MWC 2010 – Funicular de Montjuïc – Trip to Mobile Wasteland

Montj Here I am in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress 2010. I picked up my badge today to save myself the hassle of waiting in an endless line tomorrow morning and also to get a glimpse of what's going on inside, how everybody is scrambling to put their booth together. Later, I went for some sightseeing up the Montjuic, a hill between parts of Barcelona and the seaside. In the years back I noticed that while signal levels were quite high up there, data speeds were very slow and voice calls had very bad voice quality.

At the time I thought it was a temporary glitch by the network operator I was using. This year I had a bit more time to investigate. I was quite surprised, to say the least, that it wasn't a temporary glitch but it seems to be the normal state there. I tried with two network operators, both 2G and 3G, and while the signal level was strong, it was just noise. It seems the cells below "leak" up the hill and there is no decent dedicated coverage on top to ensure at least one noise free carrier. Make no mistake, this is a main tourist area!?

So go there for the view, it's magnificent but don't count on being reachable while enjoying the view.