Friday poll – choose one: integrated WiFi or WWAN


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If you could only choose one integrated radio for your mobile computer, which would it be?
WiFi   WWAN (EV-DO or HSDPA)   

I mentioned this yesterday, but the more I think about it, the more I think a poll might be in order. When I had my UMPC cracked open yesterday for some RAM swaps, I was looking at the PCI Express mini slot that holds the wireless chipset. I know that some EV-DO and HSDPA modems use the same PCI Express mini factor and was thinking about which would be more important to me: integrated WiFi or integrated WWAN? Everyone’s needs are different of course, but when I’m out and about, I’m usually not at or near a WiFi hotspot, so I’ll be voting for WWAN. I could live with a smallish USB dongle for WiFi at home if I needed to; having lower bandwidth speeds but increasing connection availability by magnitudes is more appealing to me personally.

Have at it in the voting for a few days and we’ll report back what the mobile consensus was!



I say wwan, just because I wanna see you modify your q1 ;) Also, couldnt you put a wwan radio in place of the cf card? Like on the q1b hsdpa?


For the last three days I’ve been getting 200KBps (that’s bytes not bits) off Cingular HSDPA with my XU870 in my MBP C2D 15.4″.

And that’s at my desk located 50 feet inside a building with 3 feet thick exterior walls (I only get 3 out of 4 bars.)

That’s better than I get at Starbucks via Wifi.

I’ll take the HSDPA card.

Chris Magnusson

For financial as well as geographic reasons*, I voted for Wifi.

*stupid #$&! canadian carriers think those of us outside of the #$!@ big six canadian cities don’t $%#@ want or need &$#@ high speed ^!@& cellular data. &%@$ grumble #&$@.

Anton P. Nym

I’d love to have EVDO/HSDPA, but can’t afford the access plans. So I voted for Wi-Fi.

Now, when a truly mobile WIMAX platform comes out I’ll be looking very carefully. We’re getting a WIMAX system set up in Canada by the two leading ISPs as we “speak”, and the prices on those plans are FAR more reasonable than the mobile carriers’, but the receiver needs AC power to run. But get one that works off battery (and isn’t the size of a phone book) and I’ll be very tempted.

— Steve


If money was no object, I’d go with WWAN. Since this is not the case, I’m going to have to go with WiFi. Then again, if money was no object, I wouldn’t buy a machine with only one radio :). Heck, I wouldn’t buy only one machine!


I vote for Wifi for cost.

Personally, I could never justify the costs of WWAN.


No matter what, can’t give up on the wifi – it’s the only method of secure, fast wireless network connectivity in the workplace or at home – particularly in healthcare. WWAN tech changes too often, costs more, is still too slow for heavy VPN usage, the accounts aren’t always *really* unlimited, and I hate being locked to a carrier. I’d rather see small USB WWAN solutions so you can swap out at will with new tech releases. Not to mention, it’s really nice to be able to swap between computers. Like when I was able to borrow my boss’ EVDO PCMCIA card for a weekend when it wasn’t in use, and use it on my own machine. :) Personally I’ve also done bluetooth/usb tethering with my phone, which many people still seem unaware of, and eliminates the need for additional hardware and account complexity.


I voted for WiFi, but what I really would have voted for is WiMax. Current Data phone plans are just abusive. WiMax is faster and cheaper.


Short-term, wifi is simply more useful to me. Long-term, I see phones acting as all-in-one communication devices that will act as routers that provide mobile Internet access to our other devices by connecting to the phone via wifi (or cable/dock).


Basically I’m with Kevin; I would prefer WWAN because I’m usually out and about from the office 80% of the time. I could always get a CF WiFi for the Q1P for when I would need WiFi.

Stephen Feger

Although I voted for WiFi, I have to say that I only voted that way because of cost.

While I personally prefer EvDO, I prefer it because I can tether via bluetooth to my cellphone to get the necesary access. The idea of integrating into the device for me, a consumer, is simply too expensive. Having another data device to pay for (and at a higher rate) in addition to the data plan I currently pay for on my Treo 700P is too much. So the versatility and lower cost is more beneficial than the convenience of integration and slightly high speeds.

On the other hand, WiFi, while not always readily available, is frequently useful in that I am often in the same locations where WiFi access can be obtained (Home, Office, etc.). On the other hand, those are the same locations where I have access to a full computer, thereby negating the need for a UMPC/small laptop.

So my personal answer is the non-existant option C, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR. If it doesn’t have that, then I would not buy it.

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