It's been a while folks, and my blogging has drizzled to a crawl. Not for lack of wanting to, or for lack of trying but more because I've been a bit busy with some insane travel--consider this. In the past two weeks I've been in Los Angeles, Seoul (ok, an airport stopover), Hong Kong for six days, London for five, Lyon for two and today, I'm off to Madrid for five days, then some rest/catchup time in three cities in Portugal before a weekend in London and a trip back to Los Angeles to get home for all of three days before heading off to Seattle and SF for four, meaning, by the time the Thanksgiving Holiday rolls around I will have been home all of 6 nights since October 12th.
So, with all this travel I'm staying connected using a variety of services-for starters, client Truphone's SIM in my iPhone 4S worked very well in London and the USA portions of my trip, delivering as promised local caller ID, local rates and insane data speeds in London. I also fooled around a bit with SIM's from Three and T-Mobile, getting a Nano SIM for my iPhone5 and realizing that LTE on the iPhone5 in the USA vs. 3G in the UK is really different. In Hong Kong, buying SIMs was easy. Too easy. Getting SIMs from CSL, 1010 and Three took like two minutes per store. No ID checks, no waiting and really, really informed sales people. I even scored a cut down to Nano size SIM from CSL and between GoogleVoice and the 15 hour time difference to the west coast, I think I spent a whopping dollar to make calls back to the USA the whole week I was there as most of my calls, either conference or one on one went via Skype or using TurboBridge over SIP of Citrix' GoToMeeting.
You see, what I needed more that voice I learned being so many hours off from my core base of contacts was data, and that's where my experience has shown me is the important part of what you buy. For example, when I first arrive in Portugal, I'll top up my SIM cards with Vodafone, so I have some connectivity while heading to where I'm staying. But once I get settled, I'll switch to TMN for my iPhone and Optimus for my iPad because their data plans are better (meaning more data per day).
I've also used more Boingo of late in hotels and airports, as their iOS apps are kicking butt and taking locaton names. For $7.95 a month for two devices, I'm pretty much avoiding consuming data charges when I first get off a plane, and before I've put a local SIM in--in Hong Kong and Seoul though, Wi-Fi was not only free, but SUPER, SUPER fast.
Here in Lyon, as wake up and write, the brand spanking new Novotel Confluence hotel uses the Orange network to connect. They offer lightweight, free connectivity of a $9.99 a day unlimited plan (in Euros) that's worth it. Skype, SIP and streaming media all work, vs. the other plans that only let you really use a web browser. Speedtests show I'm getting a legitimate T1 or so of my own, in both directions, with no latency. The same was true in Hong Kong in both InterContinental hotels I stayed in. I get free Wi-Fi as a Royal Ambassador, but even at $15.00 or so a day, the connectivity was hovering near 10 megs symetrical my entire stay.
Over in London, I finally found a hotel I can call home there, the new South Place Hotel, not far from Moorgate and Liverpool tube stops. Great Wi-Fi and in room wired connectivity, quiet rooms, and amazing, personal service. I'll be back there twice in the next few months and already are looking forward to another great stay.
So to sum up-I'm staying connected via:
Citrix's Go To Meeting
Irony being what it is, four of those have been clients or are my agency's clients. It seems we know who to choose to work with, and why.