'Always On', 'Flat Rate' GPRS Is A Myth

If there’s one thing that the wireless industry is especially goood at, it’s overhyping and underdelivering technologies. This article takes aim at the “myth” of always-on, flat-rate GPRS services. As for the always-on part, most users have found that the signal is constantly dropped for a variety of reasons. One GPRS device maker has even stopped touting “always on”, and is now referring to it as “frequently connected”. Personally, I’ve experienced the same thing with my Danger hiptop/T-Mobile Sidekick. It’s constantly losing its data connection, no matter where I am. The second issue is the “flat rate” aspect, which is used, in part, to appease those who would normally be annoyed by the constantly dropped connections. As the article points out, even the “flat rate” is misleading. Orange has basically said that they’ll offer a flat rate as long as you don’t use too much. What is too much? That’s up to Orange. Here in the US, where T-Mobile is offering a “flat rate” for the Danger device, the fine print says it’s only a flat rate for a year, and then they’re going to start charging ridiculous fees.

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