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Digital cellular phones allow for easier log-ons

Jan 1, 2003
From Ocean Navigator #82
May/June 1997
This is in response to the recent letter by Michael Frankel regarding the use of land-based e-mail when in port ("Voyager works to find e-mail connections," Issue No. 78).

In the letter Frankel describes the trials and tribulations of connecting by e-mail. First, it sounds like connecting to CompuServe is more complicated and requires more digits than connecting to America Online (AOL). I use AOL, and its GobalNet has local numbers in nearly every country.

At any rate, an even better approach is to use cellular telephones. As most countries are installing cellular services, the equipment is brand-new and doesn't suffer the problems of old land lines. I have an English digital (GSM) cellular telephone, which will work in nearly every country of the worldexcept the U.S. It is data enabled, and as long as the local cellular network is data capable I can send e-mail from my laptop wherever I am without trying to find a local connection to land lines. In England, France, and Portugal I was able to send e-mail from the boat, up to 20 miles at sea. Not all countries have data capability, but the number that do is increasing. Maybe you meet fewer people, but cellular is far simpler and consumes no time.

Erick Reickert, a former auto industry executive, sails an Oyster 55 and recently voyaged in southern England and along the Atlantic coasts of France, Spain, and Portugal.

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