I’m sorry

Yesterday, near Tergola

We walked from Sipsoo in Samtse through Sombaykha, and arrived in Dorikha in Haa yesterday. I couldn’t go online during the entire journey, as I couldn’t connect to B-Mobile’s signal. Their cellular signal was generally unavailable and in the few places that I could connect to B-Mobile, their signal was weak, and data transfer impossible.

It wasn’t like this last year. Then, when I traveled through the same villages, I’d been able to connect to B-Mobile and go online through most of the journey. And I’d celebrated their coverage in Connecting Bhutan.

This time I couldn’t blog or tweet or update my Facebook status. I couldn’t even make phone calls. So I’m sorry for not staying in touch. And I’m grateful to the several readers who have kept the discussions on this blog going.

But connectivity in this remote part of Bhutan is actually still very good. The difference is that now it is powered by Tashi Cell, not B-Mobile. So if you go to Sombaykha or Gakiling, remember to carry a Tashi Cell subscription. I certainly will.

I’m in Dorikha enjoying a crisp winter morning, indulging in my aunt’s hospitality, and making full use of the first B-Mobile signal I’m receiving in days.

Am back in Thimphu later today.

SMS tweets

Calling twitterers

About a year ago, I’d announced that I was on Twitter, a social networking site that offers “micro-blogging” by allowing users to post updates that are less than 140 characters long. Twitter originally set a 140-character limit so that “tweets” would be compatible with the SMS messaging.

I’d also described how the Twitter experience could be enhanced if our mobile cellular service providers would tie up with Twitter:

If B-Mobile, say, were to allow Twitter to recognize their network, then users would be able to “tweet” using SMS’s, and “followers” would be able to receive updates as SMS’s. And that would be really handy.

Good news! This is now possible. You can now send and receive tweets by SMS. B-Mobile has tied up with Twitter Inc. to offer twitter SMS services for their customers. To sign up for B-Mobile’s latest service:

  1. Create a twitter account
  2. Login; go to settings>Mobile, and add your mobile number
  3. Send tweets to 40404

Happy tweeting.