ImagineLTE – A Desperately Need Product That Fails Rural Ireland
The impact of internet speeds in rural locations has a major impact in the 21st century. With many rural lines unable to supply speeds quick enough to facilitate HD video services or cloud-based backup solutions, many households search for a local non-telecoms based internet solution to bypass the old antiquated copper telephone lines.
One such provider is ImagineLTE. ImagineLTE launch their service in local areas to great fanfare, boasting speeds of up to 70mbps.
The sales process is slick. In my case, the agent said that the number of customers is my location would be capped at 400 to ensure I always received at least 30mpbs. When we discussed bandwidth caps and my thought that 20Gb a day would be exceeded, he advised this wouldn’t be an issue as a simple call into Imagine would resolve the issue.
ImagineLTE - The Reality
In terms of speed, ImagineLTE does provide at least the 30mpbs service they promise. Downtime has been minimal, and no worse than a DSL provider like Eir.
But it is the bandwidth caps that are a major issue. 20Gb per day is not enough for the average family. The average HD quality video on Youtube or Netflix’s uses 3GB of traffic. That means a family has 7 hours of online TV viewing per day before this data cap is reached.
That’s before factoring in online music streaming, web use, cloud backup services and game downloads. Many people I have spoken to have hit their download cap mid-afternoon, leaving them without data to enough an evening watching Netflix’s.
ImagineLTE Customer Support Just Don’t Respond
Email ImagineLTE Broadband Support, you get no reply. Log an issue, and they will not resolve or come back to you. Ask them to resolve the bandwidth cap issue, they steadfastly refuse.
There is also no way to monitor your bandwidth usage. ImagineLTE will not allow you to add their modem to a Firewall for increased management and security.
And Then ImagineLTE’s Bandwidth Cap Strikes
Delayed emails are sent when 75% of the daily data cap is reached, then soon after, an email is sent saying you have hit your cap. ImagineLTE gives the following recommendations to ensure you don’t reach your limits.
• If you have a wireless or home network, it's important that your connection is secure and encrypted correctly to prevent other people accessing your connection and data usage.
• Consider turning off automatic updates, instead controlling them manually.
• A virus or spyware that downloads onto your computer can chew up your usage, so you should ensure you have good security software that has both virus and spyware protection.
• Be conscious of Using game consoles including Xbox and PlayStation® to play games online, as well as downloading files to your console.
Let’s consider this advice. The ImagineLTE device is so basic, you want me to ensure its Wi-Fi is secure and protected without allowing me to increase the security of my home network. Turning off updates is madness, how else am I supposed to keep my data secure. If I follow your advice about turning off updates, then there it is more than a probability that my machines will become infected and “chew up usage”. Lastly, you try telling a kid they can’t download games to a console as this is increasingly how games are sold/updated.
ImagineLTE – Not for Families
There is no doubting the service works as intended and as sold. The hindsight is the service is unsuitable for families living in rural communities wanting the benefits of the digital age. For the service to work for me, I have had to keep my old Eir DSL connection and run machines that use YouTube over this connection.
For the non-technically minded, ImagineLTE is not the knight in shining armour we needed. It looks like a hero, ready to fix rural broadband issues, however, it forgot to put its pants on the right way round. Hold out for eFirbe, as this poorly conceived product is worse than no solution at all