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Editorial #113: Dr. Z on the Latest in WiFi in Public Places

This is an update of Editorial #106 on the subject of wifi in public places. In the span of a few months some things have changed and Dr. Z wants to bring you up to date on using wifi or 4G in public places.

The good news is that we have an alternative to wifi which works well with video–it is 4G or 4G LTE (“4G”). If you see “4G” on your phone, it will do video better than “3G”. In some situations, 4G will work better than wifi. This was not true several months ago. 4G is not everywhere, but the phone companies are continuing to add 4G all over the country–we will see many more areas with 4G later this year.

The only issue with 4G is that video communication uses a lot of data and it can go against your monthly 2GB cap or whatever your cap is. With wifi, there’s no cap.

Hotels: they have started to become a bit better. Some offer a separate tier (higher price) for video connections. Hotel lobby and conference rooms sometimes are better than rooms because the signal is stronger in those areas. Some rooms are near the end of buildings which offer weak signals.

Airports: About the same. Use of Boingo, a paid service is reliable. Some airports offer free wifi, but not all can handle video

Airplanes: Dr. Z has used Southwest and Delta wifi in planes. Both do not offer video and even with regular web browsing its SLOW!

Barnes and Noble: Not reliable for video, some locations better than others.

Starbucks: Fairly reliable for video, some locations better than others.

Dunkin Donuts, Panera Bread: Not used there enough to give you an opinion.

How to use wifi with Z? Download Z4 for PC and Mac, iOS (Apple) and Android (click the links.)

Look for the NEW Z Mobile for iOS and Z Desktop for PC and Mac in a few weeks!

Happy traveling from Dr. Z!

Dr. Z cares about your communication access.

Disclosure: Dr. Z (Philip W. Bravin) is associated with CSDVRS, currently its Vice-President of Business Development and Outreach.

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