UMTS threatens WiFi Hotspots

In the past
years, the media has speculated just how much of a threat WiFi hotspots are to
UMTS. Well, from what I have experienced over the last few months, it is just
the opposite. Equipped with a prepaid SIM card from Italian Operator WIND and a monthly data volume of several
hundred megabytes for 20 Euros a month, I’ve travelled through many countries
in the past months.

Many hotels
offer WiFi coverage and if one is really lucky, there is even coverage in the
room. However, in the days and age of UMTS, I am showing it the cold shoulder. As
the price is right, I prefer to use a UMTS network, even if it is somewhat
slower than a WiFi hotspot connected to the Internet via a DSL connection. I
don’t have to worry about whether I have coverage in the room, no need to select
the network, no fumbling with the credit card for buying expensive online time,
and most of all: coverage directly in the room or wherever else I am when I
need to communicate instead being forced to sit in a noisy and crowded hotel

As even
Internet telephony via UMTS and Skype works flawlessly, the final advantage of
Wifi hotspots is gone. At the airport I also don’t bother to search for a WiFi
hotspot, UMTS or EDGE (in case my Italian SIM card can’t roam to a UMTS network
in the country) is where I go. Great! 

Well, the
only place where the WiFi hotspot still has an advantage is in the plane at
30.000 ft 😉

One thought on “UMTS threatens WiFi Hotspots”

  1. I am planning on taking a course in Italy for 5 weeks. Comming from the US. I need to keep in touch with family and just downloaded skype. I also signed up for a 9GB 30EUR 5PM to 6AM flat internet plan. I plan on using a Merlin U530 card on my laptop. Will this be sufficient to have a decent SKYPE conversation? The mobile provide is TIM by the way. Thanks.

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