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Aug 11 2015

Who can connect my cottage? I’m willing to pay! - Part 2

This blog is by Tarmo Virki at Nokia Networks. Twitter: @virki

Greetings from the island of Saaremaa in Estonia. It has been a cold summer in our part of the world - some say summer was June 14, others claim it was July 3 - the jury is still out. At any rate, the weather strengthened my resolve to sort out the dismal network connection at our summer house once and for all. But the logistics are no picnic. Not only are we located far from the closest base station on the edge of the cell, but we’re teetering on the edge of the country’s watery Baltic border. I’m sure my fellow cell-edge dwellers can sympathize.

So, as outlined in my previous blog, I mapped out my options: buying amplifiers online, securing a mobile broadband WiFi router with an extra antenna, giving national telco#3 a try. The latter has had the smallest network in the country and on our island, but the team took the time to check on this matter - and reported that an antenna on its closest mast pointed towards our village. Impressed with this good customer service, I decided to try out telco #3.

I went to the closest telco #3 store and picked up a prepaid SIM card with the latest package offer. Once at home, there were some anxious moments - but just a few minutes later, my wife's phone showed almost full signal. YES! We have connection. I am happy - although ordering high-tech equipment and playing with wires would have felt a bit more rewarding.  ;)  But the fun was still to come…

First of all, my wife was not impressed with the idea of handing over her smartphone for the entire summer so that it could serve as a hotspot. Nor was my outdated Android phone a viable option.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way

So I decided to try my luck with our old Nokia N9, which runs on unique Meego software. It already had a JoikuSpot app for sharing the WiFi signal, so I plugged in the SIM card - only to discover some odd plastic stuck on the SIM card holder. Apparently, the frame around the micro SIM which turns it into a mini SIM , was stuck! My DIY attitude urged me to disassemble the phone, but my DIY tools weren’t going to save me here… So off I went to a PC repair shop in the island’s capital city. Unfortunately, the workers weren’t willing to fix phones, but they did send a guy out the back door of a local factory who worked 15 minutes of magic and solved my problem, saving me significant time and money. And, happily, it all works! Two connections are up and running as I write and send this blog post.

Will there be a Part 3 to this saga?

Probably. With my family indoors much of the summer watching live TV, discovering new apps or enjoying Apple Music, our data consumption has easily hit 1 GB/day and counting. Our Nokia vision forecasts everyone to be consuming at least 1GB/day by 2020, so my 5 GB prepaid card package certainly won’t take us very far for very long...

Please share your thoughts on this topic by replying below – and join the discussion with @nokianetworks on Twitter using #NetworksPerform #longhotsummer #LTE.

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About Tarmo Virki

Tarmo Virki is responsible for Nokia Networks’ executive communications in West Europe. He can barely make calls and answer text messages on anything but his iPhone which he also uses for photography and chess on top of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc.