News & Insight

Why free Wi-Fi still trumps 4G

Jack Stratten

Why Wi-Fi is still vital in the age of 4G

With some mobile phone companies claiming they have almost 90% 4G coverage, and 5G not too far away, it could be assumed that offering free public Wi-Fi is becoming less important for UK businesses. But for a number of reasons, this simply isn't the case.

Here, we take a look at the key factors behind Wi-Fi's enduring importance in the wake of ever-improving mobile internet...


Any mobile network slows down as more users come online within a certain area - you'll know this if you've ever tried using 4G at a major event. The beauty of Guest Wi-Fi is that the number of users within your network is automatically limited and managed to ensure everyone enjoys a consistent speed.

As a business, this is significant. Your customers are smartphone addicts - like all of us - and whatever they use the internet for, they don't have the patience for inconsistency.

Data caps

Many, if not the majority of mobile data plans are locked in at under 5GB of data per month. And for most of us, that isn't enough - especially if we need to do something requiring a lot of data while we're out and about.

Increasing data allowances can add a lot of money to monthly bills - especially when it's done on an ad hoc basis. So for customers, finding free public Wi-Fi at your premises can be a godsend. Whether we're resting our data allowance, performing a data-rich task or have already hit our monthly cap, sometimes business Wi-Fi is essential.


Internet speed can be affected by a number of factors. A public Wi-Fi connection is only as strong as the internet that's powering it - which is why we encourage all our Guest Wi-Fi providers to also use our fibre broadband. Meanwhile, when 4G signal is good, it can of course be a faster way of connecting than slow Wi-Fi.

However, the fact remains that, on average, Wi-Fi speeds are faster and more stable than 4G speeds. Again, it comes down to being able to offer a dedicated connection through your own, managed Guest Wi-Fi network. If you connect through fibre broadband, and your router is well positioned, you can expect superfast speeds for every customer that walks through your door.

Business Wi-Fi is also more suited to the peculiarities of your own premises. If, for example, you run a pub or restaurant with basement seating, chances are that 4G signal will be weak. But your Wi-Fi can be set up to combat this, with your router positioned perfectly to give decent speeds wherever your customers choose to sit.

How XLN Public Wi-Fi works

Ok look - we're biased. We think public Wi-Fi works, especially for small businesses. And that's because we've seen it work for more than 20,000 of our customers who've enjoyed welcoming more than 3.5 million registered users. Those numbers speak for themselves.

So here's how it works, in case you're interested. XLN Public Wi-Fi is exclusively available to our Fibre Broadband customers. We offer market-leading deals on fibre, and then offer XLN Public Wi-Fi as an add-on for just £4 a month. That makes it, by some distance, the cheapest and easiest way of providing a professional Wi-Fi service to your customers.

There are no engneering visits, complex configuration or sharing your password - we just switch you on remotely. Your customers sign in with their email address for free and reconnect automatically every time they return.

To find out more, click here.