The Great Mobile Broadband Adventure

By: Matt Sharp

You can probably tell from the title that this isn't going to be the most serious article I've ever written. But even when it gets silly (and it will), it's got a serious intent. I'm going to show you how cool mobile broadband is, and show you what it can do for you.
Day 1 - preparation for the expedition
By this point in the article, you're probably wondering what I'm talking, so I'd better explain; as a test to find out how well mobile broadband would work in the field, we decided to have a little field trip, and actually test it out in a field. Naturally, that would need some preparation, as we'd be braving the elements, and risking almost certain nettle-rash, in order to let you, the reader, see how versatile and portable mobile broadband is. By proving that you can, in fact, use MSN Messenger with a webcam (for verification, and proof we actually did it), we would prove how portable, how truly mobile it is. Simple, right?
Wrong.
Y'see the first step involved getting a laptop. None of the team (comprising myself, a lass called Jillian and a man known only as Technical Markus) have a laptop. That might sound like a bit of an oversight. And let's be honest, it was. Still, we managed to scrounge one, and then, the only problem was that none of us had bought any food.

No matter, there was a shop in town. Needless to say, this was turning into a bit of a muck-up. Ah, who am I kidding, this was turning into a grade-A nightmare. It got worse when we realised none of us had actually snagged a mobile broadband USB Modem for the test. So, running like idiots, we went and got one. Thankfully, it takes about 3 minutes to set up. I mean literally, you just plug it in, and within a few minutes, you're ready to surf.
So, after all that running about, we realised we weren't actually going to be leaving for the test that day, and so all our running about had been pointless. Still, point 1 to be made from this little exercise is: mobile broadband is easy to set up.
Day 2 - voyage into terror: the expedition begins
Ok, terror might be a bit of a strong word for it, really. Maybe annoyance-at-Technical-Markus is more appropriate. Not only was he late, he forgot his rations... so the day was not getting off to a good start. Nevertheless, we soldiered on, eventually reaching the field we were testing it in. Actually, when I say eventually, I mean it took us about 3 minutes, since it's about a mile from the office door to the gate into the field. But never mind, because we were there at last! We had the laptop, we had the USB Modem, we had the webcam... Well, we did have the webcam, after we sent Jillian back, because she'd forgotten it. However, with everything hooked in, we were ready to run the test!
This is where everything came good. Compare mobile phones to normal broadband, and you'll mobile phones have the advantage in terms of portability. They can go more or less anywhere, and to be fair, you can get wireless internet without mobile broadband, BUT you have to stay in range of a router or a WiFi hotspot. In the field, neither of those was an option, as the nearest one would be about a mile away. So, we HAD to be mobile. But phones weren't an option, as our data plans are all rubbish and tiny. Compare mobile broadband to both mobile phones and normal broadband, and you'll see that it wins in every aspect it's meant to. It's easy to set up, it's great value, and it works where other internet packages fear to tread. In essence, it's damn near perfect!
Oh, and if you're wondering where the title of this article came from, "what does a laptop taste like?" is apparently what the cow was thinking that ate my webcam!

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