Karachi’s Wireless ‘Hot Spots’
Having only just returned from holidays abroad, you tend to start taking the Internet for granted a bit. Then slowly, as the jet lag wears out and you become re-accustomed to the power outages, heat and general all round chaos, you start to recall that your own 54 mbps DSL connection accessed via a sleek Linksys router, places you in a quite an elite category. Unlimited Internet connectivity, with wires let alone wirelessly after all, is not a luxury everyone in Karachi has.
In such a situation then, when most of us Internet users are still dreaming of reliable (and affordable!) broadband, talking about wireless connectivity may seem far fetched. But much to my surprise, Karachi’s isn’t as isolated Internet connectivity wise as I expected it to be.
This month’s Spider Magazine came up with a useful list of all of Karachi’s WiFi “hot spots” as they’re called (pg 119), and many of us may be surprised to see just how many of them exist. From educational institutions (IBA City Campus, Bahria University and SZABIST) to shopping malls, hotels and restaurants (Park Towers, Sheraton, Marriot, Sassi Arcade, Purple Haze) to even our good old Quaid-e-Azam International Airport can boast of 802.11g and 802.11b WiFi.
Too bad my laptop battery was down both at the arrival and departure times of my recent travels, otherwise I could have tested the facility at the airport out. Only God knows how it may compare to the snail-paced free PTCL Internet facilities on offer at various departure and arrival lounges inside Quaid-e-Azam International, but at least it exists, and its existence alone is quite significant.
Other hot spots, according to Spider’s list, also exist at the Synergy offices at Uni Plaza, Stadium Road and E-XS in Block 2 P.E.C.H.S. Have any of you ever had the chance to try out any of these hot spots? How was the experience? And what is your take on the future of wireless Internet in Karachi? Do share your thoughts.