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SURVEY: How important are wireless technologies to be available with Pocket PCs
Posted by Arne Hess - on Thursday, 05.02.04 - 12:06:39 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News - Viewed 6130x
Not Tagged, a German speaking PDA portal (frequently visited by Austrians and Germans), had an interesting poll in January* about the communication features used with Pocket PCs and the results are quiet amazing but confirms what Europeans think about Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. While in North America, Bluetooth is still not established and often predicted to fail while for Europeans it's even more important than Wi-Fi:

WAN Services with Pocket PCs:

  • Importance of GPRS
    • Necessarily 47.78 %
    • Optional 38.91 %
    • No 13.31 %
  • Importance
     of 3G/UMTS
    • Necessarily 12.63 %
    • Optional 50.51 %
    • No 36.86 %

LAN/PAN Services with Pocket PCs:

  • Importance
     of W-LAN (Wi-Fi)
    • Necessarily 68.94 %
    • Optional 25.60 %
    • No 5.46 %
  • Importance
     of Bluetooth
    • Necessarily 85.32 %
    • Optional 12.97 %
    • No 1.71 %

Usage of Internet Services with Pocket PCs:

  • Pocket Internet Explorer
    • Yes 92.83 %
    • No 7.17 %
  • Inbox/E-Mail
    • Yes 81.91 %
    • No 18.09 %
  • Messenger
    • Yes 17.41 %
    • No 82.59 %

*293 Participants

Now I wonder where you come from and if you can confirm the results above to fit into your personal usage pattern? I find myself in the results above.

Cheers ~ Arne

Related Links : [More Information (German)]


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Posted by Arne Hess on 05.02.04 - 14:45:22

It's always difficult to assess such things... well at least in the Philippines.

While they try to push for new technology, or at least current technology, there are always reservations in terms of full implementation.

I know it's difficult to understand the situation in the Philippines.

A good example is GPRS.  While they try to push for GPRS here in the Philippines, they try to cut down on things which end up as a "neutered" service being offered to the subscribers.

There is a difference between how the public/users feel about it as compared to those who manage the telco.

Here, they try to market GPRS as a way to connect via WAP, or send and receive MMS. While it is possible to connect to the internet via GPRS, the telcos rarely emphasize such a point.

Recently I have found out that the telcos here in the Philippines have disabled certain ports which we consider vital ports for communication... I'm talking of Port 21 used for FTP.  Apparently, even if I am on GPRS, a supposed faster alternative to CSD, I am unable to connect to any FTP site to upload content!!!

I try it with CSD and it works! It works but it is painfully slow!

Well, I am starting to believe that there are several cultures here that should now merge... the Wireless Culture (Telco culture) and the Internet Culture... This is the only way we can move forward and improve on existing technologies...  Testing isn't only in the lab... it's out there... in the open world.

As for what is really needed... I think a fast, affordable means of data connectivity is needed.

I'll go for GPRS, EDGE, or 3G for WAN,

Wi-Fi for Internet hotspots and LAN,

and Bluetooth for PAN to control my devices.

Internet and Email will share top spot for me followed closely by IM.

Mabuhay!!! ~ Carlo

Posted by Timothy Huber on 05.02.04 - 16:52:11

Interesting results that make a lot of sense.

The importance of Bluetooth over Wi-Fi reflects the mobile nature of a PDA. Wi-Fi access is limited to specific hot-spot areas, such that, for example, while I certainly use Wi-Fi at home or office (and sometimes Starbucks) it is of little value on the train.  But with Bluetooth and a Bluetooth cell phone, I can connect just about anywhere (even if it is slower than Wi-Fi).

GPRS importance may be an issue of flexibility or model availability. I have had several PDAs but just one with GPRS, the XDA. It definitely was not a power user device. Not enough RAM, only a SD slot, and not the greatest form factor for a phone.  While the XDA II definitely improves on the power user aspects and offers bluetooth headset to improve on the form factor, it comes at a much higher cost. There's a fair bit more flexibility in upgrading the PDA and cell phone separately.

In any case, the ranking of the applications bears out the fact that PDAs are not yet ready for full "always on."  Apparently PDAs are used to pull info down from the web and email rather than provide an individual with ongoing "presence" on the net.

Most importantly, perhaps, this survey very clearly shows that PDAs need to be connected devices, whether it is by Bluetooth, WiFi or integrated GPRS, etc.  I bought a CF Wi-Fi card for my Jornada four years ago and never looked back. While an electronic organizer is useful, and connected device opens up a whole range of functionality that make a PDA an excellent investment.

Timothy Huber

PS I'm currently running a Toshiba E800, connecting via Wi-Fi at home and the office, and via a Socket Bluetooth CF card to a Ericsson T68 or Nokia 3650 for GPRS connectivity.  I use the device for browsing and email, rarely do I log on to Messenger. I also have an XDA running a beta T-Mobile's US WM2003 update, which I may consider using more when GoodLink 3.0 is available for Windows Mobile devices.

I seriously considered the XDA and the future hp all-in-one, but the VGA display on the e800 made me drool and I was hooked.

Here's my ideal device: VGA display, integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPRS/EDGE, 128MB RAM, SD and/or CF slot, bundled with a Bluetooth headset.  We'll see what the future brings ! smile

Posted by jayson on 06.02.04 - 09:22:39

Contrary to others, I have never used Internet Explorer because of the charges imposed by our telcos here in the philippines.  The price is just too steep for my standards (they charge per kb).   I also seldom download email on my device unless really necessary.  Until reasonable charges are put up... I'll keep on avoiding using IE.  The possibility of connectivity is there but the costs are just getting in the way.

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