N97 24/7 Debrief: A Reality Check on International Roaming

Data Log

So it looks like a grand total of 765.75 MB of data was used by yours truly on his N97 24/7 tour across the USA. That’s probably an inconsequential number to my new American friends and their unlimited mobile data plans, but had I not been loaned an AT&T SIM Card for the trip I would have had to pay for all those ones and zeroes myself — and at 3¢ per kilobyte I’d be on the hook for almost $230 CAD from my carrier!

That’s not to say that Nokia’s flagship N97 is at fault here; quite the contrary, in fact — this latest version of their smartphone OS has a spiffy feature called Destinations, where you can group and prioritize a number of Internet access points into a single scenario. I’ll let Jonathan Greene explain it in more detail

Here are some additional tricks you can use on your S60 device to get more with less data:

1. Use Opera Mini & mobile-optimized sites – I still don’t buy into the perceived need for fully-rendered web pages on a mobile screen, and WAP Review’s Dennis Bournique would agree with me, I think. Check out his excellent site for a running list of the best mobile-friendly pages out there, and rest easy knowing that should you ever need to click through to a big, bloated URL, Opera Mini will scrape the extra crap off of your plate and serve up only the stuff you want.

2. Use Ovi Maps with Map Loader – I’ll freely admit that I used Google Maps much more than the Nokia version while travelling the United States, but if I had to pay for my own data it would have been an entirely different story. The killer app for maps and stingy travellers is Nokia’s Map Loader, which lets you download maps of entire continents onto your device, so that when you’re abroad you only need a GPS connection, which doesn’t cost you a dime.

3. Take Qik offline Qik really proved itself on the tour as a killer multimedia app. But live streaming video to the internets doesn’t come cheap. There is a neat little trick that Matt hipped me to, however, that will save you money and make your Qiks look better — from within the app select “Go offline” from the options menu; your recorded video will be temporarily stored on your handset until you hit a WiFi hotspot and can go back online. Data roaming costs = zero; coolness factor = intact!

I myself will be making use of these tips later this year on a little excursion of my own. More on that in a future post! 😎

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About Andrew

Mobile phones, Linux and copyright reform. Those go together, right?
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