You know when you’re driving on the motorway, country road or just your standard residential road, you always somehow, somewhere see a telephone mast along the way! Although this is only an assumption on our behalf, we’re pretty sure that the majority of you never really paid much attention to those tall grey, metal, tall telephone masts.

Well, we’ve got some news for you that may actually change the way you feel about them, especially if you’re a coach, bus or train operator!

What’s the news?

This might be something that you weren’t even aware of, however, did you know that most, if not all, networks have now upgraded their services to 4G signal? You’re probably still wondering what this actually means to you and what difference it makes to you.

What this means is, if you’re an operator and you currently offering your customers that embark on their daily journeys WiFi, but you only have a 3G signal agreement with your preferred network, you probably didn’t know this, but you probably use 2G for an extended part of your route, making the user experience not so enjoyable.

Why is that happening?

When the networks upgraded their service to 4G, the 3G equipment on the masts was decommissioned, leaving 4G and 2G connectivity as the only two options. Therefore, if you are operating a 3G sim, you will not be able to pick up any 4G signal and will only be able to operate on 2G. The reason for this is, signal can never jump up, however, as we all know it can only get worse. You may be one of the lucky operators that is still able to use 3G, however, that won’t be for much longer. With more and more networks now using 4G only, the masts will start to phase out 3G signal at a quicker rate, this means that if you are offering passenger WiFi to your customers it will only be running on 2G.

Fivebars MD, Martin Murphy thinks it’s time for everyone to be aware of this, saying the following: The passenger data experience on 2G is terrible. It’s like trying to open a webpage on my old blackberry and holding it up in the air. Try switching off your 4G & 3G on your phone and try and load up a webpage or send an email and you’ll see what we mean. 2G was meant for voice traffic which is why you still have 2G on the masts. If you are on a bus or train using a 3G sim, it’s not going to be a great experience. I couldn’t believe how many operators are still using 3G sims. This would account for the number of complaints about reception and coverage on these routes where mobile 4G reception would be showing up as fine!”

What do you do now?

Don’t panic! We’re here to help, our WiFi experts know exactly what to do. So, if you have any questions or if you feel like it’s time to upgrade to 4G right away, just get in touch!