Lucky we’d brought out BlackBerry Q5 with us
This weekend [July 6th 2014), GoMo News found itself standing in fields in England’s Northamptonshire to watch the British Formula One (F1) Grand Prix motor race. Given there were around 120,000 other there, needless to say there little or no cellular or Wi-fi coverage. So we had to resort to analogue. Knowing about Silverstone Radio (which broadcasts on 87.7 FM) and how it makes it easy to follow races from the trackside, we took along our little Nokia N73 to utilise its built-in FM radio. We’d also packed our Nokia supplied waterproof jacket (which came in very useful) and which has an inside pocket to keep the handset dry in. We’d forgotten our Nokia connector ear-buds, however, Luckily we remembered our BlackBerry Q5 BB10 device has recently acquired an FM radio capability.
It’s difficult to know who to blame most for the almost total lack of any kind of public data signal at a national event such as the F1 Grand Prix.
Frankly, we don’t really blame our British MNO – Orange (now part of EE in UK), given that it pulled out of F1 back in 2004.
We’d hoped that France Telecom/Orange might have stepped into Vodafone’s shoes when the British MNO dropped its support for McLaren (see here) but it didn’t.
So instead we’re going to blame the circuit’s owner, Silverstone Circuits, for the lack of decent Wi-fi and failure to arrange enough temporary cellular sites for visitors.
After all, earlier in 2014 we reported Michaela Robins, head of IT at Silverstone Circuits, saying she wanted the site “to become a destination venue” here.
We’d also blame the official F1 app for being far too data intensive. It kept report an inability for the app to reach its server.
The best data connexion we achieved on July 6th was an Edge one – not even 3G! we could even receive the commentary via the official F1 app.
So we switched to the BlackBerry Q5. To get to the Q5′s FM radio capability, open the built-in ‘Music’ app and you’ll see the radio icon down there on the right.
Incidentally, we were a little surprised to hear the Force India F1 team being described as ‘local’ by one of the commentators.
Until we remembered, of course, that the Force India cars are currently built at the old Jordan factory situated in Silverstone itself.