GPRS in (S)Pain

Guy Kewney spent a week in my world, and wasn't particularly happy about it. Part of the problem is his shitty hardware, the other problem is that Telefonica's GRPS does lack a bit. For the most part I've been happy, however, like crumbs to a beggar. ;-)

In its entirety:

Comment: Pain in Spain falls mainly on GPRS users

I've never felt sympathy for virus writers, but after a week of trying to work from Spain, it's apparent why someone might be annoyed enough with Telefonica to dedicate something destructive to it.

In theory, GPRS is alive and well all over Europe. And kudos to Telefonica for this, at least: it is one of the mobile providers which does actually offer a GPRS data service. After that, it gets hard to find kind words.

Part of the problem, it must be admitted, is Microsoft. I'm using an XP notebook, and a Windows Powered Orange SPV phone. But Microsoft, it seems, has never really understood serial communications. A serial comms link is a chain of events, and you have to be able to see right through them. But my Windows machinery simply can't seem to tell if the GPRS link is open, or whether there is a fault in the SPV phone, or whether the phone is not plugged in the right USB port (yes, really!) - it just reports an error in the remote device (modem) attached to the network. That would be the GPRS link, then...

And Telefonica? Well, it seems to be happy to switch GPRS off and on. The big "G" that indicates a 2.5G data link appears, then disappears. It seems equally happy to describe itself as the sole local network. There are in fact two others, Amena and Airtel, but Telefonica simply says it can't provide the information that would allow you to switch. And when you can get a GPRS line, it's a lottery as to whether Telefonica has a working DNS. No DNS, no link to the net. I had to use my own DNS machine in London. Not ideal.

At the end of a week of this mess, I'm not really going to write a Telefonica virus. That's only because I lack the skill, though. I'm annoyed enough to try.

I don't know Guy, get your self a real phone, then maybe you can complain. I have no sympathy really if you're going to try to use that POS device for anything real.


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