Wi-Fi Travels in Canada

In December 2015, I was travelling to Canada and along the way took note of the Wi-Fi installations.

I know it's a bit geeky.. when you work in Wi-Fi a while you kind of naturally end of looking at the ceiling in a lot of buildings.. and assessing how well Wi-Fi is installed when you travel overseas.

October 2020 Update

International travel from Australia has all but stopped for the minute. It will be a little while before we take to the skies to foreign lands, but I thought it would be nice to take a look back when it was possible - and reminisce. The original blog, below, was from a few years ago, but still a current read. Enjoy!


Enroute to Vancouver, I passed through LAX. What an airport hey! 

It was interesting to see that they were only just deploying BYOD Wi-Fi in the arrivals area now – there were a bunch of posters up advertising the fact. It was kind of interesting for such a massive international hub to not have free Wi-Fi up until then.

Canadian Moose Cisco APs were installed,  which in fact was a bit of a theme of my travels.

The density was about the same as we normally use for high density Wi-Fi - in this case maybe more to deal with the large number of people and devices connecting at any one time.

Most of the US airports had free Wi-Fi of some sort, although all a little different, be it, a simple tick box to access, or providing an email address.

On a side note, the worst airport Wi-Fi I experienced was in the home of the tech industry at San Francisco airport - completely unusable while I was sat at the gate waiting for my flight.

I couldn't see which manufacturer the APs were, but this is more of a case of insufficient number of APs.

We can help you San Francisco airport if you want to bring it up to spec! (NOTE: May have been updated based on the earlier release date of this original blog)

After arriving in Vancouver, and passing through their beautiful airport (they have done a brilliant job in making it such a calm place, while making it easy to transit through - top marks), we travelled around Vancouver a little.

Around the Vancouver area there were so many Cisco APs deployed - targeted in many coffee shops, hotels and public spaces,

I think there's been a push to provide paid for Wi-Fi and its certainly seen a wide deployment of free Wi-Fi.

Hotel Wi-Fi

The quality of Wi-Fi on the whole was great.


In linking in with my blog the problem with hotel wi-fi, BYOD in airports and hotels remained average at best.

A number of the hotels and airports, although having free Wi-Fi, just proved unusable. As a side note, there are issues with radar and Wi-Fi, if you're interested in a read.

They have just not deployed the density or suitable locations for many of the APs I saw - a real shame as when you have a few hours to kill in an airport, being able to access the net really makes a difference.

As with some of the themes of my other blogs, the AP density and proper RF design is vital in achieving consistent and equitable Wi-Fi coverage.

San Francisco Airport

I do like aviation, so was intrigued by the winglet on the right - never seen one with the downward part of the winglet.

I can only imagine the amount of wind tunnel testing to try and reduce the vortex from the wing to produce this new design.

Heavy aircraft leave behind a wave vortex, spiralling from the wingtip, which requires separation for following aircraft.



The Mighty Boeing 747

Such a pity that we won't see too many of these beautiful aircraft in the skies, as airlines gradually retire their fleets, however isn't the sight of a 747 always an inspiring one.

I couldn't resist taking the photo of the two Qantas 747's together - not sure how often they park a couple of these majestic aircraft in such close proximity, but it was quite a beautiful sight.

Shame the weather in San Francisco wasn't a bit nicer on the day!


I've got a few other related travel blogs - travels in Japan, or a visit to the floating Uros islands in Peru, or just a quick look at in-flight Wi-Fi.

Thanks for having a read! If you wanted to read about something a bit more technical, I've got lots of content - from Cisco SD Fabric, though wireless RF Surveys and general Wi-Fi tips. One blog definitely worth a read is all about a recent project we conducted and how teamwork plays such a vital role.

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