Thursday, June 23, 2005

Beyond Wi-Fi: Laptop Heaven but a Price - New York Times

Beyond Wi-Fi: Laptop Heaven but a Price - New York Times: "EV-DO offers two addictive benefits. First, it's cellular. You don't have to hunt down public hot spots; an entire metropolitan area is a hot spot.
Second, EV-DO means sheer, giddy speed. EV-DO is a so-called 3G (third-generation) network, the fruits of $1 billion in Verizon development. And when your laptop or palmtop locks onto a good signal, you can practically feel the wind in your hair.
How fast is that, exactly? Verizon claims you'll be able to download data at an average of 400 to 700 kilobits per second (kbps), which turns out to be true. That makes EV-DO at least five times as fast as the rival technology offered by Cingular and T-Mobile, called EDGE (70 to 135 kbps), and about seven times as fast as Verizon's original data network (still available), which it calls NationalAccess (60 to 80 kbps).
Finally, there's the little matter of price: $80 a month, a price that seems expressly designed to milk corporate business travelers. On one hand, that price gets you unlimited service, and it really is $80 a month; at this point, you're not saddled with the taxes and fees that jack up your cellphone bill. On the other hand, that price doesn't even include cellphone service. (Of course, you can always use a free program like Skype to make voice calls while you're connected - but you didn't hear it from me.)"

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