Continuing our look at the top things business look for in a mobile device, today we start getting into some technology areas that come up on the list. Battery life was highest, however a close second was mobile device “in-the-Field” connectivity or 3G or data or whatever people are calling it these days!

What does connectivity mean?

Lets break this down into something meaningful. All these terms mean the same to me:

  • WAN (Wide Area Network)
  • GPRS, 3G, 4G
  • Data connectivity
  • Field data connectivity
  • Modem connection
  • Phone network
  • Mobile connection

We hear a different version every week too!  Basically what we’re talking about here is the ability to send and receive data form a mobile device whilst on the move, not within a WiFi network or connected to a PC.  The device is relying on the phone network to send and receive data directly. Most people call this 3G so that’s what we’ll settle on in this article!

Now that’s sorted out when we scratched deeper on this the following subject areas came out.

Understanding the differences

This was all about businesses trying to understand the different types of 3G, GPRS, 3G and 4G. Basically most of you don’t but most importantly the worry here was that you weren’t able to make a decision on the type that was best for your business now and in the future.

Connection expectations

Following on from above the next big issue we saw raised was all about what each type of data connection delivered and what you should expect from it.  We’ve seen a shift in question here which used to be all about speed when 3G cam out and superseded GPRS. Now however there seems to be a general acceptance of data speed as all of use it with our own smartphones, so the questions tend to lie around coverage instead. 4G brings this to a head as no-one seems to understand exactly where you can get it.

Technology costs

The next big issue we saw raised here was about the real costs of 3G, especially 4G.  Many businesses we spoke to simply didn’t understand how having a 100 MBit connection but then having a price plan that didn’t really allow you to use it, would work.  People seem scared to bite the bullet because they think they’ll get fleeced, especially if they build a business model around something that can fleece them!

Future technology resilience

The last main issue was about business being able to choose technology that fitted now but also in the future.  Key to this is being able to buy a device with GPRS, 3G and 4G capability so that having old hardware would not be an issue.  However many devices don’t give you this option in the rugged world so you have to be careful.

So there’s 3G for you. Hopefully that insight has helped you understand that you’re not alone and also the main questions you need to be asking your rugged pda and network supplier.

As always comments welcomed!

About The Author

Dave's one of the founders of Raptor, his rants are memorable, his thoughts are stimulating and his heart is set on helping, entertaining and making things like mobile, Android, ruggedness, 3D printing and IOT simple.

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