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Tethering vs Air Card & Other Miscellaneous Phone Thoughts

I've been using a Blackberry Curve for a while and I'm been entirely happy with it. Great phone, great battery life, and no problems - save one. When I purchased it I also added a tethering plan as I often work remote or head to a coffee shop for a working break, and hate to rely on whereever I am to have secure wireless. The phone only works at EDGE speeds, but its good enough to check email and browse a few pages. Barely good enough! Also, the whole tethering thing seemed to be shaky, sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. Very frustrating to need a connection and not be able to get one.

After one aggravation too many I switched to an ATT USB Air Card (Sierra Wireless). It's 3G and it's much more usable. Sometimes it's a little flaky about being detected by the machine, but once detected has been very good. It's $60/month, plus I still have to pay $30 or so to get email on my phone, but overall worth it. Always exceptions though, today I'm at a decent sized airport and needed to work, could not get it to connect - had to pay $7.99 on wireless. Frustrating, but clearly a coverage or interference issue rather than it failing to work. Makes me wish for national WiMax!

I will say that as I've watched others with their IPhone I get jealous, the browser is nicer and bigger, and often I turn to one of those friends when we're to have them look up directions or get info we need. I can do it on my phone, but not nearly as elegantly. New phones from RIM do out soon, but I'll be surprised if they achieve the same elegance. Will I upgrade or switch to the iPhone? That's a clear case of I don't know yet.



I'm Andy Warren, currently a SQL Server trainer with End to End Training. Over the past few years I've been a developer, DBA, and IT Director. I was one of the original founders of SQLServerCentral.com and helped grow that community from zero to about 300k members before deciding to move on to other ventures.


Posted by Anonymous on 18 January 2009

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