Using Mobiles and Laptops

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 21, 2002 at 00:00
ThreadID: 999 Views:1559 Replies:4 FollowUps:2
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Just wondering for those that have used mobile's for emails on a laptop.
Questions: How much does it end up costing you for the phone calls.
How quickly can you read/send emails? view webpages etc.
Is the range generally good in outback western australia (kimberley, pilbara etc.) and nt.
What server is bets with regard to coverage and cost (eg telsta, optus etc.)

Thanks very much
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Reply By: Joe - Monday, Apr 22, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Apr 22, 2002 at 00:00

You will not get any mobile coverage outside of major population centres. Check the coverage maps for your provider – they are available on-line.

If you choose to go with mobile access you will be disappointed at the performance. GSM mobiles run their data at 9,600 baud which is approximately one sixth the speed of a 56k modem, and that is only if everything is working to 100%. If you choose to use the Telstra CDMA network you will get slightly better coverage, but I am talking just an extra 30 to 40 klms over the GSM networks (IF they have a cell available). CDMA also has a slight advantage with data rates, but as this would increase their speed to one fifth of a 56k modem it does not mean that much.

You can go with satellite phone linkages – the data rates are a lot closer to the standard 56k modem, but the costs are very high. Check out Iridium on the web to look at their plans and costs. Their big advantage is that you can use them in the remote areas.

The last possibility is to write your emails off line and wait until you find someone with a standard phone and borrow that.


AnswerID: 2991

Reply By: Wayne Wanders - Monday, Apr 22, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Apr 22, 2002 at 00:00

For an answer that may be the overall cheaper option, set yourself up with a email account that you can access from anywhere in aus. Then just go to an internet kiosk (which should be in most towns where you get mobile coverage) and pay for internet access by the hour hour or hour (cost range $2 to $6 per use.

Use this to log onto your own emails / web pages etc.

Advantages - downloads will be quicker / probably cheaper than cost of mobile phone call (especially if your email POP is not a local call from where you are calling) ie likely to pay up to $1 per minute for the phone call - which at an internet kiosk will give you heaps more time

Disadvantages - can not work offline - need to type emails at each machine - this may be reduced by handwriting them first before you get your sesion at a kiosk
no security so using internet banking not recommended.

At this stage it is the internet kiosk option I will use whenever I need to check up on emails when I head up into Nort west WA in a couple of months.

Hope this helps

AnswerID: 3004

Reply By: Allan - Tuesday, Apr 23, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Apr 23, 2002 at 00:00
Jonathan, refer previous question in this forum on the subject (5 March 2002) and the info provided. I used iprimus over Telstra mobile phone service without problem. Cost are not bad if used during off peak rates. Because it is slower you will find that you will not do much surfing. Handy for banking and catching up with shares while you are away even if you can only do it once a week when near towns. My notebook was used mainly for downloading and reviewing photos from the digital camera rather than emails or viewing web pages.
Regards Allan
AnswerID: 3014

Reply By: Michelle - ExplorOz - Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00
Jonathon, as others have said mobile coverage is nil outside of towns, and not all towns have service. Mobiles still only offer 9600 bps, in comparison to your home connection of around 56 kbps (ie. 56,000 bps) so imagine how slow that is to read a webpage! Downloading email is slow if there's lots of message or if there are attachments. You have to tell everyone not to send attachments while you are away, but that wont stop the junk mail. You can set rules in your inbox to delete anything over a set file size but its still not the ideal solution. Wayne offers accurate advice and a good alternative. If you can justify taking your laptop for other uses (gps interface etc) then you can type your messages offline and copy onto floppy disk and take to the internet kiosk. They will want to virus check it first of course but this will save actual usage time. Another thing to look into if you have a Telstra MobileNet account is their service for forwarding email message headers as SMS messages to your mobile. So even if you are out of service you get notification of incoming mail subjects, day/time and sender details. This then lets you know if its worth downloading your email or not. We used this very successfully a while ago but not sure if its still available. It's a free service (or was) but you need to call MobileNet 018 018 111 to arrange it.
AnswerID: 3048

Follow Up By: Ross - Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00
Michelle, did you find that Internet Cafes would allow you to front up with a disc and use it on their machine? I can see why they would have reservations (virus's, etc) but are they satisfied with checking it for a virus?? RegardsRoss
FollowupID: 1214

Follow Up By: Michelle - Exploroz - Thursday, Apr 25, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Apr 25, 2002 at 00:00
Ross, Yes that's right. There was never any issue over it. It's their business to have the best virus checking software and they couldn't go so far as to restrict people using disks this way.
FollowupID: 1217

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