My first 3G video call....
I made my first 3G video call today. And you know to whom I made it to? I made it to myself. :-)
It was only today that I first got a stable 3G signal, and this was along White Plains as I was driving to Pasig. Curious to see what the fuss is all about, I made a video call to my other line, and for all the hype and delays this technology has been getting, it was a pleasant surprise to see it actually work. Of course, I kinda looked stupid making a video call to myself and staring alternately into two phones, but the video was surprisingly less choppy then I expected it to be. Video conferencing via 512 kbps DSL was choppier in comparison. Or maybe PLDT's DSL service simply sucks.
I tried browsing the internet via my mobile phone's built in internet browser, but it did not really seem significantly faster than ordinary GPRS. Maybe it has something to do with the way my phone is configured, or perhaps Globe still has a number of kinks to work out. I'll reserve judgement on this feature for now.
Unfortunately there are still a lot of holes in Globe's 3G coverage. The signal reverted to conventional GSM somewhere near the end of Green Meadows, reappeared briefly along Ortigas, then disappeared altogether by C5 going to the Skyway and finally along Shaw Boulevard.
Going in the other direction, the 3G signal reappeared somewhere along Meralco Ave., and remained constant throughout EDSA and East Avenue. It disappeared again, this time for good, along Commonwealth Avenue going to UP.
So, the coverage isn't good yet, and not that many people use 3G handsets.
I guess it'll still be a while before video calling becomes as common as texting. It is nice to know that you have the service, should you want to avail it. But given the lack of coverage, the very small number of people I know who own 3G phones, the even smaller number of 3G owners who subscribe to the same network I do (I'm not sure if inter-network 3G video calls are possible at this time) much less the people I actually want to see while calling, for the moment 3G video calling is a solution in search of a problem. Emphasis on for the moment.
It's nice to have, granted, but it's not something you may find useful, at least, not yet.
But that's bound to change in the future.
In a few months time, especially when 3G handsets drop in price, it may no longer be a rare sight to see people holding a mobile in front of their faces while yapping away. Who knows? Sooner or later, video calling could be as ubiquitous as mobile voice calls or texting.
And somehow, I think it'll be more sooner than later.
Well, whatever happens, this technology certainly gives new meaning to the term eyeball. :-)