As I’ve mentioned in a recent post I’ve recently switched to EE, mainly to get LTE, and on the whole it’s excellent. However, the downside is that I had to move away from the unlimited data I was used to when I was on GiffGaff (an MVNO of O2 – Telefonica UK).
I now have a data cap of 3GB of data a month, which from what I can gather in on the large side compared to the average mobile user. I came close to using all of this one month but usually keep well under – and wifi is key to this.
Aside from wifi access at work, I’ve been taking more time to sign up to wifi networks when they present themselves and recently that seems to have been happening more often.
I’m not sure if it’s because I’m now being forced to pay more attention to wifi hotspots because of my data cap, or if BT has recently got its finger out, but I’ve found BT wifi hotspots seemingly pop up quite a lot. As EE’s data packages offer from access to BT wifi hotspots this is a Good Thing.
Barclays Bank recently announced a deal with BT to offer free wifi and other places dotted around such as restaurants offer it. That said, somewhat irritatingly there’s no hotspot or indeed EE coverage at the gym I recently joined, and their combined absence puts a rather large dent in my ability to stream music to my phone. Having to cache tracks ahead of time seems a rather dated approach to take.
BT has recently rebranded its BT Openzone hotspots as BT wifi, which makes things a little confusing but it does makes things easier to understand, so it’s a sensible move from a consumer perspective.
The point though is that having that any operator offering a data cap needs to have a solid wifi proposition to go along with it, in order to ensure its users can get a good data experience without worrying about their caps and to act as a backhaul channel to offload data from the core network. It makes sense for the user, and it makes sense for the operator.
The issue is that sometimes the EE app picks up the hotspot and enables access seamlessly – and sometimes it doesn’t, making the process far more clunky – firing up the browser, enter a phone number and passcode in to a launch page and then correcting mistakes and then waiting for it to connect blah, blah, blah. Too slow. Hotspot 2.0 can’t come soon enough.
The LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, is taking place on the 24th-26th June 2013, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Click here to download a flyer for the event.