Triangle Trip

Tag: wifi pass

Virgin America In-flight Wi-Fi (Gogo) Experience

by on Jun.04, 2009, under Airlines

Seeing the promotions about Virgin America (VX) Wi-Fi aka: Gogo, I had to test it out its on-board Internet service.  The first thing was to book a Wi-Fi enabled flight.  Fortunately, the majority of Virgin America’s flights are Gogo-enabled, and Virgin America’s aim is to enable all their planes by the end of summer 2009.

The cost plan for Virgin America Wifi (Gogo) is as follows:

  • $12.95 for flights of 3 hours or more
  • $9.95 for flights less than 3 hours

Now for actual speeds, I ran a couple tests from different sites:

Realistically, I browsed a few sites for my own testing purposes.  Virgin’s WiFi download speeds are great.  ESPN and CNN loaded within a few seconds.  Hulu and Youtube could stream video without any interruption.  Upload speeds on the other hand were slow, I tried to upload a 2MB file, and I had to stop it because it took long.

Overall, the Gogo connection is good.  I would pay for Virgin’s Gogo on-board Internet service for a longer flight.  My flight was only an hour and only about 30 minutes of actual use, but anything longer than 1 hour of actual use, I would consider to pre-occupying myself on a Virgin plane.

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Cost comparison between hotel wifi and mobile broadband

by on Mar.23, 2009, under Business Tools, Business Travel, Hotels

Most hotels charge $10 to $15 per night for Internet service. Furthermore, the Internet connections at hotels are spotty – especially wireless connections. Companies and consulting firms generally reimburse their employees for in-room Internet access because it is work related or expects the employee to be doing something billable when they are in their hotel rooms.

If you are frequent traveler staying at hotels and accessing the Internet for at least 5 nights a month, you have enough budget to get a mobile broadband card from Sprint or Verizon for the same price ($50 a month). The mobile broadband cards from Sprint and Verizon offer faster service and allow you to access the Web or your corporate network when your clients doesn’t allow you on their network. Additionally, you can access the Web and your corporate network while you’re idle at the airport or at a Starbucks. A full day Wifi pass at an airport or Starbucks is around $10.

So internal finance team or auditors, you need to wake up and smell the coffee. Let your consultants and employees charge in the $50 a month for a mobile broadband card because it actually saves your company and clients money. Five Internet access at a hotel, Starbucks, airport or any where for paid wifi will pay for the mobile broadband card monthly fee (of $50). Clients should also realize they are paying their consultants less when they reimburse for mobile broadband cards vs paying for the nightly Internet charges. I have used this business case at my prior employer and was able to get this through the corporate bureaucracy. I urge our readers to try the same. FYI, I own a Sprint card for nearly 3 years and love the freedom of mobile broadband.

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