Tag Archives: TMobile

I can’t live without my hotspot! Can you?

Do you remember back in the day when the only way to get a wireless Internet connection on your laptop was a bulky wireless card?

In order to achieve wireless access, you had to have surgery on your machine and have a card mounted inside of it.

If you were lucky, there was a slot on your laptop where you could connect this unwieldy device.

But most people simply didn’t have those high end machines (with the right ports) and couldn’t afford the expensive rates attached to those cards.

As demand for wireless access grew, wireless antennae technology improved more devices started to include USB ports to accommodate wireless cards.

But the wireless deals attached to those cards still weren’t all that attractive.

If you had the type offered by Verizon or Sprint, they were large oddly shaped apparati that prevented you from connecting any other peripheral to your laptop.

Slowly but surely, manufacturers started realizing how ugly their wireless cards were, and began creating more elegant wireless cards.

Now you could pull out a sleek key fob, plug it into a USB slot and viola! you were on the interweb.

Then came wireless hotspots.

And they changed the game.

These standalone units didn’t require you to plug a wireless card/antennae to your machine.

You could simply set it up and go.

Despite carriers’ efforts to make these devices affordable, they typically required contracts and were fairly expensive.

Even with the pay-as-you-go offerings of T-Mobile et al, adoption of this new fangled technological offering was tepid.

Fast forward a few years and now your mobile phone, which is already a multi function device, is also a hotspot!

Not only can you access the Internet from your phone, you can access the Internet from any wireless device (PC, tablet) using your phone as a wireless hub.

As an Apple user, ‘tethering’ has been available for some time.

It was a little known feature, and one that Apple disabled for a time.

But when it was active, you could connect your iPhone to your MacBook and connect to the internet.

Now, it’s a standard feature of multiple mobile phone providers, and an absolute staple in my life.

This past Sunday my daughter had horrible asthma attack, which came out of nowhere.

And instead of watching the season premier of Homeland, I spent the night at the ER at St. Barnabas hospital in Livingston.

What I thought was going to be a routine visit and minor inconvenience, turned out to be a serious medical emergency resulting in my daughter being admitted to the PICU (pediatric intensive care unit).

Well there goes Homeland!

I ended up spending the next four nights at St. Barnabas, disconnected from the world.

Of course, my daughter’s medical emergency fell on the day before multiple projects were set to launch or had major deliverables due, and I could not afford to NOT be available.

Thankfully, I had my iPhone 5 with ‘Personal Hotspot’ and was able to work and interact with the outside world.

I could connect via Wi Fi, Bluetooth or USB, and it was an absolute lifesaver.

Now, I don’t know if you’re one of those folks who still have to pull out a USB stick and shove it into your computer to get on the internet, when you’re out and about.

But there’s a more elegant way to jump online…

Use the hotspot on your phone.

And if your phone doesn’t have a hotspot feature…

Get rid of it and get one that does.

Leave a comment

Filed under digital advocacy, iPhone, mobile, technology

Mobile phones everywhere and no (free) public wi-fi!

No public wi-fi? For shame! For shame!

Last week, I wrote a post about how annoying it is to attend a ‘digital’ function, where there is no public wi-fi to jump on.

Equally frustrating is when you attend a function, where the conveners publish their Twitter handles or event hashtags, but leave attendees to their own devices to wade their way through spotty and/or inaccessible cellular signals to post updates to their social media accounts.

I’ve been feeling this frustration for some time now, as evidenced by this unpublished rant from Social Media Week 2010:

“Sitting at the Bands and Fans panel hosted by CMJ at Social Media Week and I’m pissed!

Why? You ask. Because there’s no wifi!

WTF!? How can we be sitting talking about the value of Tweeting and staying connected, when there is no f*#king internet connection?!

AARRGH!

I’m just saying. AT&T’s network is crap and I can’t flex on my iPad the way I had intended!

Hootsuite is unresponsive.

Twitter feels like swimming through molasses.

Facebook is kaput!

I am ashamed to be a part of this right now. Ashamed.

Red Bull Space – you should have shame too!

All this great info from J Sider, Marni Wandner, Robbie Mackey and Ariel Hyatt and no wifi!

Booo!”

Needless to say, almost two years later and not much has changed.

Businesses have not adopted offering free wi-fi as a standard.

Even if (as my good friend Rob Underwood noted in my rant last week about the NYC DMC event) the reason for a private wi-fi or an unpublished password is security, when you host one of these functions, setting up a temporary wi-fi network and/or password is a sensible thing to do.

With municipalities across the country looking at implementing free public wi-fi, shouldn’t businesses, retail establishments, cafes, bars and restaurants also look to do the same thing?

How many of we entrepreneurs select meeting spots bases on the availability of wi-fi?

Starbucks has undoubtedly made a butt-load of cash off of folks using their wi-fi (because we know their coffee is…how do you say…crap!)

Anyway, perhaps I’m all sour grapes because I’m on AT&T and their 3G network isn’t worth the technology it’s built on (damn you FCC for interfering with the acquisition of TMobile!!)

Or perhaps, rather, wi-fi is a really important element towards achieving a broader network of connected users and devices.

Whatever the case for adopting a free wi-fi solution may be, know that if I’m coming to an event, and it’s not popping, I’m putting you on full blast!

I feel better.

1 Comment

Filed under digital advocacy, opinion, rant, Smack talking, technology