Techie challenge: How good is wi-fi in SA?

While many consumers and businesses connect to internet hotspots every day, it is questionable whether it is possible to manage one’s online life solely through these connections.

“We are very serious about providing consumers with a high-end wi-fi service. By putting our reputation and resources behind the wi-fi challenge, we are in essence challenging our own equipment and the South African infrastructure,” says Michael Fletcher, sales director for Ruckus Wireless Sub-Saharan Africa.

Through Segev's extensive exposure to massive communications endeavours in South Africa, the United Kingdom and Israel, he is ideally positioned to provide objective and comprehensive reviews on the wi-fi industry.

For the next month, he will become the Wi-Fi Guy.

Ruckus Wireless will provide the Wi-Fi Guy with a wireless home solution and AlwaysOn will provide him with an account to access all its hotspots.

AlwaysOn has one of South Africa largest network of wi-fi hotspots.

During his everyday activities, Segev will report on how effective and efficient the local connectivity is.

He will post regularly on his blog The Techie Guy, detailing his experiences and discussing key topics pertinent to the industry.

He will invite participation in finding the best hotspots/wi-fi spots in South Africa through his blog and his Twitter feed.

Follow him on @Liron_Segev, using the hashtag #RuckusWiFi.

“When you travel overseas, wi-fi spots are everywhere and most are free to use. In South Africa, this is not the case,” says Fletcher.

“Our cost or bandwidth makes it prohibitive to share our internet access and making wi-fi free for anyone to use. It will be interesting to see if you can complete your day-to-day tasks when out of the office without using cellular network data, and only relying on wi-fi hotspots.” He adds: “The aim of this challenge is to raise awareness of the critical need for uninterrupted wi-fi availability in South Africa.

We will address a number of issues that arise as a result of the challenge in order to improve the user experience.

“We anticipate that a number of key topics will come to the fore, such as capped data, as well as those regions and specific venues that have wi-fi as opposed to those that do not have it.” Segev will also lift the lid on whether it is preferable to choose venues that cater for wi-fi and what advantages one can gain from connectivity.

He will then debate what is considered best practice for easy authentication and seamless roaming.

“In the past few years, more businesses have embraced the solutions wi-fi has to offer and in the process have improved on their internal processes and services to their customers.

The wi-fi challenge not only allows our team to build on its current market knowledge base, but it also allows us to identify key areas for future focus,” says Fletcher. –

Follow Liron Segev on Twitter on @Liron_Segev and Gadget on @GadgetZA.

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