Wi-Fi Dead Zone Tales – Dispatch from London
By Sam Koch, Mobolize | Solutions Engineer
They’re out there. Dead zones where your phone won’t let go of the Wi-Fi network it was connected to and transfer over to cellular to keep you connected. Here are some places where I’ve experienced dead zones in London where I live and work.
1. Leaving the Tube or London Underground
We’re lucky that the Tube has good Wi-Fi connections so we can use our phones as we travel underground from station to station. But what happens when you reach the top of the station exit stairs and you want to message your friend or business partner to see if they have arrived at the restaurant, or you need GPS help to get to the restaurant?
Almost every time my phone hangs. I ask it, “Are you going to do anything?” I shake it a little because it feels like it will help, but, nope, my phone’s not going to do anything.
It’s stuck in a dead zone where it hangs onto the Tube Wi-Fi and won’t let go. It won’t easily or quickly pick up my cellular network to get me connected.
I could walk the 50 meters or so to get it to work properly. But it often rains in London, especially this time of year, and I would rather know I’m heading the right direction in the rain when I leave the station than learn I’m going the wrong way when I get out of the dead zone and have to retrace my steps.
2. Exiting a restaurant
Deep in the back of a restaurant away from the windows, poor cellular connections are a common experience because the signal is blocked by cement and steel. That’s one of the reasons we turn to Wi-Fi.
Recently I was at a restaurant where I experienced this and asked for the Wi-Fi password. Once connected, it was great, but when I stood outside the restaurant and searched for train times home, I was stuck in a dead zone. No working connection – no Wi-Fi because I was out of the restaurant’s usable Wi-Fi zone and no cellular because my phone was hanging on to the unusable Wi-Fi.
I had to walk those 50 meters away from the restaurant to exit the dead zone and get connected to cellular to find the train schedule. That was a time I wished I carried an umbrella.
3. Golf club clubhouse to car
I love my golf club. It’s in the country side, it’s peaceful, my game’s improving and the 17thcentury palace that’s the clubhouse has Wi-Fi. What more could I ask for?
How about eliminating the dead zone between the club house and my car? I have no reception until I am actually in the car and driving away. My phone hangs onto the clubhouse Wi-Fi until the cellular signal overrides it to make the switch. I need to get out of the dead zone before I can message anyone or find out traffic conditions to pick the best route home.
The fix for dead zones? The only one that resides directly on the phone is Mobolize | Bond. It can recognize when Wi-Fi is bad or unresponsive and quickly use cellular to send and receive data when the Wi-Fi signal isn’t responsive. And it does it fast so no one experiences a dead zone.
Think Wi-Fi dead zones don’t exist? Think again. Dead zones are all around us and we experience frustrations in dealing with them daily. Stay tuned for more dead zone tales.