I’m heading to Portugal — Lisbon, to be precise — this weekend.
It will, I suspect, be nice to get some sun. If it’s anything like San Francisco was, fantastic. I managed to get a walk-about whilst I was in and out of meetings.
Alas, I’m not going to Portugal for the sun. Oh no. I’m heading there to meet a very large mobile company — amongst others — to talk to them about mobile communities, interaction, blogger relations, that sort of thing. Having become a rather demanding blogger over the past few years with a burgeoning industry following, it’s particularly interesting talking to companies in the sector who are keen to harness what’s rather inaccurately termed as ‘social media’. It’s not all about Facebook profiles.
While I’m there I’m going to check out some of the services upon offer and see how I get on.
I gather that my Vodafone Passport account will work. Apparently. You never know. There is a Vodafone Portugal company so one assumes. But then I made the mistake of assuming that when the company’s advertising at Heathrow Airport says ‘take advantage of Vodafone Passport when you are abroad,’ it would work in the States. Which is most certainly, certainly does NOT.
There’s quite a lot to look at in Portugal from Vodafone alone. They’ve obviously got a nice line of USB dongles. But what really caught my attention and brought the stars into line with this trip is their Vodafone Net PC:
There’s a Windows XP version and an EeeOS version. Both priced at 199.90 Euro.
I am definitely having one of those. That’s what I thought, anyway. Until I read more and picked up on the line:
PreÃƒÂ§o em vigor mediante aceitaÃƒÂ§ÃƒÂ£o de Compromisso de PermanÃƒÂªncia de 18 meses.
I’m willing to bet that ’18 meses’ is 18 months, right?
Arse. So it’s 200 Euro and an 18 month contract. Or…. is it 200 euro a MONTH?
I added it to my basket and… yeah… It’s charging me 200 Euro then I’m sure it’s about to ask for a monthly price plan:
Otherwise I’d definitely pick one up — and I’d get one for you too, right?
I’m quite liking the look of the Sony Ericsson ‘Branco’ handset too. 99 Euros and rather smart looking (if you forget the SE operating system):
Anyway I’m going to have a peer around. I’ll try out an array of handsets and see how they perform. We shall see.
The last major piece we’ve done about Portugal was actually the product of Ben Harvey. Ben used to write a weekly column on Friday loosely connected with mobile that often had me and a large following of users in stitches. In his column, he made it clear that he was not impressed with the place, not least the country’s communications infrastructure. This led to quite a lot of complaints – a few, if memory serves, from one of the embassies or commissions who picked it up via a Google Alert and took exception. Alas, we haven’t managed to coax regular columns from Ben, recently, on account of his a) writing a book and b) spending a lot more time at work or focusing on what he describes as ‘lovely ladies’.
If I’d had more notice I’d have invited the MIR Show team to come with me and produce a video from there. Alas it’s just a quick thing. If you’re going to Lisbon this weekend — or if you find yourself there, let me know, we could hook up and try and translate Vodafone.pt webpages?