Last week, Sony announced a deal with T-Mobile, that allows Mylo users free access to T-Mobile’s Wifi network, most visible inside Starbucks’ coffee shops, which at least for some of us represent “Office 2.0.”
Mylo, which stands for My Life, is a special device that allows users to instant message each other, make skype phone calls and do light browsing along with email. It sounds like a pretty promising, and has impressed folks at Skype Journal and my dear friend, Andy Abramson.
Since I am in “start-up” mode, I don’t have spare dollars to spend on new devices, I decided to borrow it from another friend, and test it out. It is a fairly decent device, but is quite expensive, about $350 a pop. I found the dependence on WiFi only quite restricting. For now I am happy with my Nokia E61 which has built in WiFi, has a cellular data connection (along with voice), and has lot more software options, and the price is comparable to the Mylo.
Nevertheless, you would think free WiFi at Starbucks should be enough to get people to spend on a Mylo. It is not such an idea. Not only are you buying a device that is limited in its appeal, but also, you are buying into a WiFi network that seems over taxed.
Every time I visit Starbucks, I find the network deplorably slow, and it requires mucking around with e-mail settings. If you see more than four people with their laptops open, people walk an extra block or two to find a more vacant Starbucks.
If you add casual Mylo to the mix T-Mobile WiFi networks would just get clogged. T-Mobile has to start upgrading its infrastructure, or else not cut those deals. That is not fair to customers who actually sign-up for monthly plans. What do you think?