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Wireless Utopia

The journey towards a free wireless world.

Wireless In Goa

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I recently took off to Goa for a break. I was visiting after a gap of two years and was alone this time around. Here're some notes I made during the trip.

Twitter is definitely a great tool for lonely travelers. Here's my archive. I used it throughout the trip to post updates. The only thing it lacked was a easy way to upload your photos directly from the phone. Would have been great! Still I could not figure out why its the hottest thing right now in the valley. Maybe because its one way traffic for me. With more friends following and more interaction, I can see the point.

The GPRS service worked flawlessly through out. I used Airtel Mobile Office. The last time I was in Goa, Airtel did not have its own network. It used Idea's network there. And the SMS's I sent to activate the service would not reach Airtel since I was roaming. This time it just worked. It was slow and painful, but it worked. Even in the beach shacks. And into the sea. I was missing my Nokia Tablet. Would have been perfect for the trip.

The surprising thing was that GPRS never broke down on the road! I took a bus (KSRTC Volvo) and I was checking my mails from some obscure places deep in South India. Gives you a kick when you can do that. And speaks volumes on how the mobile operators are moving aggressively into the rural areas in India. Good job Airtel!

Another interesting this was the availability of Cell Id everywhere. It kind of gave me an sense of where I was on the road. And I had an eureka moment. How about a mashup between Google Maps and an mobile app which records the Cell Id as you go along. I would be able to trace the route of the journey which I'd really like to because the bus made the trip in 14 hours flat (fastest ever in all my 5 trips till date) and I want to know the route. It would also be able to tell me how far I am from the destination next time around. And it would also record which places I had been to during my trip which again would be a nice thing to show off to my friends. Better still have a Facebook app for it, spam your friends with it and get back at them for ditching me. :) Would be a nice weekend hacking project. Anyone up for it?

I am really glad that I have integrated all my mail id's (around 5 in total) into Gmail with mail fetcher. It was a lifesaver. The J2ME app for GMail worked flawlessly I was able to check all my accounts at one place. Thank you Google.

Goa is still a very cheap deal. For a comparison a KF pint is for 40 bucks. So is Old Monk quarter. The food in the shacks is just great, especially the sea food. Reasonably priced. The Condolim, Calangute, Baga stretch must have over 200 beach shacks. So lots of choice.

Surprisingly I saw very few iPod's or iPhones in Goa. Most of the tourists in Goa were European. But still no iPods at all. Forget about laptops. Did not sight a single one. Maybe because of complete lack of WiFi hotspots. But this time I did find a place which offers WiFi. Its called The Indian Kitchen (98221 49615), off Calangute Baga Road. Five minutes walk from the beach and not very expensive. They had a broadband connection and charges were Rs. 100 per day for WiFi. So thats where I'm gonna stay the next time. :)

Finally, the KSRTC Volvo bus service rocks! I recommend it highly.

The only thing I did in there was drink, eat and sleep. In that order. And man, it was soooo good. Its the best place to unwind and relax.

Tags: Goa, Wireless, Travel
posted by Rajiv, 7:50 AM


Man you make me so jealous. Planning to go back to goa since long, but somehow it never materializes.

BTW the idea of cellid-google map is really good. You can also store cell-id with clock time to chart complete time chronology of the trip.

Lemme know if you or someone is able to do that.

Said Blogger Rishi, 12:06 AM  

cool. will let you know when its ready.
Said Blogger Rajiv, 12:21 AM  


I am a Goan and I am in love with Goa. Having lived a couple of years outside Goa I've had a lot of people bombarding me with questions about Goa. That's what prompted me to start off with a website on Goa. And also coz I love writing this website is one thing I sure am looking forward to...

I just read your review about Goa and I will be honoured if you could add a review on my site too. Registration is very simple and am sure you will have fun. So, please log in to www.reviewgoa.com and leave a review.

I'm sorry I did not get your name. Do let me know it..

Hope to hear from you soon....



Site Admin

For those who visit Goa Bussiness or
pleasure trip.. my past experience
with Wi-Fi services..only hot spot where anyone can surf-browse..etc is in Margao..the place is called Jumbo Cybernet Hub,behind BIG G shopping mall. Great place for privacy on ur lap-top and charges are Rs.30/-p.hr download allowed conditions apply.
Said Blogger Cruz, 3:31 AM  

who would take a laptop to beautiful Goa. It is supposed to be a getwaway!!
Said Anonymous Anonymous, 8:24 PM  

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