Matt Hamblen

When in doubt with wireless, use Ethernet

February 26, 2012 6:01 PM EST

Sometimes older technology works better. 

 At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Sunday night, HTC announced three new smartphones in the One series, with its One X running on fast 4G LTE wireless.  However, the room of reporters arrived at a sports arena in downtown to find that hundreds of chairs were lined up for the announcement event and each had been equipped with a neatly coiled up Ethernet cable.  

Clearly HTC was leaving nothing to chance, hoping reporters would quickly publish stories and pictures using the Ethernet instead of sometimes stubborn Wi-Fi or even 3G from modems.  Or maybe the venue just wouldn't work well with Wi-Fi or 3G given metal in the building and other unfriendly surfaces.

Some reporters sighed in relief that they wouldn't need to rely on spotty and slow Wi-Fi, having just come from a Sony event elsewhere where that was indeed the case.   

Ironically, several reporters cursed aloud that while they loved the Ethernet connections, they didn't actually have an Ethernet port on their laptops to take advantage of it. And they cursed themselves for forgetting to bring along an Ethernet adapter.  Chalk up another one to adventures in wireless!

One reporter said he did rely on  the Wi-Fi that was there, and used a word to describe it that cannot be repeated here.

It's not fair to condemn a wireless conference that has vendors showing wireless devices who can't trust the wireless networks they run over.  But really, this kind of thing happens all the time at major events like MWC and CES and it's been happening for years.  Makes you wonder.