Saturday, May 06, 2006

What have I learnt this week....

I learnt a lot this week during my mobile coffee experiment.

I learnt that it is very easy to surf and blog on the move in Wellington. Connecting to a wireless network with a wireless enabled PDA is a breeze. There is nothing to it at all; just press a button, sign-in and you are done. As to whether this is useful is another matter. Maybe for maps, and local information, but an essential service? Nah, I don't think so but damn useful at times I'm sure.

I learnt that CafeNet offer really fast connectivity and Telecom don't. Telecom also bill for time connected, by the second, rather than data traffic which is ludicrous. It takes time to write a posting yet not a lot of traffic moves around whilst you are writing. They charge $9.95 per hour to dial-up users or pre-paid cards (nothing to broadband users until 31st August but I couldn't get this to work when I was with Telecom Broadband). CafeNet will give you a whole 24 hours access for $10. CafeNet also offer a more sensible option of a data allowance and $20 gets you 70Mb but $80 gets a whopping 350Mb.

I learnt that all the coffee in Wellington is good and some is excellent. Prices vary slightly but are almost exactly the same with overtones of a price cartel! Price is not a measure of quality and $3.60/80 is a good range to keep in your head.

I learnt that I am the only person to have ever logged into CafeNet or a Telecom Hotpsot in Wellington EVER. It just isn't done. I had many stares and it makes me wonder if people even know about wireless access; it certainly isn't promoted too well. I guess that once mobile devices start becoming cheaper and more functional, people will begin to use them more and more. In the meantime, it is a brave investor who spends cash supporting a start-up wireless company but it could become a goldmine.

So who was the ultimate winner in this experiment? It has to be Mojo I think. Consistently good coffee and a great location. They also offer a pre-pay Mojo VIP Club card which gives users a 10% discount on not only coffee but coffee beans too. Nice touch. Mine is now loaded up in advance so I am actually saving money when I buy coffee........

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