Feeds

London's hotspots unfit for voice

Two-thirds won't give you a decent line

High performance access to file storage

Most of London's wireless hotspots can't support more than one voice-over-IP call at a time, according to a survey by WLAN analysis specialist AirMagnet.

The company surveyed 15 hotspots around Oxford Street and the City last month. It said that 11 of them suffered from coverage problems that prevented multiple simultaneous voice-over-Wi-Fi calls.

AirMagnet boss Ian Schenkel said that without remedial work, people trying to use Wi-Fi or dual-mode phones could suffer dropped or poor quality calls, and might simply give up trying to use it as an alternative to their current phone service.

"The hotspots were OK for data use," he said, "but network usage is evolving, and now the infrastructure needs to evolve to keep up."

He said the most common problem was being on the same channel as a neighbouring network, while other hotspots suffered interference from Bluetooth phones or - especially in sites also serving food - from a microwave oven.

Most interference issues can easily be fixed by a site survey, using a portable PC and WLAN analysis software, and adding extra access points if needed, he claimed. He acknowledged that a thorough survey takes time -that's why AirMagnet only checked 15 sites, but added that he believed it was a representative sample.

"It's much more three-dimensional than just adding more access points," he said. He pointed out that while metal air conditioning ducts will block radio signals, glass can reflect them.

"The best place we found was a phonebox with BT OpenZone," he said. "It was very well set up - it's somewhat ironic, given that it's a phonebox and we were testing voice-over-Wi-Fi."®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.