3G and Why We all Need it

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Here’s an anecdote why 3G data networks (in the U.S., EVDO or GSM radio driven broadband) should be THE wireless way to get on the Internet.

Earlier this week with netbook in hand, I was sitting at an IBM press event on Global Services and naturally my mind wandered as the pitch-meisters droned on. Tweetdeck brightly shone on screens in front of me as other reporters and analysts happily tweeted away.

But I couldn’t. Why? Because I didn’t have my own pervasive wireless Internet access like the active twits did. They had mobile broadband from  Sprint, Verizon or AT&T while I was relying on IBM’s visitor WIFI. As it turned out, I needed a password and login to IBM’s “unsecured” visitor wifi so I had to an hour wait until the next break to ask for the info. When I got it, IBM’s WIFI still did not work on my netbook. The delay defeated the immediacy of my motivation to twitter as I enviously watched my connected colleagues.

For me the newsman, it felt like death. I did not tweet again until I returned to the home office in the tethered world.

There’s a couple of points here. First, we need to take charge of my own Internet access. 3G while expensive at $60 a month and sometimes slow allows me to do that. It works everywhere and unchains me from being within a couple of hundred feet of  a WIFI access point. In other words, the ideal connection is one you own and which promises to work everywhere. One world, one connection.

Just like saloon keepers in the Wild West made cowboys leave their guns at the door, I supposed IBM could have prohibited notebooks or netbooks at the event so we gave them our full attention for the press event. Nahh. No one does that anymore and I needed my hourly Twitter fix.

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