Wi-Fi Dead Zone Tales: Dispatch from Tampa, Florida
By Abby Raven, A Cautious Wi-Fi User
I’m mobile. I have a job that that encourages mobility and a life that demands it. I’m often on my mobile phone including moving around at the office complex, at home and during travel and these are places where I often encounter Wi-Fi dead zones. In particular:
- Walking to my car in the parking lot
When I leave the office and walk to my car in the parking lot, Wi-Fi gets weak. Webex sessions are sometimes dropped in the lobby but other times I can almost make it to my car before the session starts spinning.
- At home
When working from home, I need to leave my home office to take the dogs outside. Okay, I also try to get the mail too. That’s when the dead zone claims a hard stop and my call or meeting connection stops or freezes. I can delay getting the mail, but not always taking care of the dogs.
- Airport connections
Wi-Fi security fears prevent me from latching on to any free or unrestricted Wi-Fi so I use my mobile as a hotspot. Often when traveling, I turn off Wi-Fi and, admittedly, sometimes forget to turn it back on when I return to my home or office.
I use Wi-Fi on my mobile not just for Webex meetings, but also for app-like news sites (USA Today, CNN etc.) where I love to watch associated videos. I also like to watch You Tube streaming videos – usually shorts on current events or other mainstream video clips. I’m shopping for a new car so, lately, car comparisons and reviews are also on my play list.
Here’s what happens – when the Wi-Fi signal becomes weak, video content starts spinning and then becomes frozen or the app access stops. Without a handoff or switch over to cellular, the only choice is to restart the session from the beginning or re-engage. In the case of a Webex conference call, this means getting kicked off the call, re-engaging the app and dialing back in.
This is not a professional experience, by the way. It’s a time waster, an energy drain plus one additional thing to focus on. Importantly, I also miss out on the continuity and consistency of content in business calls and that’s frustrating for everyone. The interruption makes me slightly frazzled as it means starting over or trying to pick up where I left off.
I run into Wi-Fi dead zones daily at the office as I am always trying to get more done in a day, and that includes being on calls and meetings as I’m walking to my car.
Who do I blame for dead zones? Usually my mobile operator. While I know it’s a function of coverage and signal strength, my first thought is to blame my mobile operator for anything that occurs relating to my mobile device.
I wasn’t always a big Wi-Fi user but I use it more and more. My first experience was at home and it was really impacting because I was trying to multi-task and got hung on a conference call. I had to dial back in and after three tries finally just went back in the house to be within the Wi-Fi router range. But I missed 15 minutes of a meeting and presentation. Not fun.
That’s often how I deal with dead zones – I try not to move outside the router range to maintain the established connection. If I have to be mobile, I’ll turn Wi-Fi off and just use cellular.
When I demoed Mobolize | Bond, it was an amazing experience. I tested it with various apps and there was a seamless transition with no interruption in content. Video now streams continuously, Webex doesn’t kick me off calls and my connection with Uber is always on.
In addition, eliminating dead zones is a game changer. It encourages me to use more Wi-Fi, which is better for my company’s bottom line when on the work mobile, and better for my data plan when I use my personal phone. Bond has made my dead zone experience completely worry free.