Wednesday, 6 February 2008

USB stick modem for wireless internet access

Wifi hotspots are yesterday. 3G dongles are today. Affordable for consumers, not only businesses.

In essence, mobile lifestyle ( mobility ) is all about your mobile devices and connectivity . Right ?
Your phone, laptop or other gizmo makes true communication device when connected to a wider network.
Yet, it's not on cheap and it 's not much about convenience.

The business usually pay montly subs on 12 or 24 month contract and get PCMCIA card ( if they are not in mood to mess with WiFi , we have only few commercial hotspots in Croatia , but there's VIPNET's Mobile Connect modem only still too expensive ).

But 3G networks are reaching much more these days and perfect plug & play solution for connectivity seems to be USB dongle ready to access the Web without much intervention from the average user. No configuration at all.
I spotted this issue writing last year about Sony Ericsson's MD300.

Now, I've seen that Vodafone sells 3G dongle ( USB stick modem ) as well. The price of data and network bottlenecks are still important issues for widespread adoption.
Dean Bubley comment is right spot on:
'' Operators in the UK, Austria, South Africa, Portugal & others are definitely going after the consumer 3G dongle market.
Typical user is someone (student, recent immigrant etc) who doesn’t want a 12-24mo fixed-broadband contract at home, because either they share apartments, don’t have a current landline (which would cost £££ to get re-connected), move flat every 6 months or don’t yet have a local bank account / credit record.
Another segment is people who want a 2nd broadband line (maybe families, maybe young professionals).

While I do agree with most what Dean says, I think this type of connectivity is ideal for professionals on the move ( as a second broadband line ) and people without broadband connection in rural places.

The prices in Australia , for example, have dropped dramatically in the last year. AU$100 to AU$14.50 a month on a two year deal + free dongle.

When will those mobile data plans for laptops go hand in hand with mobile phone data plans ?

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