Saturday, August 23, 2008

My Holiday Experience

This year we took our family holiday in Kos.

I did not have my mobile on all the time but I did use it someone of the time. 

The first thing that I was interested to discover was that my connection in the Hotel was with Turkcell rather than a Greek network.  In Kos Town I was connected with Wind and in the more rural areas I was on Cosmote.  Whilst I know that the order in which I connect when roaming is a function of the relationships that my Network has with overseas providers I was surprised to discover that when I was in Greece my primary connection was with a Turkish network.

Text messaging was not functioning as well as I could have hoped.  Messages were delivered out of synchronization.

In my Hotel WiFi connectivity was to a satellite services rather than DSL line.  This meant that timing was everything if you wanted a service that worked.  Try and get online between 19:00 and 22:00 local time and you were likely to discover that the service was patchy.  If you connected between 10:00 and 15:00 the service worked well.  This meant that Email was as reliable as my SMS.  

Given that the fixed Internet was so poor I would have been happy to try the Mobile Broadband however I could not get a connection that was any better than GPRS.

Looking at some of my fellow holiday makers use of mobile was interesting.  Most seemed to feel that they were on Holiday and so did not carry their mobiles with them.  At the end of a day by the pool a number could be found catching up on voicemail before heading for Dinner.

The most interesting group was the children holidaying with Parents.  A few took a phone call to inform the other that they were in Greece and saw that they cut the call immediately thinking that they were being charged  for an International Call.  

From my observations I say that Mobile Networks need to do more planning of network coverage.  Turkcell have planned a network for the 1.5M who stay in Bodrum in the holiday period; whilst the Greek Networks are working on the 20-30K who live on Kos in the Winter.  An intelligent network could see base stations deployed for the high season and then placed in sleep mode.  The incremental revenues would be profitable as they would be predominately holiday makers who were paying roaming rates rather than a flat fee.

The experience of the youths shows that pricing is still something that is a dark art.  Better information needs to be sent to those arriving in a new country so that they do not experience  bill shock.

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