IF YOUR BUSINESS takes you into hotel lobbies, onto Irish Rail, into long queues at airports or into tiresome conferences where "free wifi" means slow connectivity, you need to seriously consider mobile broadband services. In Ireland, Damien Mulley compares the packages available from Vodafone, O2 and 3. We have used O2-Ireland's Gigaplan since February 2007 and have converted hours of unproductive waiting time into gigabytes of downloaded information. The PC card from Sierra Wireless (at right) ensures we have no contention problem inside meeting rooms. It routes around company censorware--essential when your life connects to collaborators through social media. It has saved us more than EUR 200 in extortionate wifi fees while camped inside hotel lobbies between events. Now, the services are getting better. All major mobile services in Ireland now offer USB modems that bump speeds up to at least 3.6Mbps connectivity. I routinely get 1Mbps now with the Sierra card but because I live in a mast-hating small Irish town, I cannot achieve anything faster than GPRS service connections locally. I don't mind the tree-hugging citizens who marshal opposition to wireless telephony through SMS texting and mobile phone calls. I just take my business meetings elsewhere and let the objectors enjoy their little victory against free enterprise. I also use the O2-Ireland card with great effect aboard the mainline Cork-Dublin rail service. The wireless connectivity also pulls down mail and web pages while aboard Bus Eireann in the middle of nowhere. For a complete analysis of the services, read Damien Mulley's report.
Damien Mulley -- "Wired and on the go" in The Sunday Tribune, 15 July 2007.