I use mobile broadband. It’s a killer product poised, I think, to do for internet what cellies did for telephony. My main issue is that it doesn’t have the brand or name in public consciousness to match. WiMax while, comparatively, sucking is still much more cool than Mobile Broadband, at least a bit cause it has a better (and standardized name). I’ve heard mobile broadband referred to as HSPA, HSDPA, 3G Internet, etc. What I’ve started referring to it in my own small head is MoBro. That, to me, is the simplest amalgamation of the two words, and I like the sound. I wondered if this was standard and it’s not, people still refer to, uh, MoBro, as a variety of things, none of which is MoBro. But that’s what I’m calling it from now until something better comes along.
For reference, I paid like 17,500 for a USB modem and connection, on Mobitel M3. That’s on a monthly payment scheme as well, its cheaper cash upfront. The thing that sucks is that its metered Internet, about Rs 1 per MB. I like Dialog, but their data rates work out to about Rs 2 per MB. I spend about 6-7k per month, and that’s include pretty heavy video use and some data downloads. I don’t download music much anymore because, for the first time in years, I’m paying for it. I’d be OK paying up to 10k a month for unlimited.
What makes MoBro so much better than other solutions is basically that it’s so much simpler. I sat down at Mobitel and walked out with a working connection within 30 minutes. Try that with DSL or WiMax, dudes have to come jump around your house and all this crap. MoBro is truly plug-and-play Internet and it’s available almost everywhere – even in Sri Lanka. Actually, especially in Sri Lanka, which has a very mature 3G network. It’s also fast, fast enough to stream most YouTube (sorta). I found the Dialog connect a bit faster, but perhaps because its worse marketed and thus less congested than M3. More to the point, I can access Internet almost anywhere at good speed (car, friends houses, round work firewall) and absolutely anywhere at GPRS speeds. When the next gen of laptops with MoBro built in come round I think we’ll be well on the way to a future where Internet is something you take for granted on any computer, like FreeCell. Literally free cell, it’ll be free (as in speech, not beer) and cellular.