Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My first mobile internet

I've just replaced my well over 4y old battle scarred Nokia 6100. It's not that it was really broken, but just that my definition of 'the basic necessities' has changed. Let me give an overview of the definition over the years:

In 1998 when I bought my first mobile phone:
  1. Be able to make a call
In 2004 when I got my third phone:
  1. Be able to make a call
  2. Be able to use sms
  3. Battery life at least 1 week/4h calling
In 2008:
  1. Be able to make a call
  2. Be able to use sms
  3. Be able to connect my laptop to internet
  4. Battery life 1 week

Now in 2008 I have a job that requires me to travel and I "need" to have internet at all times. I decided to do what operators have been blabbing about for 6 years now and combine my phone needs with my internet needs. We do have UMTS now so it should be OK, right? Right...

To put things into perspective I will just give some hints to how my 'basic' internet needs are pretty far advanced compared to my phone needs. I for example:
  • expect ANY website to render in under 0.5 seconds
  • routinely download files over 300M and don't expect to wait longer than it takes for me to get coffee.
  • store my complete life (contacts, documents, ...) online and don't expect to notice the difference.
So I got myself a unlimited data subscription and a UMTS capable phone (SE W660i if anyone cares). And I started connecting it to the internet.

Many geeks will look pitiful at my incompetence, but it took me 4 hours to get things working. Kudo's to http://www.taniwha.org.uk/ and the guys from SE for doing my providers and Apple's work for them. Funny that the guys that get the most money from me (Apple) are the least helpful in getting things to work properly. Ah well, I should have gotten an iphone, but that doesn't have umts... anyway, that's a whole different rant.

Now that everything works I am just curious at the speed I can get out of my new toys (http://text.dslreports.com):
40 kbit/sec
1.978s latency

Erm.. Those guys from telfort are really missing the point here I think. WTF!

When I made webpages last millennium the general rule was to keep images under 100k so that with this speed it would take me, say 20 seconds PER IMAGE to load the page.

I looked at http://www.umtsworld.com/technology/dataspeed.htm and the theoretical maximum is still pretty disappointing...

It's 2008 dammit, where is my flying car!

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