Mobile experiences from Mumbai

Quite beside all my other experiences and insights derived from spending 3 days in Mumbai last week, I did have a good try with mobile technologies. Here’s a quick summary:

– mobile access via Blackberry – check (though I am feeling a bit nervous about what the bill is going to look like). Roaming service was EDGE provided on the most part by Hutch, now part of Vodafone

– mobile access on laptop via HSDPA modem – check, but I rarely dared use it for fear of roaming charges.

– there was no Internet access at my hotel despite it having been advertised. Indeed, the only Internet within walking distance was a computer in a nearby shop. I had to travel to get full-speed Internet on my laptop.

– many businesses had a “Walky” telephone, which was essentially a mobile phone for office use. Looked like a desk phone, no wires, big aerial.

I did purchase a local pre-pay SIM, so I now have my own Indian phone number which is a bit cool. Setup was straightforward for calls, and pretty cost-effective, about 2 rupees per minute for international calls, as long as I took out the international calling card option – which I did. Topups could be done just about anywhere, retailers who lacked terminals had a clever scheme where they could top up my phone from a phone of their own – now that’s what I call mobile! Strangely, despite being with Vodafone, the service showed up as “Orange” on my handset.

Unfortunately GPRS access could not be set up in time before I left the country, due to the time needed to process my ID. Oh well, hopefully this will be working for next time! 

Mobile experiences from Mumbai

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