InfoWave--arming the road warrior
by Alan Zisman
(c) 1996. First
published in Computer Player, June 1996
188-4664 Lougheed Highway
Burnaby, BC V5C 6B7
You?re a Road Warrior. Your business takes you from
town to town, making
deals as you go, but needing to stay in touch. You count on technology
to make that possible. You?ve got your portable computer, your cell
Perhaps you need InfoWave, from Burnaby's GDT
InfoWave is a hardware and software package providing
across Canada, using Cantel?s Mobitex network.
In the box, you get a couple of disks, and a Megahertz
modem. This is a big improvement over the hardware of just a year or so
ago?then, GDT was distributing a wireless modem made by Scandanavia?s
that was about the size of a cell-phone from five or more years ago? it
worked as advertised, but no Road Warrior wants additional bulk to haul
Instead, now, you get a standard-sized PC-Card, which
can plug into
virtually any modern portable computer?Windows PC, Mac Powerbook, or
Apple Newton, as long as it has a PC Card (PCMCIA) Type II clot. At the
end, there?s a box to hold a standard 9-volt battery (there?s a
9-volt included, which can be recharged right off your laptop), and a
antenna? and that?s all it takes to make the connection.
Along with the hardware, and Mac and Windows
there?s a postcard for setting up your account with GDT. They act like
any other Internet Service Provider, but with a difference? you can
your account over the phone lines, as with other ISPs, but also, using
your wireless package, when on the road. InfoWave wireless coverage is
available across Canada, in a growing number of metropolitan areas.
are similar services in the US).
The base cost for the account is $59.95 per month?more
typical personal Internet accounts, but perhaps worthwhile as a
expense for our far-travelling Road Warrior.
As well, you can, for an added charge, use your
faxmodem to send faxes
through InfoWave, anywhere in the world. The cost is $1 per page
in Canada, $1.50 for the US, and $3 per page internationally.
If you?ve been using a modem connected to a
cell-phone, making long-distance
phone calls to an Internet Service Provider back home, or paying hotel
add-on charges to send a fax, you may find that you?re saving quite a
of money, using this service instead.
Unmentioned anywhere in the package is a bit of a
communication, inevitably, is more prone to errors than more
phone connections. As a result, don?t expect to get high-speed 28.8
internet connections. In fact, I suspect that the Megahertz PC Card
modem, like that big old thing of a year or so ago, is designed for
bps access. Not really what you want for multimedia Net surfing, but
fine for using e-mail to keep in contact with head office, and with
network of business contacts.