GPRS Frustrations

So far, I’d say that the next generation wireless web is just not there yet.

The speed is glacial, connections are not exactly always on, and there’s been more fiddling than should be required.

At this point, I can:

  • Establish a gprs connection if I have just rebooted both the phone and the pda.
    I can make multiple connections from the computer, just not the pda.

  • Keep the connection going for hours, blocking incoming calls
  • Websurf to anything other than port 80
  • Check email

What I can’t do is go to anything on a web port, because t-mobile redirects all access through their proxy. This proxy is supposed to speed things up, but I’ve yet to have it return a page in less than 5 minutes. Pages requested on non-standard ports (such as Radio Userland’s 5335) work in seconds. Slow, and modem like, but they come up. I think I could fix this by installing squid on one of my machines at home, but I’m pretty sure T-mobile does not expect their customers to be setting up their own proxy servers so that they can get some surfing done. And if they do?

And the speed. … I’m not actually how this is any better than using the single channel 9600 baud modem in the cell handset.

I expected to do some work to get this to work. I expected that there would be ‘non-standard platform’ issues. But so far the payoff for the work has been pretty minimal.

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