Are WiFi-only tablets and mobile devices impractical in hotspot-starved African countries?
August 1, 2012 Editor 0
One disappointment with the new Google Nexus 7 tablet is the lack of 3G connectivity. It only has WiFi and some people wonder if that makes it impractical in developing countries where hotspots are rare and mobile data the primary connectivity option. I would humbly submit that laptops are usually also WiFi only, yet that doesn’t stop people from buying and using them with great utility.
Recently, Mister Mobility faced the same dilemma in Nigeria: how to access the Internet when he only had WiFi capable devices. He came up with two solutions that are both practical and simple:
Mifi: I make sure that I have a mifi device and subscribe to a data plan at only this point, which I share with laptop, tablet, and smartphone. Problem solved.
Hotspot on Smartphone: Or I ensure that I always have an Android smartphone in my kitty, subscribe to a data bundle on that, and share with tablet and laptop. This is what currently works for me.
And that’s what can work for you too. In fact, a WiFi-only tablet or laptop can actually be a better investment than buying a WiFI + 3G enabled iPad or Android. Why? The price difference between a 3G-enabled device is usually much greater than the cost of a Mifi – which can be used for other devices too.
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