Too much… or too little wireless? If you have taken a holiday away from home this summer, you might sympathise with Chris Gabriel who looks at his recent experiences of mobile communications and the minor revolutions that can occur when it’s not quite right!
In truth this should be a podcast, not a blog – but to be honest who really speaks anymore? The only time I talk into my mobile now is to give it instructions which it ignores on the basis that it doesn’t know where best to bury a body in West Berkshire. As a side note, one day the police will analyse all those daft SIRI requests so you have been warned.
Back to the point…
We are all mobile now and, while we may not speak much on our smart phones, we email, web browse, map browse, bank, buy things, transfer money, watch TV and ever more, access business systems.
So, the old annoyance of mobile experience – dropping a call – has now been surpassed by two recent phenomena, which I recently experienced in two very different places. These will henceforth be called TMW and TLW – Too Much Wireless and Too Little Wireless.
One was in a so-called developing nation and the other in a very developed one. I will let you guess which.
So, on a recent trip I was struck by an inevitable flight delay, as were two other flights, so those of us lucky enough to do a bit of travelling headed straight for our loyalty card lounge hoping to do some work, or catch up with Sky Sports. Now all was well for the first 10 or 15 minutes, until I experienced a TLW occurrence. As more and more people with phones and tablets entered the lounge the Wi-Fi service took a turn for the worse and slowly degraded to the point of no return. And, as this happened, and we all rubbed our touch screens in despair, a technology spring occurred, the first person complained to the front desk, then another, then another.
There were comfortable seats, nibbles, hot food, fine wines and a great selection of premium spirits for everybody to comfort themselves with. The lounge experience was as good as it comes, but one thing was missing – nobody could get a Wi-Fi connection and I have to say it made quite a few people apoplectic. Unwittingly though, it wasn’t the Wi-Fi that had keeled over of its own accord, we, collectively, with our iOS, Android, and Windows devices, had killed it. I gave it a term there and then – my first experience of a DDDOS attack – Device Driven Denial of Service. I even tweeted it and the airline in question was good enough to tweet back. ‘We hope the poor Wi-Fi service didn’t ruin your experience of travelling with us.’
Of course it hadn’t – the flight hadn’t crashed, the lounge was great, my luggage didn’t go missing, but, and then it hit me, these people who had paid thousands of pounds for a flight got really mad not because of a delay, but because the Wi-Fi had performed poorly.
Would the experience stay with them when they next booked a ticket? I am not sure, probably not, but, of all the things that could go wrong for an airline, I bet the lack of Wi-Fi signal in an overcrowded lounge wasn’t the one they expected to cause a passenger revolt.
And now to my second, shorter story.
Just a few weeks earlier, I suffered a TMW incident. My smart phone is eager to find wireless networks – I have asked it (well I didn’t ask it because it wouldn’t have understood) to keep an eye out if it finds one and offer me a connection. This is great in the UK as it only happens once in a while, you might get the odd connection opportunity even in London.
But in this particular city, Wi-Fi offers came in abundance. My record was 10 as I walked down a street. Service provider after service provider offered me a wireless connection – and they got so generous with their suggestions for connection my phone was overwhelmed, and frankly I got a bit fed up having to turn them all down, so in the end, and with an enjoyable flurry of my index finger, I swiped the wireless connection on my phone to off.
And in a second, the world was quiet again – just like being back home.
The problem it seemed was that my phone wireless isn’t very adept at tuning out wireless networks and it’s either a ‘free for all’ or a ‘none at all’ situation. Because this city was so well wireless enabled – Wi-Fi everywhere – it was just easier to turn it off.
So, within a month I experienced the two phenomena of our new age of mobile working – phenomena which show that either ‘experience’ is everything. Firstly the experience of having too little service, or too little service for the number of devices likely to want to use the service, and secondly the experience of having too much wireless and the device in my hand not being smart enough to cope with my new wireless world.
What it says to me is that we all need to get ready for more devices, more demand for wireless services – and more understanding that mobility experience is going to be something that defines the overall experience of the services we use, whether the company providing them is a Wi-Fi service provider or not.
Now, I wonder where I can find a shop that sells hot air balloons…
Well Chris is probably not the only person to have ‘new mobile experiences’, tell us your experiences below… if the connection holds up! We are back to aerodynamics shortly and will be looking at infrastructure as well as reviewing the last 6 to 8 months in the information technology sphere.