Friday, June 27, 2003

Wireless Data Price War: Second Shot

So the carriers have invested fortunes into fast or not-so-fast wireless networks. Turns out nobody's buying. Why? My guess is because they were all expensive and metered, and nobody thinks of the Internet as metered, so why have to start when using unreliable wireless Internet on your laptop? So time for some discounting.

First Verizon drops its 2.5G Express Network (144kbps burst, usually sustained 80kbps) from $99 unlimited to $79, for a two year contract. This is because Sprint, using the exact same network technology on their network, had already dropped to the same price for a one year contract. T-Mobile has unlimited data rates around 30 bucks, but only when used on their phones and tiny devices, and they get pissy if they find out you are using it on a laptop, mainly, or all day long

I refuse to use our corporate Intranet for my private email and stuff. I bring my tiny laptop to work and am on Verizon's CDPD, a very old bursty technology on the old unused network, which manages 9k6 on a good day. Yes, 9600bps. Not sustained, I can forget about telnet. I have not upgraded because it is good enough for the price of around 50 bucks a month. Yes, it is an expensive toy.

T-Mobile fired its salvo: 30 bucks unlimited for 56kbps, 1 year contract. I have no reason to stay with CDPD now, even though I'd lose national data roaming, which I never use. I should call Verizon and ask what they are gonna give me to stay with them. 56k is still an excellent speed, better than any US landline.