1 week in the future

I've been using the UMTS phone for the last 1 week. Unfortunately the coverage for the service is quite sparse. Sparse is not even the wod to describe it. There are a few different vendors testing their equipment using the same MNC code here in KL, so in some areas you get a signal but can't log on since all the networks are not connected together. As for me, my network is just in my office and along a major highway. Obviously the phone (Motorola A835) is quite a bulky phone with quite a lot of functions. The most important are the 2 dial buttons, one for voice calls and another one for video calls. Since the calls are free (at least I dont know how much it costs) an this is 3G mobile, I've been trying out just the video calls so far. The quality of the voice is very good while the video is like one of those streaming video you get on the internet with postage stamp sized image and about 10fps. If you move around a lot you'll even get a bad bunch of MPEG artifact. Well, video call is using a 64kbps circuit switched bearer anyway.

The Motorola includes a browser that works a little like WAP on steroids. Since this is a demo network the applications are not that useful. I've used the live TV (only 1 channel for now), live traffic camera and some movie trailers. Its nice novelty for the first week but I dont see how someone would want to check out movie trailers on the move. The TV is quite useful, can already imagine being stuck in the traffic jam and tuning into live football on the 3G terminal.

As for web browsing, tried out Yahoo! mail on the phone screen, but its difficult to log into the mail service on a phone keypad. Took at least a few minutes to do just that. the navigation with the A835 joystick is quite awkward and I've not gotten used to navigating a webpage with it.

There's no application today on the demo network to book things like movie tickets or buying your lottery ticket. Nothing very interactive and seems to be a download or streaming related services for now. Seriously, after a few days on the UMTS network I don't think I'll miss it too much if I give it up.

Basically I've not found my killer application yet. nothing to tell me that i NEED to have this 3G service. I still think that the screen size of a mobile phone is too small to do any useful surfing on it.

Click here to see the phone in my gallery.