18 Apr 6 tips on BUYING Temporary WiFi
When it comes to buying temporary WiFi for your business or event how do you know what to look for and how much you should be budgeting? Fli-Fi shares its 6 top tips on what to consider when sourcing temporary WiFi. We will help you understand the functionality to look for and potential cost implications, enabling you to head out on the right track to buying temporary WiFi for your business or event.
Why use temporary WiFi?
We all want fast internet access wherever we are so that we can enjoy unlimited facebook, twitter and instagram posts, YouTube videos and downloading documents. In addition to the general public’s need to absorb themselves in social media, businesses have a need for WiFi just to continue doing their jobs. When working at any temporary location or event, you may not have access to an internet connection, and standard mobile signals can be unreliable without enough bandwidth to carry out essential functions. This is when you can look at a temporary WiFi solution that can offer you the performance to compete with your office network, away from the office environment. Think of events, promotions, temporary work sites and mobile workforces.
Any temporary WiFi solution should offer you easy and instant connectivity without long term contractual tie-ins, giving you the flexibility to hire the solution for as long as you need.
Fli-Fi’s Top Tips FOR BUYING TEMPORARY WIFI
1. Explore contract terms and hidden extras
When you’re considering buying temporary WiFi it’s important to look closely at the costs and explore any hidden extras to ensure that these don’t spiral out of control. Can you hire a WiFi solution on a day rate and is there a minimum commitment? Ideally if you are running a short-term event you should be able to hire WiFi by the day, but it’s worth checking whether you can easily extend the rental if required. What about set-up, installation and break-down – is there a cost to be factored in for this? If someone needs to come to site to set it up then there is likely to be a charge incurred. There could be site survey fees which may be optional or mandatory. Finally, support – what happens if the WiFi solution stops working? – how quickly can support be given? Is there an additional cost for this or is full support given? It’s always wise to have it managed to allow you to focus on your work.
2. Do your due diligence on the available location services
When hiring event WiFi you should carry out a basic check of the site. The most basic question is whether there is a power source available. Most WiFi solutions will require power, although some can run for a short period without power, a bit like a laptop. If there is no mains power, is there a generator or what does it cost to hire one? Generators can be very noisy so this would need to be factored in. If you know what you’ve got to work with then you’ll be able to inform WiFi providers of your exact requirements and ensure that the solution works for you. An understanding of factors that may impact WiFi such as whether the location is underground or whether it needs to connect to any specific equipment e.g. photobooths or VoIP phone systems is also useful.
3. How much bandwidth do you need?
Most of us won’t know how much bandwidth is required, but your WiFi provider should. They need to be well informed though and you can help with this – note down how many people will be connecting to the WiFi and what sort of activities will be taking place. For example, are you running a festival and would like 1000 guests to be able to upload photos to social media, download emails etc, or are you running a fashion show launch with the sole need to stream a live broadcast online – where it’s business critical. By noting down the number of people requiring access and the activity that will be carried out, most reputable WiFi providers will be able to work out the sort of bandwidth required and overall data required. They can then advise whether units can be scaled up to suit your bandwidth requirements and ensure continuity of service.
4. Do you need a site survey?
A WiFi provider will need to understand how they will connect to the internet – is it going to be via satellite or via 4G? If there is good 4G connectivity available by at least one network, then this will likely offer a cheaper solution than a satellite setup. Satellite solutions almost always require set-up and testing by an engineer to make sure they are correctly aligned and signal strength is strong. A WiFi provider should carry out a site survey to determine the speeds of connectivity at your location, unless they have already done this and know the local area.
5. Portability and size
If you’re taking your event on tour or require a more portable WiFi solution, then a satellite option won’t be very suitable. Also, if space is limited then you won’t want a bulky satellite dish installed. Look for mobile WiFi options that are small, can simply be plugged in and turned on and moved when required. If you’re travelling around with the WiFi you’ll want to check that the solution can cope with picking up signals whilst on the move. A solution the size of a flight case can serve a large number of multiple users with good bandwidth.
6. Usability and additional features
It’s important that a WiFi solution is easy to use. Ask about the process for installation and connectivity, and what support will be offered – is there a direct line to an engineer should you need a bit of additional help? Simple mobile WiFi solutions can be plugged in, turned on and easily found by devices when searching for WiFi. A secure password will allow connection. Satellite systems on the other hand, require more help from an engineer during set-up.
Also, if you would like to use WiFi as a marketing tool, some providers can gather email addresses of guests that connect to WiFi, and provide corporate branded splash pages with information for guests on it. If you are hosting a sporting event for example, instructions and links to race day information can all be included in the splash page when a guest connects to the WiFi – great for getting your messages across.
Finally, would you benefit from usage insights? Some WiFi providers can give you post-usage reports which show how much data was used and how it was used, often a useful additional piece of information when reflecting on the success of your event or brand activation.
Fli-Fi is a UK based WiFi specialist, delivering temporary and event WiFi to corporate brands, production companies, festivals, event organisers, construction sites and pop up shops. If you would like further information about hiring WiFi or to speak to our experts you can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 3778 0454.