line.

I'm not sure that's the case. I checked with my phone company about DSL, they had to have my address (via my phone number) to verify if DSL was available. I think it was based on the distance between my house and some equipment of theirs (in the office or on a pole, I'm not sure). Since I was having trouble with my phone service anyway, I decided to go with cable modem. Also, I think that if you subscribe to DSL it is specific to a particular address or neighborhood, so it won't help for traveling.

When I am traveling alot I could almost justify the Verizon service $80/mo., however, it is available only in limited areas (according to their TV ad I saw a few minutes ago). So I think that I will stick with WiFi (I pay T-Mobile about $35/mo during times of heavy travel). So I will also be getting a boost of caffine from the crapachino's in the coffee places with T-mobile. (actually I do the unthinkable: order a "regular coffee-small").

I do think that services like Verizon's will be common in the future if their service area expands to the same as their cell phone coverage.

nigassma




msg:361622
 12:11 am on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)


I think it was based on the distance between my house and some equipment of theirs (in the office or on a pole, I'm not sure).

Yes the availabilty is based on how far you are from the nearest exchange/booster box.

As far as traveling goes though, I have DSL that gives me access to hundreds of numbers in any given city that will allow me to access the internet via Dial-up. Not exactly lightening fast, but it gets the job done.

ControlEngineer




msg:361623
 2:57 am on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

As far as traveling goes though, I have DSL that gives me access to hundreds of numbers in any given city that will allow me to access the internet via Dial-up. Not exactly lightening fast, but it gets the job done.

I think that many DSL and cable internet providers provide dial up access in many locations, or provide toll free dial up access. But if you are uploading large files or doing many other web tasks, dial up is slow. One problem is that even with a 56K connection, most hotel switchboard equipment slows down the connection to about 24K or slower.

Fortunately many lower cost motels (chain and even some independents) provide free broadband (usually wireless, sometimes an in-room cable). Higher cost larger hotels often charge as much as $10/day for access (go figure. You pay twice as much for a room and they charge for 800 and local calls and for internet access that is free in the cheaper places!)

Maps.Yahoo shows WiFi hotspots on their maps. I have found them to be very accurate and complete in many areas. Most of them, however, are T-Mobile require a subscription.

keyplyr




msg:361624
 9:06 am on Jul 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

I use Verizon and have a completly different plan than those described in the preceeding posts. There is no additional monthly fee for internet access whatsoever. I just pay for the data transfer, but it can add up quickly.

The upstream is pretty fast but the main issues are that most websites are not designed for mobile access so they load slow and display poorly.

I actually turned off the internet feature recently opting to wait until the experience is more enjoyable.

keyplyr




msg:361625
 9:31 am on Jul 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Correction - I use Cingular (just looked at my phone) - LOL

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