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Mobile solutions for a small office

I am looking at the best mobile technology for a small one office practice with about 10 staff, most of whom are out and about a lot of the time. Do we go for smartphones, iPhones, notebooks or laptops with 3G dongles - I'm not sure what the best way to go is. The wrong choice looks like it could be expensive, and would tie me in to a long contract so I'd be stuck. Anyone got any suggestions?
Nigel Harris

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28th Mar 2009 11:59

T-Mobile Business1

I would recommend you check out T-Mobile's "Business1" contract.

I've been on it for ages and find the inclusive European and North America minutes invaluable.
That, along with the totally free calls between users on the same account has been the best bit.

Having said that, they've recently changed the plan and if you opt for it now, you get free unlimited UK landline call, free unlimited texts, free calls to colleagues (on the same account), free voicemail and VERY cheap options for unlimited internet and e-mail.

I can wholeheartedly recommend T-mobile.

They have a dedicated buisness helpdesk with real people in UK call centres too.

Oh, by the way, I have no vested interests in T-mobile.

Regards

Roger Neale
Business Systems Consultant
07714 670 789

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26th Mar 2009 17:26

Use Nokia N95 as modem
I use my Nokia N95 as a modem for my laptop, and it seems to work fine. I pay about £6-7 per month for unlimited data with O2.

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By phoare
26th Mar 2009 13:32

Worth mentioning...
... that depending on your phone provider and the package you're on, you may be able to use your phone to connect your laptop/netbook to the Internet and thus can avoid the need for a separate dongle and separate tariff.

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24th Mar 2009 23:59

I'm sure others will have views
I personally hate the BlackBerry as I find typing on it a nightmare, but it depends on what your staff will need to do away from base. As a mobile worker, here are my observations based on experience :

1. Typing emails longer than a word or four is easier on a "proper" keyboard.
2. Having a smartphone / BlackBerry is great for "watching the **** hit the fan" as opposed to finding out about it later.
3. Picking up documents and looking at them is not really an option on a 3" screen.
4. Hotel internet costs are a robbery. (This is costing £15 to access)
5. Some dongle providers have rubbish coverage (Hence £15). Check your region.
6. Get the wrong contract on a dongle and you're talking mortgage money. Until I changed contract recently I was regularly paying £100 per month for out of bundle internet costs. Still cheaper than £15 a night but not much. My service provider's comment was "Oh you're on a really OLD contract type" but only when I phoned to ask. Now £25 per month unlimited volume (was a limit plus £1 per meg). Worst month PBR downloads cost me £165.
7. Best value for money is my monthly £5 to BT Openzone as part of my broadband package. Lots of motorway service stations, airports and train stations - also quite a lot of hotels. Some dongles (like T-mobile) give you this too - sometimes for free.
8. Best discovery - BT Openzone at Mcdonalds. Can get it in the car park at some - saves lurking for an hour with a coffee feeling guilty.

Finally, talk and think about what you need it for - mail, documents etc. I LOVE my smartphone (HTC TYtn II on Orange) which has a slide out proper qwerty keyboard and windows OS with word & excel on. Still has its limitations but great for picking up during the day - use laptop and dongle at night. Or Hotel swisscom for a fortune!

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