It’s rare that I use public Wi-Fi hotspots since for me, mobile Internet access via a cellular 3G network is usually a cheaper and more flexible alternative. But every now and then I just log on to them to see how much users are charged for connectivity. These days, however, more often than not, the Wi-Fi hotspots I log on to are not working as they should. Either I don’t get an IP address (in one instance Wireshark showed that the DHCP server returns failure messages because the IP address pool is exhausted), the portal page fails loading which probably means the backhaul link is broken or the speed is so abysmally slow (for whatever reason) that any meaningful use of the service is not possible. Yes, I am complaining! Or is it just something specific of the countries I travel to? Not that the reliability of 3G wireless networks is beyond complaint but I can still count the instances a network didn’t work on a single hand (and I travel to many countries in Europe).