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Wireless access - Is it just size speed that matters?

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Reader Poll Modern wireless network technologies for remote access are increasingly offering greater bandwidth. But is it just speed that's important when considering the requirements of different types of application from a mobile connectivity point of view?

If you have ever tried to run interactive applications over a traditional 3G (UMTS) data card, for example, you'll appreciate that network latency can have a significant impact on usability. Then there is the question of coverage. In an ideal world, we all want the fastest and snappiest connection wherever we happen to be, but sometimes you may have to settle for a lower performance alternative (e.g. GPRS or dial-up), or even manage with no connection at all.

Against this background we'd be interested in how important these various factors are when considering the requirements of different types of user with different types of device. So if you can spare a few mouse clicks, it would be great if you could participate in this week's mobile poll below:

READER POLL

1. How important are the following when considering the mobile connectivity needs of notebook PC users for remote access to systems and applications?

Availability of high speed connections in typical "hot spot" type locations (airports, railway stations, motorway/freeway service stations, hotels, coffee shops, etc)
1 - Low
2
3
4
5 - High
High speed connection coverage across other locations (client sites, roadside lay-bys, the beach, etc)
1 - Low
2
3
4
5 - High
High speed uplink as well as downlink
1 - Low
2
3
4
5 - High
Low network latency
1 - Low
2
3
4
5 - High
Pervasive low speed connectivity (e.g. GPRS) available in most locations as a fall back
1 - Low
2
3
4
5 - High
Connectivity on trains specifically
1 - Low
2
3
4
5 - High
Multi-network support (cellular and Wi-Fi)
1 - Low
2
3
4
5 - High
User convenience when selecting/switching between networks (e.g. cellular/Wi-Fi)
1 - Low
2
3
4
5 - High
Stability of connections (continuity and consistency of performance)
1 - Low
2
3
4
5 - High

2. Is there anything else that you would regard as particularly important for notebook PC users?

3. What about mobile access from handheld devices for professional (white collar) users? How important are the following for that?

Availability of high speed connections in typical "hot spot" type locations (airports, railway stations, motorway/freeway service stations, hotels, coffee shops, etc)
1 - Low
2
3
4
5 - High
High speed connection coverage across other locations (client sites, roadside lay-bys, the beach, etc)
1 - Low
2
3
4
5 - High
High speed uplink as well as downlink
1 - Low
2
3
4
5 - High
Low network latency
1 - Low
2
3
4
5 - High
Pervasive low speed connectivity (e.g. GPRS) available in most locations
1 - Low
2
3
4
5 - High
Connectivity on trains specifically
1 - Low
2
3
4
5 - High
Multi-network support (cellular and Wi-Fi)
1 - Low
2
3
4
5 - High
User convenience when selecting/switching between networks (e.g. cellular/Wi-Fi)
1 - Low
2
3
4
5 - High
Stability of connections (continuity and consistency of performance)
1 - Low
2
3
4
5 - High

4. Other important requirements for handheld use by professionals?

5. Regarding blue collar applications such as field service and logistics, would you say?

Network coverage is more important than speed of connection
Speed of connection is more important than network coverage
They are both important
Neither is important, offline use with occasional or no connectivity is fine
Not relevant to us

6. How many employees do you have in your organisation that connect to your systems or applications from a handheld wireless device for business purposes?

None
1-10
10-50
50-250
250-1,000
More than 1,000

Thank you, we'll report back at the end of the week.

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