I’m here at an analyst conference, trying to combine a seamless online and offline experience. The presentations are compelling, the panel discussions are lively, and I should be using social media to augment and amplify the information I’m soaking up from my seat in the second-to-back row.
Except that I can’t. Because, as usual, the Wi-Fi isn’t working.
Sure, there’s a Wi-Fi network, and it worked OK for 30 minutes yesterday, but today, the connectivity is pretty much nada. I’m at a central London hotel where the IT infrastructure is clearly not up to the job, especially when 300-plus delegates all try and connect their notebook, tablet and mobile phone to the network. First, the network slows, then it just stops responding. I’m not alone. Over coffee with the chief analyst, he shrugs and says “yeah. I’ve got the same problem!”
This is very frustrating but also unfortunately commonplace. Even the GSMA couldn’t make the free Wi-Fi work at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. There were Wi-Fi nodes available, but nobody I met was unable to draw data across them. And no, it’s not always so easy to switch over to good old 3G, especially when you’re incurring data roaming charges. (more…)