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Three Telecom Accessories Worth Considering

Laptop-toting advisors could benefit from these products.

Joel P. Bruckenstein, 03/09/2006

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In this month's companion piece, I look to the future of telecom, but even today there a number of tools that can be worth their weight in gold to the mobile financial advisor.

If all you need to do while traveling is check your e-mail, these items won't help you, but as we come to depend more and more on Web-based applications, a PDA will not be able to substitute for the power of a laptop. Here are just a few ideas the laptop-toting advisor should consider:

Cellular Broadband Service

I recently had a hand in organizing a technology conference for advisors in Florida. On the very first morning of the conference, at least two of the speakers were planning on incorporating live demonstrations of Web applications into their presentations. Unfortunately, the hotel's Web service provider had a serious problem, and for a few hours, the hotel's network was dead. Not a good start to a technology conference!

If the broadband service had not been restored (which it was), it would have caused serious headaches for some , but not for those who could access the Web through a high-speed (EV-DO) data service from Verizon Wireless or Sprint PCS. While not yet universally available, Verizon Wireless offers this service in 60 major metropolitan areas. Sprint PCS offers a similar service using the same EV-DO technology, but its coverage lags Verizon's at this time. Cingular has just started rolling out Broadband Connect with a potentially superior technology called HSDPA. It can carry higher speeds and carry voice and data simultaneously (EV-DO cannot), but it is not yet widely available.

High-speed cellular broadband service not only offers redundancy on the road, it can serve as a backup to your primary Internet service provider at home and in the office. If there is one constant with regard to technology, it is that glitches occur from time to time. With so many of us being so reliant on the Internet these days, doesn't it make sense to have multiple points of Internet access? 

For frequent travelers, cellular broadband is becoming a necessity. With hotels frequently charging up to $15 per day for high-speed Internet access, and many airports charging $7 to $10 per day, the $59.95 major wireless carriers charge (when paired with a voice plan) is not all that expensive, although I wish it was even cheaper!

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