Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I'm in a car on my way from Zurich to Davos happily blogging on my T-Mobile gprs connection that is roaming over Sunrize in Switzerland. When I landed, I had trouble connecting to Swisscom, but "611" and two rings later, I was connected to a friendly T-Mobile support person speaking in English and she gave me other roaming partners to try. Sunrize connected without a hitch. In Hawaii, Frankfurt, Helsinki and a little hiccup, but one call later in Switzerland, T-Mobile has consistently kept me connected. Also, the support people have been EXCELLENT and I haven't had to wait more than a few minutes on the phone.

I'm a happy camper and I'm SOO glad I didn't pick ATT.


So, what will be the bill for GPRS roaming?

mobile data is a wonderful but misunderstood system. Mobile data is great for small amounts of data sent now and again (like text blogging, irc or text email). It is very simple and very reliable. It's not that expensive either, because you are only paying per byte.

It is basically not that great for multimedia applications though. Too expensive, not enough throughput.

wow, that's news. In Germany, good experiences with T-Mobile or T-Com are rare and mostly people bitch about the bad service and unfriendly personnel.

Interesting. This is just my personal experience. And it was a great contrast after the horrible experience with ATT.

I guess ATT and T-Com/Mobile play the same role in their home markets. And have the same understanding of customer service...

of all mobile phone carriers I used here in Germany, T-Mobile was the worst. Lots of reception problems, high prices. Switched to Vodafone about two years ago and have been satisfied ever since and roaming in Europe is no problem at all.

Egad. Maybe you should describe what kind of car you are driving while blogging so people can give you plenty of room.

Mixing cellphone with driving is bad enough, but blogging while driving?;-p

When you're the one driving, you should make audio posts with audblog. That way the confused people will believe you're a manish-sounding woman.

Joi... remember this post next time you get irritated with me for hanging up on you every 20 seconds while driving in San Francisco. Cause the company you're damning then is the same one you're loving now.

Some actors win Academy Awards, are called to the podium, and spend their 45 second message to the billion viewers thanking their agent. Others advocate for something. Davos is like that, a great opportunity to put a word to the world leaders. As an open thread, I'd love to see what 15 second message Ito-folks would ask you to bring to Davos, something that might fit on a t-shirt or a business card. If you were breaking bread the leaders of industry, of government, of NGOdom, what meme would you most like to spread?

Joi, I actually have enjoyed the same experience you overall with T-Mobile. Despite one pretty annoying customer service issue (which thankfully got resolved), I've found their customer service to be excellent and even friendly (a rarity in the telecom business, in my experience!).

I used T-Mobile when I was traveling around Europe, and was thrilled with the reception of voice calls and text messages... and also happy that T-Mobile has by far the least expensive international roaming prices (at the time, about 99 cents a minute for calls and 20 cents per SMS sent or received).

Granted, I've found a couple of bad spots here in SF with regards to reception, but they've been few and far between for me, and in general I get very strong reception on my old Treo 180 with T-Mobile.

Anyway, thanks for sharing your experience, and best to you in your Europe travels :)


zephoria. Agreed. Coverage could be better, but good customer support goes a long way with me.

I was not driving, I was in a cab.

Phil, both of the panels I'm on are talking about blogging to people who don't know about blogging.

My blog is more like the academy awards. My sessions here in Davos are like being at a family reunion where people say, "so I here you're into computers these days son, tell us about what you do..." ;-p

I totally agree with you. I've been very happy switching to T-Mobile's GSM/GPRS service here in the states (trying the same thing last year yielded unnacceptable coverage). Right now I've got their voice plan, their unlimited GPRS plan, and their unlimited WiFi plan, all on the same account (saving a lot by combining). What I like about T-Mobile ist that they realize they are a data provider, and not a phone pusher. They're one of the most flexible providers when it comes to allowing you to swap the GSM chip to other phones so you can do what you want /with your number/. And since they are the first to offer unlimited data connectivity over GPRS (at a reasonable price), and have good international roaming plans, they've really covered all the bases for business oriented users, beyond their old "toy" image.

Wow... an unlimited plan for WiFi + GPRS sounds like a dream for me... the only way I could imagine *really* working mobile - with a flat fee... unfortunately such a great thing is not available in Austria... sucks big times...

oh - an Joi - best wishes to Switzerland... and make sure you get the "Maestrani" chocolate - the best swiss chocolate available...


That's cool you can roam like that. I'm getting the T-mobile Sidekick 2 soon. I can't wait!

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Joi Ito was surprised to find T-Mobile extemely helpful in finding a Swiss mobile carrier who could support him with good GPRS access. He said: When I landed, I had trouble connecting to Swisscom, but "611" and two rings later,... Read More