Road Warriors

Keeping in touch while you're mobile is a must. Carrying a technology survival kit can help. Seasoned business travelers talk about what it takes to stay well connected and productive.

even from the back of a taxi speeding along at 70 miles an hour. Currently, Ricochet’s network covers 15 greater metropolitan markets in the United States. A wireless modem costs around $99 to $300, depending on whether it’s an external modem or an internal PC card, and the monthly cost to subscribe to the service is about $60 to $80 a month.

Airports around the country are beginning to offer more services for business travelers who want wireless connections while waiting for takeoff. For example, if you’re flying in and out of airports in San Jose, California; Seattle; Dallas; and Austin, Texas, you can use wireless high-speed Internet access service from Wayport Inc. (www .wayport.com). The Austin, Texas-based company offers the subscription-based service to travelers with wireless Ethernet cards in their laptops. Each link to the service lasts until midnight or until checkout time at a Wayport-linked hotel and costs less than $10. (You can prepay $49.95 for 10 hookups if you’re a frequent flier.)

OFFICES TO GO
If your technology crashes, or you don’t have a wireless modem, or you need space to spread out to work on a project, don’t despair. It’s easy to set up a temporary alternative office in an airport lounge, Internet kiosk, cybercafe with data ports, or even in a coffee shop or a McDonald’s.

Taylor is a veteran when it comes to creating temporary office space out of thin air. She’s pulled an all-nighter in a Kinko’s in New York, using every copier and computer from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.; she even set up shop at a McDonald’s in the Eaton Center in Toronto for three hours to finalize a deal; and she took over the Free Library–a public library in Alameda, California–for three days while she prepared a pre
sentation.

“I had a layover at the Miami airport when I realized the business center was closed,” says Taylor. “It was 10 p.m., and I had to hop in a cab to take me to Kinko’s to get work done before my next flight.”

On another recent layover in Minneapolis, Taylor relied on an Internet kiosk in the airport to produce a press release on a deal that closed when she was on the plane. “I managed the complete document approval process through wireless e-mail, including collaboration with the new customer, partners, legal counsel, and our company executives. I organized the news announcement and coached each spokesperson via video conference the following morning from a Kinko’s in Las Vegas,” she remembers. “I sent out a broadcast fax to the press from the business center at a hotel in Los Angeles and within 48 hours, we produced an entire news event. I’d completed the task without once physically touching my office in Atlanta.”

If you have business that can’t wait until you’re out of the airport, try Laptop Lane and Aerzone Business Center (both at www.lap toplane.com). The fully staffed business centers offer private offices so you can access the Internet, e-mail, print, fax, copy, shred, or scan documents. The

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