Almost An Overabundance Of Connectivity

When I think back a couple of years ago, getting continuous and affordable Internet connectivity when traveling outside my home country was often quite difficult. Prepaid SIM cards were difficult to get, mobile data options were difficult to activate on those SIMs, some countries didn't have them at all, data roaming was prohibitively expensive and most hotel Wi-Fi was just plain crappy. In other words it took effort and a bit of luck to stay connected in a way that allowed working with a notebook and using VoIP and video software such as Skype. But my recent experience gives me hope that we have reached the tipping point.

On several of my recent trips, hotel Internet was quite o.k., even in the evening when lots of people use it. Sure, it's not like a VDSL line at home but there was always a megabit or two available and usually also enough in the uplink direction. So perhaps hotels are learning. In Europe mobile data roaming has also become affordable enough that one can rely on it for mobile connectivity outside the hotel for smartphones and moderate PC use. Offline navigation and mapping apps such as Osmand (Openstreetmap for Android) help. And local prepaid SIMs are often sold at airports now by knowledgeable staff that can activate data options and even configure APNs in case the smartphone doesn't configure itself correctly (noticed in Hong Kong, Korea and Malta recently). With data options ranging for half a gigabyte and up for around 10 to 15 euros with usable speeds of the cellular networks they are a good alternative or supplement to hotel Wi-Fi.

Yes, things really have gotten better over the years!

One thought on “Almost An Overabundance Of Connectivity”

  1. I also noticed that it more and more becomes an option to use the roaming passes of my home provider. Its not feasible if you really work abroad but to check emails and send greetings with a (resized! ;)) photo attached its enough when you are travelling in europe…

    for longer travel and more data use i can confirm that hotel wifi and prepaid sims are quite easy nowadays 🙂

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