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Mobile Computing Shines in Trinidad

A trip to "the Island of Spice" leaves Jim feeling positively zesty about wireless connectivity outside the U.S. While more Wi-Fi service would be nice, GSM and GPRS seem

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For this expedition, I went armed with a laptop equipped with Wi-Fi and a BlackBerry 7230. As with all my travels, I needed to keep up with my business and family as well as communicate with people in the local area.

While on the plane heading down there, it would have been nice to have Internet access onboard the relatively long flight. I believe that this will eventually come to all airlines, however. In fact, Germany's Lufthansa airline recently expanded its service on international flights. Other airlines are beginning to follow with similar service.

Similar to my experiences in other overseas places, there were no data ports on the phones at my hotel. Internet cafes were available in the semi-local area, but they were difficult to reach because of the need for a taxi and the very heavy traffic in the local area. A citywide Wi-Fi service would have come in handy to interface my laptop with the Internet.

In the United States, many cities are deploying metropolitan area Wi-Fi networks. In fact, Chicago recently threw its name into the hat. In Trinidad, around the Port of Spain and its surrounding towns, a nearby mountain range is a perfect vantage point for illuminating much of the area, which consists primarily of single-story buildings, with Wi-Fi service. But I'm not sure if that will ever happen.

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