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Old 4th January 2009, 13:51   #1
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Default Mobile Browsing: GPRS v WiFi

My friend recently bought a phone which has a web browser & WiFi. He is planning to get into 'browsing on the move' big time, during his daily journey on the office bus. He is contemplating on:

1. Signing up for a Data plan from Mobile operator
2. Signing up for a WiFi plan from WiFi service provider

Would like to know which option is better for reliable, fast and cheaper for browsing.
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Old 4th January 2009, 14:00   #2
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there are no Wi Fi service providers. there are at the max some Wi Fi hot spots where one can browse, they are mostly free or you can set up wi fi at your home using your exisitng net connection

your friend may be confusing it with WiMax- I dont think phones support it yet

a data plan from a mobile operator is probably the only feasible option

Last edited by greenhorn : 4th January 2009 at 14:09.
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Old 4th January 2009, 14:06   #3
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WiFi is faster than GPRS.

I don't understand what you mean by reliable. Also, am not aware which ISP provides WiFi available across the city such that it can be used in the office bus.

I use GPRS on my phone quite routinely. The only time I use WiFi is when I am at home and am lazy to turn on the laptop or I am in a public place (such as Coffee Shop, Airport Lounge, etc.) where free WiFi is present.

GPRS is adequate for most mobile computing needs, such as browsing the Internet, checking mails or to be used along with GPS (for loading Google Maps).

Edit: Just saw Greenhorns post so yeah WiFi is not available across the city. Also, IMO it is a overhyped feature as one rarely gets the opportunity to use it.

Last edited by manveet : 4th January 2009 at 14:08.
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Old 4th January 2009, 14:20   #4
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Does his office bus have a WiFi router? If not, his option is only GPRS/EDGE. End of dilemma.
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Old 4th January 2009, 14:20   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manveet View Post
IMO it is a overhyped feature as one rarely gets the opportunity to use it.

wifi is definitely not an overhyped feature my friend. a wi fi router costs rs. 1700 and there is nothing like opportunity. its very very convenient and a great thing to have at home. more convenient to check mail in a jiffy at home, as opposed to without it where one needs to remove the laptop/start the desktop and wait for eons before it starts!
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Old 4th January 2009, 14:35   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankmehta View Post
wifi is definitely not an overhyped feature my friend. a wi fi router costs rs. 1700 and there is nothing like opportunity. its very very convenient and a great thing to have at home. more convenient to check mail in a jiffy at home, as opposed to without it where one needs to remove the laptop/start the desktop and wait for eons before it starts!
Dear Frank, I meant WiFi in a mobile phone, not WiFi in general. So, mentioning router prices is irrelevant as we all agree that WiFi is a great thing. At home, for serious browsing, I use my Laptop (through WiFi) which doesn't take eons to boot up.

I am keen to understand advantage of WiFi in a mobile phone.

For e.g, inspite of having WiFi available at home, I still use GPRS on the cell to check email in a jiffy. The total time taken to download email via GPRS is about 4-5 seconds whereas via WiFi it is at least 15 seconds. This is because first I have to activate the WiFi whereas GPRS starts by default when I click on Send/Recieve in Outlook on the phone.

Last edited by manveet : 4th January 2009 at 14:37.
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Old 4th January 2009, 14:36   #7
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why activate wifi? when you are choosing the connection, choose the wifi instead of the gprs access point!
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Old 4th January 2009, 14:42   #8
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During daily commute on Data plans are the only option untel and unless they have wi-fi router in bus.

OT:Above all even ISP have understood the convenience of Wi-Fi and already started deploying in place of normal modems. Airtel is already in to process of replacing all the normal modems with Wi-Fi one, VSNL-Tata has stopped giving wired internt plans and shifted all wired plans to Wi-Fi one.
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Old 4th January 2009, 14:43   #9
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8 out of 10 time one checks email on the cell when they are neither in office nor at home (for e.g. at a party, or market, or driving somewhere). This would mean again changing the setting to GPRS, returning home and changing to WiFi - too much of a pain considering that actual download time for email via GPRS is 4-5 seconds. WiFi may reduce it to 3-4, not really a critical advantage.

p.s.
Nowadays GPRS is quite fast and reasonably cheap. I pay Rs. 100 per month (fixed price) for unlimited download.

Last edited by manveet : 4th January 2009 at 14:50.
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Old 4th January 2009, 14:47   #10
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+1 to wi fi at home. if your phone has wi fi , then you can browse much faster than you can with gprs/edge( provided you have a fast vroadband connection) you probably dont even have to get out of bed, and possibly only lift a few fingers
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Old 4th January 2009, 14:54   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
+1 to wi fi at home. if your phone has wi fi , then you can browse much faster than you can with gprs/edge( provided you have a fast vroadband connection) you probably dont even have to get out of bed, and possibly only lift a few fingers
Are you being hypothetical or do you actually use this feature?

I have broadband WiFi at home and also a pretty decent cell (with Touchscreen and QWERTY keyboard). But given a choice, would you browse/post on Team-Bhp via your cell or via your computer.

Edit:
Perhaps Desktop Users may have an advantage due to the mobility, but if you have a laptop you can get that to bed as well

Last edited by manveet : 4th January 2009 at 14:56.
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Old 4th January 2009, 14:59   #12
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i dont , but a friend of mine uses his psp to browse all the time despite there ebing 3 desktops in the house

I do have wi fi at home , but cant afford a phone which supports it - was quite impressed using one at home though. as you said , it may not make a big difference for laptop users though
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Old 4th January 2009, 15:00   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manveet View Post
Are you being hypothetical or do you actually use this feature?

I have broadband WiFi at home and also a pretty decent cell (with Touchscreen and QWERTY keyboard). But given a choice, would you browse/post on Team-Bhp via your cell or via your computer.

Edit:
Perhaps Desktop Users may have an advantage due to the mobility, but if you have a laptop you can get that to bed as well
You are missing the point.

I have WiFi at home. And a 15.4" laptop too along with the N82. Every morning when I wake up, I dont switch on the laptop just to check mail. I instead use Google Mobile for the same.

So, while the mobile isnt really an exact replacement, it makes life a lot easier
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Old 4th January 2009, 15:09   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fountainheader View Post
You are missing the point.

I have WiFi at home. And a 15.4" laptop too along with the N82. Every morning when I wake up, I dont switch on the laptop just to check mail. I instead use Google Mobile for the same.
No I am not missing the point, because every morning when I wake up, even I use my Cell for checking mails. .. Difference is that you use WiFi and I use GPRS.

You probably prefer WiFi because you are using Google Mobile and I am using Outlook (POP) - For you the time differential between WiFi and GPRS is much more than for me. I have to make two clicks and mail is downloaded. Total time is less than 4 seconds.

Both of us are right, I think we can safely say that preference for WiFi/GPRS is a function of the type of Instrument and what Email applications one uses.

Last edited by manveet : 4th January 2009 at 15:11.
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Old 4th January 2009, 15:21   #15
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manveet,
I use Wi-Fi.. because its free
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