Going LongLong for Wireless

By Emmanuel Narokobi

I’ve been hobbling along with my business for nearly 2 months now. Hobbling along in the sense that I’ve been hit with a serious work injury and although I can still get to where I need to with work, it just takes a little Longer than usual. And it’s a serious injury called ‘Having No Telephone At Your Office Injury’. Yes it’s a Long name for a an injury but the Long name may possibly signify the Long wait I have been awaiting for from Telikom to fix my landline and the Long list of unwarranted expenses I have had to inccur like extra mobile phone credits and web surfing at internet cafe’s which is just about to make me go LongLong?!!!

So now that I’m out on the streets with everyone else I’ve had to inspect nearly every decent internet access point in Port Moresby to just get my work done (and to update this blog of course). For starters I’m actually typing this up in Lae at the Melo, using Datec’s wireless SurfZone.pg service. Not bad at 54mbps, and at least I have the luxury of doing all this on a laptop in my room. (In case you’re wondering, I’m in Lae for a conference).

But back in Port Moresby I found the Sports Inn to be quite good. They get their internet from Telikom’s ADSL service and you can get an hours surfing for K12 or K9 for 30mins. Virtual Land in Town impressed me with their gaming setups and the huge number of PC’s to choose from so you’re not waiting in line which is what you can find sometimes at the Sports Inn. But they seemed as fast as my Datec dial up which is not too bad but you can notice the difference when you’re on Sports Inn’s ADSL service.

I had a look at the internet cafe at RH Hypermart, but I soon grew to detest it because they’ve locked the browsers so you can only look at one page at a time, which is very frustrating for someone like me who likes to have a number of pages open so I can flick through each one as the others are loading. The other frustrating thing with them is that they dont allow you to use your flash drives and when working on documents like Word you have to go out of the internet browser screen, work on the doc, then go back to the browser, which again as I said is just a waste of money if you ask me.

But my bestest public internet access experince was at the Holiday Inn, using Daltron’s Airspot service. Not only do you have a nice comfortable place to work from which is in their VIP lounge, but when all the other ISP’s seemed to be having issues (even Telikom surprisingly) 2 weekends ago, the Airspot service at Holiday Inn was going as fast as ever at 80-90 mbps. I’m sure Datec’s SurfZone is probably just as good out at Gateway etc as well, but I ended up at Holiday Inn because it was the closest place to my office in Gordons. The other great advantage of using a wireless service at a hotel is that you can log off to do work on say a Word doc before emailing it, so in doing so you save your internet time when working offline so you only go online when you need to but without having to be forced leave your seat like when you run out of time at an internet cafe.

But perhaps the most important point from all the places I tried out is value for money. I bought a K50 card for the Airspot and that lasted me a day and a half. That’s without any major downloads but just email checking throughout the day. Compared to internet cafe’s where you’ll spend over K10 an hour, it seems to me that you get more for your money with the Wireless setups at the hotels. But of course you will need your own laptop with a wireless card in built to it. But I would reccomend anyone running a small business to take this route for casual online usage.

So anyway just some tips and experiences on looking for internet Cafe’s in POM (and Lae). I also wrote on Wewak sometime back but let us know though if you know of any other good places around PNG to get online. Oh and with the hotels too you can at least have a nice cup of flat white with a toasted sandwhich while you’re working away. Now that’s something to stop you going LongLong! (for a while I guess)


12 thoughts on “Going LongLong for Wireless

  1. Manu….jst logged on to the site to see if you had already updated – and you already here in Lae..hey…. Technology speaks!!!
    am commenting via Datec Surf Zone and it is very very convenient… and will have the privilege of meeting up with Manu himself! –
    Manu is up talking next on his perception of the Business Industry – at the moment Misty Baloiloi is talking about his views on leadership… to the 2nd group of Leadership PNG Participants. Today being the last day of the Plenary sessions before the participants go out to do their Experiential Study Tours… newayz you’ll be updated about all that soon ey….. πŸ™‚

  2. Good post. Well done on the research Manu. You should put the data into a spreadsheet or something so people can easily find the different internet spots and their attributes (price, speed, no of computers etc)

  3. Thanks Manu for the tips on the affordable internet cafes in town (POM). I guess nothing can beat the deal that the World Bank Information Centre (Deloittes Ground Flr) in POM is offering. You only have to have a lap top and can connect to their WiFi for FREE and stay as long as you want !

    The place is open to students, researchers and the public on Monday-Friday 9.00-1.00pm (1-2pm lunch hour) and from 2.00-4.00pm.

    Those who do not have accessability to a lap top can always make bookings to use their computer facilities. Also FOC! What’s more is that there is also a coffee shop next door where you can also grab a hot cup of latte and some sandwich and cakes.

  4. Emmanuel,

    I guess it’s going to be a while before “wardriving”, “warwalking” or “warbiking” take of as a “sport” in Papua New Guinea (other than POM, Lae etc…).


    NB: If you aren’t familiar with the term “wardriving”… too bad!

  5. @ CCholai
    Okay back in POM now, my apologies did I say hello to you at the Melo? Thanks for the comments.

    @ Danger/Solo/Robert@PNG
    Well perhaps not exactly Wardriving, but you can’t blame anyone in PNG for not knowing what ‘wardriving’ is. Next time I guess I’ll take better note of other details like number of PC;s etc. But hell all this time I was driving around and paying for internet time, when I could’ve just gone to the World Bank Info Centre. Okay now I know….and everyone out there should know now…FOC WIFI at the World Bank Info Centre!!!! Come and get it while there aren’t any crowds…

  6. Yep Manu did say hello… u met up with heapz others also … i hope you enjoyed being a speaker at the plenary!! it was good!
    speaking bout wireless – just got back from kokopo for the LPNG NGI tour and u can get connected from nearly all parts of town – there are a couple of Datec surfzones also — not sure though where they sell the cards, so stock up when you go – there’s also OSP wireless at the domestic lounge (Jacksons) … is good – u never know how long u going to be there waaaiting!!! πŸ™‚
    thanks for the info bout the WiFi at Deloittes!!! will be there!! when in pom!

  7. “going longlong for wireless” quite an amusing title, yet very true just like yours. I do not know how fast Telco is going but our government needs to look at openning up our Telco.

    With only one gateway in this country and way to go out and come in you imagine, when Telco services is down. You can not have any internet access for days, unless your on VSAT. But how many people can afford VSAT? And mind you, cant even purchase your own VSAT you have to rent? Why cant we purchase in the long run its saves us some money. But we’re still using the Telco services so we still pay the Telco for service rental but enjoy some descent internet access.

    Telco charges are such that, even owning lease lines is a bit expensive if you’re just running a small internet cafe & trying to get a lease line can take you as long as a year or even more. Broadband wireless internet services from ISPs aren’t available every where. and ADSL, the much talked about you see everywhere, full colored page in the newspaper, in Paradise mags, is only available in POM & Lae as far as I know.

    I heard in Lae ADSL isn’t available to everyone, (“for those that dont understand – its simply that there are only 85 ADSL slots available for Lae folks and all that is full, upgrades are yet to happen, and this was info a couple of months ago.) You spend so much for an advert in paper about ADSL and broadband internet access, and the newspaper actually sells around the country for a service that is only provided in two or three provinces, awareness is great, ADSL service roll out is slower than a snail. So your back to dialup unless you want to purchase or rent a wireless antenna and have on top your house, for companies, maybe they can afford it, but for a small business it may stretch you a bit there, mmm so there goes broadband internet access. With the majority of people on dialup you can imagine, phone bills plus ISP bills.

    If you on a dial up, and mind you been on for a less than 30minutes is OK, but if your online, the whole day every week for a month, you would be amazed at the bills that can pop up.

    I am not trying to sound negative, but this are the some facts and are happening, I would like to see the internet become affordable and accessible to all, especially educational institutions. And institutions, especially some of our prestiges ones, their infrastructure so terrible it makes me sad even the availability of the internet to do research.

    If I am wrong I apologize, and if you must correct me, please do. As seen through my eyes.

    This country is yet to experience the full potential of the Internet.

  8. For those that don’t understand what ‘wardriving” is or “warwalking” and “warbiking” for that matter, it is for the instance of “wardriving” were someone is in a car or moving vehicle searching for Wi-Fi wireless networks using either a laptop or portable computer or PDA.

    The “warwalking” and “warbiking” are the same but instead of driving you’re walking or riding a bike or bicycle, and searching for Wi-Fi Wireless networks.


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