Covering a show like Mobile World Congress (MWC) presents a few challenges, least of all getting through the fiendishly tight security cordon. I've got two 'new' bits of technology with me here in Barcelona, both aimed at making life a little bit easier.
Datawind is hoping to attract the interest of consumers unfamiliar with its Ubisurfer brand with a seven-inch tablet PC under the £100 mark that includes free internet access for a year.
Launched at The Gadget Show Live 2011, the Ubisurfer Touch 7 runs Android 2.2 and has a multi-touch screen. Notably, Datawind has been careful not to use the term 'mobile broadband' in relation to the free web access, as the device supports only the GPRS data network. This network is limited to 14.4Kbits/sec, which is about the same you would have got from a dial-up modem from years gone by.
Datawind insists that compression software supplied with the tablet will give users a "3G-like experience", but with even the slowest mobile broadband services hitting an average of 1.73Mbits/sec, and figures in the range of 2 to 3Mbits/sec for the UK as a whole, this seems a bold claim.
It's good that Ofcom has finally decided to address the controversial ‘up to' broadband speed advertising issue.
As is the decision to bring in a new Code of Practice this summer with a new rule that would allow consumers to terminate a broadband contract that is ‘significantly' lower than was advertised to them. But how anyone without a degree in advanced maths is going to work out if this will apply to them is beyond us.
Ofcom told us the person's ISP will tell them if they are allowed to end their contract; we seriously doubt most customer service personnel will be able to work this out.
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