It’s also worth remembering that 1.8Mbit/sec is just the tip of the HSDPA iceberg – next year we should see a jump to 3.6Mbit/sec and by 2008 7.2Mbit/sec should be available. Unfortunately it looks like current hardware won’t be compatible with the 3.6Mbit/sec standard, so an upgrade will be necessary. However, T-Mobile informed me that the 3.6Mbit/sec hardware should be compatible with the 7.2Mbit/sec standard. To be honest, I wouldn’t let future standards put you off the first generation of HSDPA, because it really is a massive step in the right direction for mobile workers.
If there’s one thing that T-Mobile has done really well over the past year or so, it’s offering great deals on data contracts. But even by T-Mobile’s own standards, the offer that it has put together for the Web “n” Walk card is truly outstanding. If you take out an 18 month contract you’ll get the card absolutely free. Then for £20 per month you’ll have an amazing 2GB download limit – which blows all other data card tariffs out of the water. Add to this the 12 months free T-Mobile hotspot access and you’ve got a bargain of epic proportions.
Plus, if you’ve bought a Web “n” Walk card recently and are worried that you should have waited for the HSDPA launch in August, don’t. The current hardware is actually HSDPA ready, so as soon as T-Mobile switches the service on, you’ll be able to enjoy the faster speeds at no extra cost.
As a big fan of existing 3G data cards I was never in any doubt that HSDPA would be impressive, and I wasn’t disappointed. Using the Web “n” Walk card on T-Mobile’s HSDPA network really is like using your ADSL connection at home or in the office – it really is THAT fast.
But even the best technology can fall flat on its face if the pricing is wrong, so it’s good to see that T-Mobile hasn’t just met my expectations in this area, but actually surpassed them by a wide margin. At £20 per month for pretty much unlimited data, a free card AND 12 months free hotspot access, the Web “n” Walk card looks like it could be the bargain of the year!
”’Update:”’ Since publishing this review I have discovered that T-Mobile does not allow either VoIP or Instand Messaging activity on its Web “n” Walk tariff. While I can accept T-Mobile not wanting masses of VoIP data to flood cells, I see no reason to stop IM usage. T-Mobile says that it will have future tariffs that will allow IM usage, but for now I have been forced to adjust the scores and award for the Web “n” Walk card.
”’Note:”’ Unfortunately the Web “n” Walk card doesn’t currenly work on Mac OS, but will aparently work on the Windows partition if you’re using BootCamp.
”’Note 2:”’ An eagle eyed reader has informed me that the Web “n” Walk card will work with a Mac running Mac OS if you use the launch2net software from Nova Media. It costs about 80 Euros but does allow Mac users to enjoy HSDPA goodness, although the Wi-Fi part of the card still doesn’t work. Thanks for the info Glenn.
Score in detail