For many of us who work remotely, when it comes to connectivity when out and about, Starbucks has always been a safe haven! Great coffee, great smell and most of all good free connectivity. Whilst I loved unlimited connectivity that the Three network gave me, I found that in many city centre locations connectivity was patchy. As part of my fleet upgrade, and the move to the new 3rd Generation LTE enabled Apple Watch, I had to move over to EE. Whilst I’m still missing the ulimited data cap of Three, the upgrade to speed and range has been incredible. Even though I am still using an iPhone 6S as this current time, I’m seeing 200-300meg connections nearly everywhere I go.
Today I did my typical Sunday morning thing of jumping in the car heading to a Starbucks for a bit of research, study and surfing and found that the Starbucks in question’s Wifi was very patchy. I’ve observed this behaviour before in other shopping centers and airports, where a free WiFi network seems to interfere with the instore wifi.
Here’s a look at a typical test ping page (bbc.co.uk) that I use to test here in the UK, packet loss, ping all over the place:
That same test running on 4G, after all my cloud services had updated, settling into a standard 60ms ping, stable as a rock!
Which got me to thinking- as 4G, 4.5G and 5G services roll out, are we geninely going to enter a time when WiFi becomes a backup? If the providers can get their fingers out and create entire device packages (as EE have for the Apple Watch I’d be interested) – maybe £30 per month for the phone, and 5 quid for each subsquent device you want to add (iPad/ Watch/Laptop) – I’d certainly be first in the queue!