We test five InLinkUK structures to see how fast the Wi-Fi is
Making good use of the summer weather which existed earlier this week we used the tube to travel between the three locations across London that are host to five InLinkUK kiosks that offer free public Internet access and USB charging, phone calls and a built in tablet with maps. The service is provided by BT and is paid for by adverts that cycle around the two large screens either side of the slab like structure.
There are two of the structures on Camden High Street, one at Swiss Cottage and two more in Holborn and if you are walking trying to spot one they are fairly tall so should be easy to spot above peoples heads.
The average speed from the 43 tests we carried out was 47.4 Mbps download and 44 Mbps upload, with a standard deviation on the download of 19.5, testing was carried out using on iPhone 6 Plus and additionally a Mac Book Air at one location. Testing in Camden took place on 3rd and 7th August and other locations on 7th August with a time window of 2pm to 5pm.
The fastest test we saw was 93 Mbps down and 57 Mbps up and as the graph shows speeds were variable during the time period of each test, in terms of distance we seemed to be able to generally lose the signal at around 100m where we were getting 4.8 Mbps symmetric type speeds, if we were to stick the mobile on a longer pole so it was above the usual people and street furniture obstructions we might have got a signal further away. We have in the past seen higher Wi-Fi speeds on the same device, but that has usually been London Underground Wi-Fi when the platform is empty and the streets of London are far from empty and above ground you are also competing with the Wi-Fi networks from shops and peoples home routers.
It was a little dissapointing to not see real ultrafast results in the 100 to 200 Mbps region but given the prominence of the structures it is likely others were using the connectivity, so even if each one has a Gigabit connection the shared access and slow downs due to Wi-Fi make it hard to get the best speeds. Maybe we need to head back in the middle of the night when there will be less people around.