January 19, 2010

Takeaways from traveling

I have had the opportunity to enjoy a 3-week trip to Australia over Xmas time. In addition to swimming trunks, sunglasses and short-sleeved t-shirts, I took my "technical" equipment with me. A couple of quick takeaways:

(1) I really need to be connected. I haven't watched tv, I haven't spoken on my cell much...but I have really longed for an internet access all the time. Not from a laptop but, more importantly, from my phone. I can survive easily sending emails rather than calling, I like updating my Facebook status and uploading pictures, Google maps is a life-saver, mobile access keeps you entertained while waiting for the bus... No doubt, I do need it.

(2) My Storm sucks. This is nothing new, though. In addition to being slow and battery-consuming as hell, the installed applications (from Facebook to Google Maps + push email) will not work with another carrier, even if your phone is unlocked (I guess this applies to all Blackberries). I still find this hard to believe. I am sure there is a way... but it is not user friendly, at least for me. I had to access everything through my browser. A pain in the neck. Hope Android and Apple do a better job at this.

(3) Telcos are dinosaurs. They do operate in a lively sector, they are supposed to provide state-of-the-art new services, they are at the forefront of technology... but at the end of the day they are dinosaurs. How is it possible that a global company such as Vodafone -my service provider in Spain- cannot offer me a better deal in Australia -where it is present- than any other carrier? Rather than global companies, they are a sum of local ones. Same thing applies to the Telefonicas and Oranges of the world, I pressume.

Had Vodafone offered me a good deal, I would have gone with them while in Australia. On the contrary, by not giving me the unlocking code, they forced me to go to Storm Unlocker (check it out, really cool, quick and effective, and even featuring Paypal) and switch to another carrier instead.

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