By Craig Lowe, Managing Director at execMobile
Whether you are traveling for business or for pleasure, mobile connectivity is now a must-have. Ensuring that you will have reliable Internet access on your travels – anytime, anywhere – is arguably now as important as getting your visa and passport ready.
Yet for any traveler today, relying on static Wi-Fi at a hotel, coffee shop or branch office simply doesn’t cut it. Given our increasing reliance on mobile apps such as Google Maps, Uber and WhatsApp, connectivity when mobile has become essential.
Take the business traveler, for example. On arrival, he will immediately want to check his emails. Indeed, he will need to be responsive to emails throughout his trip. When leaving the airport, chances are he will turn to Uber to get to his hotel or first meeting. If he is a trader or financial services professional, he will likely be linking into Bloomberg or Reuters feeds and possibly logging onto trading portals.
Without mobile connectivity, none of the above would be possible. Our business traveler would have to wait until he gets to his hotel (via a conventional cab) before he can check in with colleagues and resume working or trading. And as most business travelers know by now, hotel Wi-Fi is not only outrageously expensive, but connections are usually substandard and pose serious questions around security.
Let’s not forget about the leisure traveler. When he travels, apps such as WhatsApp, Instagram, TripCase and Google Maps are indispensable. No one wants to lose out on an opportunity to post travel pictures, in real time, to Instagram and Facebook. Posting pictures after the fact – back in your hotel room – simply isn’t rewarding anymore. And having the ability to FaceTime, Skype or Viber chat with your friends from the Rugby World Cup, for example, is part of the whole experience. In short, mobile connectivity is now a key part of any trip.
Avoiding Bill Shock
One of the unfortunate consequences of travelers’ growing reliance on mobile connectivity, however, has been bill shock. Unless they took the trouble to buy a local, prepaid SIM card (which comes with a host of security risks), most travelers (business and leisure) are still relying on data roaming services for the all-important mobile connectivity. Yet as has been well documented, this often results in travelers receiving nasty bill shocks from their mobile network providers on their return.
Having recognised this trend, we are striving to provide travelers with another option. This option is what we have termed ‘Pocket Wi-Fi’ – essentially carrying a secure, affordable and reliable Wi-Fi connection around with you, wherever you go. This solution comes in the form of a credit card size, lightweight device and both pre-paid or post-paid data bundle packages.
With Pocket Wi-Fi, mobile connectivity is a critical box that can be ticked before travelers board the plane. Instead of having to stress about data charges or look around for prepaid SIM cards in a foreign country, the savvy traveler can simply land, call up an Uber, and continue with his day – enjoying the same quality of mobile connectivity that he is accustomed to back home.