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Pay The Man: ATT 1 Gordon 0 April 8, 2009

Posted by gordonwatts in physics life, travel.

I got lost in Prague. My hotel was very near a central transportation hub with two very large tram stops on opposite sides of a corner. Instead of walking I decided to be clever and hope on a tram to my destination. About 20 minutes later I was totally lost. I got off the tram but I could see no land marks. The obvious thing was to get back on the tram, but what would have been even better would have been to look at a map. Of course, I was far enough out of the central tourist area that there were no maps on the tram stops.

Ah! I have a smart phone. It has a GPS chip. A few minutes later I knew where I was – not that far from where I wanted to be, just on the wrong side of a hill. How awesome is that?

It was pretty awesome until I checked my cell phone bill online. That quick fix required about 0.9 megabytes of data. And cost me close to 20 bucks!! Yikes! Imagine what would have happened if I’d actually left the cell phone going, receiving emails, etc.

I’ve been resisting paying an extra 25 bucks a month for cheap (limited) data access over in Europe. But modern smart phones are just too useful. The question is – will the limited amount of data (20 MB) be enough for one week of travel? Time will tell…



1. Chip - April 9, 2009

I think you can bring the off-shore features into effect month by month with ATT, at least that’s what I was told. Purchase it when you go. Cancel it when you get back. My son did exactly what you did in Canada, but used GPS a whole bunch (on his iphone). In fact, when he got back and realized his mistake…they enrolled him retroactively. So, they charged him that previous single month’s charge as if he had purchased the ATT foreign service, and erased the rest of the bill. I talked to them also and it’s indeed available month by month.

2. Gordon Watts - April 9, 2009

Yes, Chip – exactly. That is my current plan. I’m traveling almost once a month (this is what ahppens when you sign up to be a convenor)… the question is – how much will I use in one month? 🙂

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