‘Don’t even think about opening Facebook’

INTERNATIONAL and interstate Commonwealth Games visitors are being warned not to rely on Queensland Rail's Wi-Fi service to reach their destination

QR offers 20MB of download within a four-hour period but the data could expire moments after you connect, according to technology expert Trevor Long.

Mr Long said tourists often use free Wi-Fi services because international data roaming was so expensive.

Technology expert Trevor Long said international visitors won’t be able to rely on Queensland Rail’s Wi-Fi for more than about 20 minutes.
Technology expert Trevor Long said international visitors won’t be able to rely on Queensland Rail’s Wi-Fi for more than about 20 minutes.

However to get the most out of QR's service, commuters should avoid social media, disengage apps and prevent downloading of email attachments, Mr Long said.

"You're probably going to get between five and 20 minutes of connectivity at best," Mr Long told The Courier-Mail.

The Today show and 4BC techspert said social media apps such as Facebook and Instagram are designed to "consume" as much data as possible.

There's the additional problem that apps can automatically update or refresh when a phone connects to a Wi-Fi.

"Don't even think about opening Facebook, especially if a video begins to load," he said

"An international visitor doesn't use data roaming because of the cost but whenever they connect to Wi-Fi, their phone 'thinks' their at home and updates the phone.

He said downloading a map would burn through data and should be avoided.

If tourists were intending to use their smart phone map, they may be better having a printed one.

"Twenty meg isn't going to get you navigation from point A to Point B," Mr Long said.

"Even for a light user, it's not going to give you a lot of time (on the net)."

Griffith University computer science professor Bill Caelli said it QR's 20MB offer was a "nice service, but extremely limited" for international visitors.

The QR data offer is comparable to the service on trains in Wales while New York has an hour time limit and the Gatwick Express has free Wi-Fi but does not state any limits.

A QR spokesman said the service was designed for basic internet usage and the average daily usage was less than 20MB.

"The average daily usage per passenger Wi-Fi session is between 15 to 16MB and on average, daily Wi-Fi data usage across the network is between 90,000MB to 100,000MB," the spokesman said.

"Queensland Rail has no current plans to increase data limits."

HOW TO UTILISE QR'S 20MB LIMIT

Enable low power mode (disables a lot of "background use")

Turn off automatic updating of apps.

Turn off automatic video plays on Facebook and Instagram

Turn off downloading of attachments in email



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