“You don’t know what you don’t know” – I use that saying often.
I have always been surprised why so many devices come out with Wi-Fi only and no 3G or other form of communication. I mean what is the point of having a device that only works in a Wi-Fi zone which is typically at the office or home ?
Why did so many iPod Touches get sold ? Why do many iPad Wi-Fi version get sold ? Why did RIM release a Wi-Fi Playbook only ?
Now I know why !
After spending some time in the “northern hemisphere” in countries that have decent internet ADSL speed with none of this local-only vs international traffic and defiantly none of this CAPPED nonsense – I realise why Wi-Fi works.
Its simple: most areas have Wi-Fi. Since people don’t get charged per Mb and connectivity is dirt cheap, they simply make it free and open to the public. At anytime, on virtually any street and defiantly at every shopping mall, you can search for a Wi-Fi network and not only find an open one – but find many that have amazing speeds !
I have been travelling with the Playbook (Wi-Fi version) and my Blackberry Torch (no international roaming – just Wi-Fi). The only time I have been out of comms is when I was on the freeway driving ! [note to government: they take “talking on your phone whilst driving” rather seriously here - if you are caught talking on your phone whilst driving it carries a R2000 fine and 5 points off your licence (you only start with 12).]
When I was at the coffee shop in the mall, I ran Speed Test and was so sure the speed was incorrect, I re-ran the test. I received a speeds of over 21mbps download and 7mbps upload !
I soon realised that this is not uncommon as most places have speeds of this nature.
I ran the speed test back to Johannesburg and still managed to get 10mbps download, however the upload dropped down to 0.44mbps…
I joked that “you can download movies in minutes here” – people looked at me strangely. “Why download when you can stream them directly to the TV ?” When I questioned about buffering, they genuinely asked me “What’s that ?”
When discussing internet bandwidth, I explained we usually calculate capacity, usage, simultaneous transactions. The local IT people said, its the equivalent of “designing a bridge and making provisions for some people to swim across” –
Getting harder to get excited about S.A’s 5 years plan to get fibre to the house. 5 years is a lifetime away – by then who knows what speeds they will get here…
oh well, back to downloading internet.com whilst I can….