Thursday, July 1, 2010

Is Wireless Internet Now Essential?

Is wireless essential now?  There are more mobile warriors than ever before.  I consider anyone who carry a PDA, laptop, or any mobile device and swears by it a mobile user.  But I wonder if wireless Internet is an essential part of that mobile experience.

I had a short discussion with my cousin overseas who managed to lay his hands on an iPhone 4 and was blown away with the FaceTime feature, the video chat feature that Apple is promoting heavily with iPhone 4. He was amazed by what you can do with the iPhone.  I think he would have been amazed with a Windows Mobile or Android device as well.  After all, his previous experience with mobile is a work issued Blackberry that he uses for e-mail purpose only.

We concluded that mobile Internet, while convenient and even essential for some folks, is merely a luxury for the rest of us.  To be honestly, I don't need my 3G connection for work but I love having it.  It isn't as if I am going to miss anything if check my tweets or Facebook at home instead of on-the-go.  And my blog posts can wait until I get  home and upload them once I am in range of a Wi-Fi network.

Then I discussed, not quite jokingly, with Dave the Mobile Warrior about giving up wireless Internet for a short duration just to see how it feels it to be "cut off" and not connected all the time. And right now, I am writing this post on my work PC while watching Happy Town on the Wi-Fi only iPad tethered to my G1.  So my conviction isn't as strong as before being able to enjoy full use of the iPad.  

I guess what I am saying is that mobile communication through telephony, not VOIP, is going to be the main communication for quite some time and I can appreciate the convenience it offered and why folks are getting rid of their landlines.  However, most people are fine without mobile Internet.  

And if I do go through with this experiment of going without wireless access, I don't know how long I'll last before I'm begging for my 3G to be switched back on.  I know that there are people who think any notion of going without 3G access insane.  

So, what do you think?  In the iPhone age we live in now, is wireless Internet absolutely necessary?  Should I go through with this experiment?

Note:  I'm more inclined to give this a try if I can be certain that once I asked my 3G feature turned off, T-Mobile isn't going to come back and get rid of unlimited wireless Internet.

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