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Going Online Using the EDGE Network

Not near a hot spot? With this network, that's no problem.
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This story appears in the October 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

When Wi-Fi just isn't flexible enough for you and your laptop, there is another option. Sony's VAIO T-Series notebooks come ready with built-in SmartWi wireless WAN for accessing the internet over Cingular's high-speed EDGE network. You can jump online anywhere covered by the EDGE network without having to make an awkward cell-phone connection to your laptop by cable. This could be a service worth checking into for on-the-go entrepreneurs who frequently find themselves some distance from the nearest hot spot.

We took the $2,300 VAIO VGN-T350P out for a spin and found the notebook itself to be a sleek ultraportable. It's a feather-light 3 pounds with a DVD writer and a bright 10.6-inch display. Getting online is a snap with the connection manager, and toggling between EDGE and Wi-Fi networks is simple. The 135Kbps speeds over the EDGE network may not sound like much compared to your office bandwidth, but it's enough to download e-mail and upload photos. The price is $50 a month for 50MB of data or $80 for unlimited use--a bit much on top of all your other wireless bills, maybe. But entrepreneurs who crave the flexibility should be willing to dig a little deeper.

Edition: May 2017

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