Like many road warriors, I have come to realize that WIFI coverage is much less prevalent than I would like – especially when in transit: in a train, car, etc. Also, I have been repeatedly annoyed by hotels charging me up to $29.99 per night for Internet access when I am staying in an already expensive room.
I was ready for 3G. I bought the Wireless Broadband card from Verizon the very day it came out a few years ago and have been happily using it for $79.99 per month for unlimited data ($59.99 if you also have voice plan) ever since.
That said, given how much international travel I do, I have been using a quad band AT&T phone as my regular phone for voice calls. After my Motorola Razor died one time too many (4 times in 6 months!) a few weeks ago, I got an AT&T Sync (a Samsung SGH-A707), one of AT&T’s first 3G phones. I also got AT&T’s $19.99 / month unlimited data package for the phone. AT&T presumably introduced it to promote AT&T Video and browsing on Media Net (AT&T’s Wap portal). The side benefit is that you can connect your notebook to it either via BlueTooth or USB cable and get unlimited 3G connections for the same $19.99 / month!
In places where AT&T has HSPDA the speed is spectacular. 3G coverage is not as good as Verizon’s but improving by the day and Edge is actually usable. You can make phone calls even while the phone is being used as a modem. I also love watching Jay Leno or Comedy Central clips when I have a few minutes to kill in a cab.
I like the service so much I returned the Verizon broadband card. Now if they could introduce unlimited international 3G data roaming, everything would be perfect! (Note to AT&T: I would be willing to pay $99.99 / month for unlimited international 3G data).